(Reuters) - The second ranked Oregon Ducks crushed unbeaten Florida State Seminoles 59-20 at the Rose Bowl to book a spot in the national championship on Thursday as American college football entered a new era with a first ever playoff game.
By winning the first ever semi-final, the Ducks will head to Arlington, Texas for the national championship game on Jan. 12, where they will face the winner of top ranked Alabama and fourth ranked Ohio State, who clash in New Orleans later on Thursday.
The playoff replaces the poll system that decided which teams would meet in the national championship and the Ducks left no doubt that they belong in the title game after ending the third ranked Seminoles' 29-game winning streak.
"We just tried to out-team them," Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich told reporters.
"I think our defense played very, very well in the second half... offensively, we just tried to do enough to make a difference.
"We've got a great team. A great team of guys."
The game was also a showdown of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks with this year's winner Marcus Mariota of the Ducks going head-to-head against last year's recipient Jameis Winston.
Mariota completed 26-of-36 passes for 338 yards and a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by John O'Brien)