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2013 Fiesta Bowl: Marcus Mariota says communication is key for Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota thinks the X factor in the team's Fiesta Bowl tilt against Kansas State will be communication.

Steve Dykes

After a phenomenal freshman season, Oregon Ducks dynamic quarterback Marcus Mariota is looking to kick off 2013 with a win over the No. 5 Kansas State Wildcats in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Thursday. Although the signal caller is young and inexperienced, he has the wherewithal to know that communication will be the key if the No. 4 Ducks (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) want to upend the Wildcats (11-1, 8-1 Big 12).

In a press conference, the young quarterback was asked what the X factor might be in a game that is likely to be a shootout.

"Communication. To be able to be on the same page with the offensive line and the receivers as well. Be able to communicate, we'll be able to put ourselves in good situations, that's going to be pivotal," Mariota said.

Mariota threw for an impressive 2,511 yards and 30 touchdowns with just six interceptions in 2012. He also racked up 690 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and caught a two-yard touchdown pass as a receiver.

Kickoff at University of Phoenix Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised on ESPN.