EUGENE, Ore. - Marcus Mariota has been right all along: The Oregon Ducks just need to play out their season. In December, they'll see where they land.
Case in point: The developments this past weekend, when Oregon defeated Utah 44-21 a few hours before Southern Cal upset Stanford 20-17. The loss for the Cardinal put the Ducks back atop the Pac-12 North.
Should No. 5 Oregon win its next two games, it'll earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game for a shot at the Rose Bowl. As for anything else, well, that's out of the Ducks' control.
Marcus Mariota and his Oregon teammates can earn a berth in the Pac-12 Conference title game by winning their final two games of the regular season. The Ducks play Arizona on Saturday, then Oregon State next week.
"We just try and focus on what we have here. We know what we're capable of doing," Mariota said. "Like we always say, we'll continue to push through it and in December we'll pick up our heads and see where we're at."
While Oregon is dedicated to taking care of its own business, there are still lingering questions surrounding Mariota and the health of his left knee.
It is believed that Mariota, a Saint Louis School alumnus, was injured a few weeks ago against UCLA. He played with a brace and appeared to be limited two weeks ago in Oregon's 26-20 loss at Stanford, which likely dropped the then-No. 2 Ducks out of the running for the national title and appeared at the time to deal a blow to a possible conference championship.
Buffalo 44, Miami (Ohio) 7
Kent St. 44, Ohio 13
Oregon (9-1, 6-1) rebounded with the win over Utah. Again, Mariota appeared limited, finishing with negative yardage on the ground after he was sacked three times.
Because the Ducks don't discuss injuries, there's no way of knowing how serious the injury was - or is. Mariota was still practicing with the brace this week although he may be able to play without it Saturday at Arizona (6-4, 3-4).
The Ducks will host Oregon State in their final regular-season game of the season.