Oregon Advances to Title Game After Blowing Past Florida State In Rose Bowl

Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks hands the Leishman Trophy to linebacker Tony Washington #91 after defeating the Florida State Seminoles 59-20 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)
Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks hands the Leishman Trophy to linebacker Tony Washington #91 after defeating the Florida State Seminoles 59-20 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)

Breaking down Oregon’s 59-20 victory over Florida State in the College Football Playoff semifinals at the Rose Bowl:

THE FALLOUT: For all the talk about Oregon’s “finesse” reputation and a program that can’t win the big one against traditional powers, the Ducks are on the verge of changing perceptions forever. Not only did Oregon authoritatively stop Florida State’s 29-game winning streak and advance to the College Football Playoff championship game, the Ducks proved they could do things their way and win a game of this magnitude on the big stage.

They weren’t traditional – going for two after the first touchdown, going for an ill-advised fourth down early in the game instead of a short field goal – but they stayed true to their roots and looked like both the faster and more physical team.

For the Seminoles, this incredible run had to end sometime. It was apparent all season they weren’t as good as last year’s national title team, but they kept finding a way to come back and win – until they ran into an Oregon team that simply kept answering every time Florida State threatened and finally overwhelmed them.

WHAT WE’LL BE TALKING ABOUT: In a game that was pretty evenly played for a long time, this was all about which team could maximize its opportunities. The Ducks won that battle going away, as the Seminoles got just three points out of two early trips inside the 10-yard line and cost themselves three likely points at the end of the half with a dropped pass. The Ducks, on the other hand, seemingly converted every Florida State mistake into points. The most critical were early in the second half when Seminoles freshman running back Dalvin Cook lost a pair of fumbles, both on promising drives. Oregon scored five plays after the first, then needed just two plays on the next, opening a 39-20 lead as Marcus Mariota connected with Darren Carrington on a pair of touchdown passes.

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SOURCE: USA Today
Dan Wolken

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