Marcus Mariota and his receivers have been so in sync this season that the Oregon QB entered Week 13 against Arizona having thrown 25 touchdowns and — perhaps more impressively — not a single interception.
While the first of those numbers saw a jump in line with Mariota’s usual Saturday performances, the second statistic experienced an unexpected increase as well.
The Wildcats were finally able to crack the Duck egg in the Oregon QB’s interception column.
The play began innocently enough with Mariota throwing a very catchable ball to Bralon Addison. However, instead of traveling to its familiar location inside the warm palms of the Ducks receiver, the football deflected off Addison’s hands and into the air. While the ball continued to float toward the Arizona players gathered along the sideline, active Wildcat Shaq Richardson dove out of bounds for the ball. Using one hand, he was able to corral and scoop it back into play.
Johnny-on-the-spot linebacker Scooby Wright found himself in the right place at the right time, as Richardson’s toss practically fell into his hands.
Step one: Arizona Wildcats cornerback Shaquille Richardson (right) tips the ball in bounds.
Before the Arizona duo teamed up for the turnover, Mariota hadn’t thrown an interception since Nov. 17, 2012 vs. Stanford. Entering Saturday’s game with the Wildcats, he had amassed 244 pass attempts (156 for completions), but he was still well shy of Colby Cameron’s record of 428 for most consecutive passes attempted without an interception in a single season.