Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is greeted with a Gatorade shower after his team won the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night. (DARRYL WEBB/Reuters)
If this was Chip Kelly's swan song, it was a stylish number.
With whispers of the Oregon head coach's exodus to the NFL growing into deafening shouts in the week leading up to Thursday's 35-17 Fiesta Bowl demolition of Kansas State, many wondered if the No. 4-ranked Ducks would be distracted against the No. 5-ranked Wildcats.
Not so much.
“I told them I wasn't talking to anybody until this game was over,” Kelly told ESPN on the field after the game. “If teams want to talk to me, it's because of those guys over there.”
Kelly gave credit to his players, and it was well-founded, as Ducks QB Marcus Mariota finished 12-of-24 for 166 yards and two TD passes, while adding 62 yards and a score on the ground to take home game MVP honours.
Kenjon Barner also chipped in 143 rushing yards and a TD reception, and De'Anthony Thomas contributed 195 total yards and two TDs for Oregon (12-1).