USC Coach Steve Sarkisian saw plenty of Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota

USC Coach Steve Sarkisian knows plenty about Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota’s victory in Heisman Trophy balloting, announced Saturday night, did not come as shock, especially to USC Coach Steve Sarkisian.

As Washington’s coach, Sarkisian twice faced Oregon’s quarterback -- and lost both games.

After Saturday morning’s practice, Sarkisian described Mariota as a “fantastic player.”

“He throws it on time, to the right people, accurately,” Sarkisian said. “When there are designed runs for him, it’s hard to stop. And then when you do everything right, he pulls it down and runs it.”

In 2012, Mariota passed for 198 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 40 yards in a 52-21 victory over Washington at Eugene, Ore.

Last season, Mariota passed for 366 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown in a 45-24 victory at Seattle.

Because of the Pac-12 Conference's schedule rotation, Mariota played against USC only once.

In 2012, he completed 20 of 23 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 96 yards in Oregon’s 62-51 victory over the Trojans at the Coliseum.

Oregon plays Florida State on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

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