The Oregon Ducks were manhandled by the Ohio State Buckeyes in the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship game. Marcus Mariota was unable to get the offense rolling and the defense was unable to stop Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliot and the Buckeyes attack.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the title game for Oregon was their inability to convert on four Ohio State turnovers - which outlined the struggles that Marcus Mariota has and the ones that could ultimately hurt him in the NFL.
Mariota was unable to get the Oregon offense to punch the ball into the endzone.
Those red zone struggles are not new, but they will need to be fixed. Perhaps even more troubling for Mariota, who does have a lot to like about his game, is the fact that he showed a lack of anticipation in his wide receiver's routes.
Everyone knows that the Oregon offense is based on rhythm, but when that rhythm is disrupted your quarterback has to still be able to take things into his hands.
Mariota was unable to do that and it showed, as ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay pointed out, via John Glennon of The Tennessean:
The one thing I don't see with him is the anticipation as a passer. It's just because in that offense, there's not a lot of opportunity to show that. The other day (against Florida State), he missed some throws he needed to make. You see a few of those every game. No one's perfect.
But Marcus misses a higher percentage of intermediate and vertical throws than you'd like to see ideally. And you combine that with the fact that (in Oregon's system) he doesn't have to anticipate and throw to a spot.
Entering the game, many wondered whether Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston would be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Neither quarterback looked particularly impressive during the College Football Playoff, but they are the top two signal-callers in a very weak draft class. That likely means someone will over draft them, but it also means they could be forced to step into the starting lineup before they are ready.
That is trouble.
While Mariota has some of the natural talent and skills you would like to see in a quarterback prospect, he proved against a stout Ohio State defense that he isn't ready to lead a NFL offense just yet. Until he is able to improve his red zone efficiency and anticipation, he could see the same struggles he saw in what was likely the final game of his college career.
Is Mariota worth a top five draft pick? After Monday night, you really have to question that.
Marcus Mariota's draft stock takes hit after title game loss
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: Steve Smith of Australia prepares to address his team during day two of the Fourth Test match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 7, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
VAL THORENS, FRANCE - JANUARY 10: (FRANCE OUT) Sanna Luedi of Switzerland takes 4th place, Georgia Simmerling of Canada takes 5th place, Alizee Baron of France takes 6th place during the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup Ski Cross on January 10, 2015 in Val Thorens, France. (Photo by Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 06: Mark Fraser #32 of the New Jersey Devils takes a punch from Chris Stewart #80 of the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at the Prudential Center on January 6, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 10: Jerzy Janowicz and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland pose with the Hopman Cup after defeating Serena Williams and John Isner of the United States in the final during day seven of the 2015 Hopman Cup at Perth Arena on January 10, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 10 : Competitors in the senior women's 6k race climb a hill during the Great Edinburgh X Country at Holyrood Park on January 10, 2015 in Edinburgh Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Roma's forward Francesco Totti celebrates by taking a 'selfie' with fans after scoring a second goal during the Italian Serie A football match on January 11, 2015 at Rome's Olympic stadium. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland plays tennis with Lleyton Hewitt of Australia between speedboats on Sydney Harbour ahead of their Fast 4 Exhibition match on January 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 08: Nevin Brown of the USA trains ahead of the men's aerials event during the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley on January 8, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Marseille's supporters cheer under a screen displaying the words 'Je suis Charlie' in tribute to the victims of a deadly attack two days prior on the Paris headquarters of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, before the French L1 football match between Montpellier (MHSC) and Marseille (OM) on January 9, 2015 at the Mosson Stadium in Montpellier, southern France. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 6: Players of the Detroit Red Wings listen to coach Mike Babcock during a time out in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on January 6, 2015 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 10: Fans in fancy dress raise chairs above their heads during the Invitational Darts Challenge at Etihad Stadium on January 10, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
COPIAPO, CHILE - JANUARY 07: #23 Gerard Farres Guell of Spain for Gas Gas pont Grup Seguros Dakar team on the EC450 Rally GasGas competes during day 4 of the Dakar Rallly on January 7, 2015 between Chilecito in Argentina to Copiapo, Chile. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12: Heather Watson of Great Britain plays a forehand in her first round match against Magdelena Rybarikova of Slovakia during day two of the 2015 Hobart International at Domain Tennis Centre on January 12, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
CORVALLIS, OR - JANUARY 11 Forward Brandon Ashley #21 of the Arizona Wildcats and a Oregon State Beavers defender battle for a loose ball at Gill Coliseum on January 11, 2015 in Corvallis, Oregon. (Photo by Elizabeth Stowe/J and L Photography/Getty Images )
MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 11: Head coach FC Internazionale Roberto Mancini falls to the ground after being struck by a ball on the touchline during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Genoa CFC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 11, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 06: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves against Julia Glushko of Israel during day two of the 2015 ASB Classic at ASB Tennis Centre on January 6, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 09: (FRANCE OUT) Elena Curtoni of Italy competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Downhill Training on January 09, 2015 in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
RYE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Alex Howe tees off on the fifth hole against C.A.Smith during the third round matches of the 2015 Oxford and Cambridge Golf Society President's Putter at Ry Golf Club on January 9, 2015 in Rye, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 11: Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos attempts to make a catch as Darius Butler #20 of the Indianapolis Colts defends during a 2015 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 11, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)