Monday, 26 June 2017
Banner
Mariota Keeps Head Up After Rough Night
Written by GoDucks.com    Friday, 15 November 2013 02:54   

One by one, Oregon players approached Marcus Mariota as he sat in front of his locker, leaning in close to whisper words of encouragement for their leader.

Among them were Hroniss Grasu and Jeff Lockie, two of Mariota's closest friends on the team. These were guys acutely aware of how devastated the UO starting quarterback felt.

In those moments just after the Ducks' 26-20 loss at Stanford on Thursday, Mariota mostly was able to keep his emotions in check.

Then, Mariota emerged from a side door. There stood his family. Immediately, Mariota crumpled into the arms of his father, Toa, a scene eerily similar to one involving Joey Harrington and his father following the 2000 Civil War.

The family stole back inside the locker room, sharing a few moments together. A more composed Mariota reappeared minutes later, to take questions from media. His emotions never wavered again.

"They understand the trials and tribulations," Mariota said. "To be able to have them here means a lot to me."

In the wake of the Ducks' defeat at the hands of the Cardinal, nobody was more devastated than Oregon's quarterback. He fought through obvious discomfort in his braced-up left knee to throw for 250 yards and two touchdowns.

But Mariota was also a nonfactor in the run game, and was involved in a couple of the night's biggest moments — some errant passes in the first quarter, a fumble in the third — that set the stage for Stanford's win.

Mariota's left knee, braced since the second half against UCLA two weeks ago, is "a little banged up" but "nothing exceptional," he insisted afterward. The injury had no effect on his decision-making in the pocket, he said, though it seemed to inhibit use of the read-option run game.

To the extent the knee might have hurt, though, it wasn't nearly as painful as the loss. And so, Mariota's teammates were there postgame, for the guy multiple players said afterward is the "heart and soul" of the team.

"He makes this team go, and we need him to know that," quarterback Dustin Haines said.

"They love him," UO coach Mark Helfrich said, explaining all the one-on-one interactions involving Mariota in the locker room. "That's it, more than anything."

The willingness of teammates also hurting from the loss to reach to him personally, Mariota said, "means a lot."

"Those guys mean the world to me," he said. "We invest so much in this. It does get tough. They all felt the same way, and it was nice to get a hug, and say 'It's OK.' I appreciate that."

Once his teammates had cleared out, Mariota went out to greet his family, and had the emotional moment with his father. His steely demeanor minutes later with media was a result of that scene with his family, Mariota said.

"They're going to help me through this," he said. "That moment really helped me flush it. It helps you get it out of your system, and get ready for the next week."

Yes, barely 10 minutes after crying into his father's shoulder, Mariota was already talking about Oregon's home game against Utah next Saturday. His focus was on the future, even if he'd been caught up briefly in the devastation of the past.

"That's just Marcus," said UO guard Mana Greig, who also played with Mariota in high school. "He's a perfectionist. He wants to be perfect. But he's going to come back. I've known him for a while now. He'll be all right."

 

Photo Galleries

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
prev
next

2013 Tour Championship Day 2

ALOHA, Ore. - The Golf Channel Am Tour of Portland conducted the final round of Portland Tour Championship on Sunday on the South Course at the Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club Photos Courtesy of Oregon Sports...

Read more

2013 Tour Championship Day 1

ALOHA, Ore. - The Golf Channel Am Tour of Portland conducted their annual Portland Tour Championship on Saturday on the North Course at the Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club Photos Courtesy of Oregon Sports...

Read more

2013 Oregon Masters

WOODBURN, Ore. - The Golf Channel Am Tour of Portland conducted their annual Oregon Masters event at the home of golf in Oregon, the OGA Golf Course on Sunday Photos Courtesy of Oregon Sp...

Read more

2013 Member-Guest Championship

BANKS - Golf Channel Am Tour of Portland held their annual Member-Guest Championship at Quail Valley Golf Course on Sunday under cloudy skies and temps in the 70's on the day. Photos by Or...

Read more

2013 Washington Invitational

Stevenson, WA - Golf Channel Am Tour of Portland held their annual Washington Invitational at the scenic Skamania Lodge Golf Course at Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. Photos by Oregon Sports...

Read more

Pumpkin Ridge Shootout - 2013

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. - Golf Channel Am Tour in Portland held their annual Pumpkin Ridge Shootout at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club on the Ghost Creek Course on Friday, July 12th. Photos by Oregon...

Read more

Portland Open Championship - 2013

SUNRIVER - Golf Channel in Portland held their annual Portland Open Championship at the world famous Crosswater Golf Club on Sunday, June 30th. Photos by Oregon...

Read more

2013 NW Shootout - 6.3.13

GRESHAM, Ore. - Golf Channel Am Tour in Portland hosted their annual Northwest Shootout on Monday, June 3rd at Persimmon Country Club where high cloudy conditions and a tremendous course was enjoyed by everyone. Photos by Ore...

Read more

2013 The Heritage - 6.1.13

NEWBERG, Ore. - Golf Channel Am Tour in Portland hosted their annual the Heritage on Saturday, June 1st at Chehalem Glenn Golf Course and beautiful conditions on a challenging track was enjoyed by everyone. Photos by Ore...

Read more

6A Girls Golf State Tournament 5.13.13

2013 OSAA 6A Girls Golf State Tournament held at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, Oregon on Monday, May 13th, 2013. Photos by OregonSpor...

Read more

2013 High Desert Championship - 5.12.13

SISTERS - Golf Channel Am Tour in Portland hosted their annual High Desert Championship on Sunday, May 12th at the Aspen Lakes Golf Club and beautiful conditions on a tough course was enjoyed by everyone. Photos by ...

Read more

2013 Oregon Players Championship - 4.29.13

WEST LINN - Golf Channel Am Tour in Portland hosted their annual Oregon Players Championship on Monday, April 29th at the Oregon Golf Club and visiting Seattle players dominated the tournament. Photos by Ore...

Read more

2013 Stone Creek Shootout - 3.23.13

OREGON CITY - Golf Channel Am Tour in Portland hosted their annual Stone Creek Shootout on Saturday, March 23rd at the Stone Creek Golf Club and multiple repeat winners came to the fore-front. Photos by ...

Read more

Boys Basketball - West Linn vs Central Catholic 3.9.13

Photos by OregonSpor...

Read more

Girls Basketball - Central Catholic vs South Medford 3.9.13

Photos by OregonSpor...

Read more