PASADENA, Calif. - The oddsmakers knew Oregon, even if most of the eastern United States did not.
The Ducks, the aptly named Quack Attack, were a 91/2-point favorite over Florida State, a team that hadn't lost a game in two-plus seasons.
Some people wondered how this could be. They found out the first day of 2015.
Oregon did everything imaginable to Florida State both on offense and defense, wasting little time and seemingly little energy with a 59-20 victory at the Rose Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal Thursday night.
Leading 18-13 at the half, Oregon grabbed three Florida State fumbles, intercepted one pass and -- with speed that has become the team's trademark -- scored four touchdowns before the third quarter came to a close to go ahead 45-20.
It was obvious then that the Ducks (13-1) were on their way to the tournament final Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas, and that the Seminoles (13-1) would drop their first game since November 2012, ending their winning streak at 29.
Of no small significance was that Florida State sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, lost for the first time since he was in high school in Hueytown, Alabama.
Winston wasn't bad, going 29-for-45 for 348 yards and a touchdown. But Oregon's Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman winner, was, in Winston's words, "fantastic."
Mariota was 26-for-36 for 338 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 62 yards and another TD. Not surprisingly, Mariota, a redshirt junior from Hawaii, was chosen offensive player of the game. "Mariota was the difference," Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards said.
Winston disagreed. "This game could have went either way," he said. "They never stopped us. We beat ourselves with those turnovers."
Florida State had five to Oregon's two. The biggest miscue occurred when Florida State faced a fourth-and-5 in Oregon territory. Winston, unable to find a receiver, was flushed from the pocket, and as he loaded to throw, the ball slipped out of his hands. The fumble bounced right to defensive end Tony Washington, who went 58 yards for a score.
"It was just a crazy play," said Winston, who threw an interception on the next possession on a tipped ball and was so frustrated when he got to the sideline that Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher appeared to threaten to bench him if he didn't calm down.
"One of the worst quarters we've had," Fisher said. "We turned it over every time we were moving the football and had a chance to score points."
Then, in a span of 3:43 early in the fourth quarter, Oregon scored on runs of 23 yards by Mariota and 21 yards by Thomas Tyner. Whoosh. The Seminoles were finished.
"It was never over," Winston said. "We just got beat. The loss hurts badder than whatever you can imagine."
The Ducks, who lost only to Arizona this season and redeemed themselves in the Pac-12 championship game in December, are a force.
"They played a heck of a game," Fisher said. "Made plays and got momentum."
Florida State actually had the ball more than Oregon, 32:43 to 27:17, but the Seminoles gave it away more. So they won't defend the national championship they won in the final year of the BCS system, when they beat Auburn last year.
"Oregon made plays and converted," Fisher said. "That's what football's about."