Oregon 42 – 25 Fresno State
The Oregon Ducks took to the field at Autzen Stadium for the second weekend in a row and came out on top yet again as they defeated a pesky Fresno State Bulldog team 42-25.
Unlike their game against Arkansas State the previous week, this game became a little stressful and trying for the Ducks in the third quarter.
After jumping out to another impressive lead at halftime, the Ducks would play a shaky third quarter as they surrendered 10 points without putting any on the board. Turnovers coupled with a few sloppy play at times rejuvenated a Fresno State team and saw the Ducks having to battle back despite a big lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Though the Bulldogs did give the Ducks a scare in the third quarter, a solid drive by the Ducks that was capped with a 16 yard touchdown dash by Kenjon Barner put the Bulldogs away for good.
A win is a win and the Ducks are now 2-0, but there were both positives and negatives coming out of Oregon’s week two contest against Fresno State.
Here are this weeks Oregon Ducks love ’em and hate ’em.
Kenjon Barner has a huge day
Barner, who has quite the job of replacing the production of LaMichael James, had a miraculous night against Fresno State as he rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries.
Throughout the game Barner showed the versatility and power to carry the team on his back after some struggles. He was a true senior presence and leader and greatly aided the Ducks in their victory over the Bulldogs.
Barner also showed that he is more than ready to be the factor back in the Oregon offense and can be just as good as James was throughout his college career.
De’Anthony Thomas is electrifying
It only took seven carries for De’Anthony Thomas to accumulate 102 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
If that is not electrifying, I don’t know what is.
Thomas has always shows the ability to make lightning strike on every play, and this year looks to be no different from his freshman campaign. He is a special player and will surely be one of the key pieces part of an Oregon team looking towards one of their best seasons in school history.
Defense shines again
While the Duck defense did give up some points in the third quarter and garbage points towards the end of the game, the defense was impressively stout and hard-nosed all throughout their game against the Bulldogs.
They demonstrated the poise to stop the Fresno attack where it started and also held their own when they were pressured down the field.
Even without starting safety John Boyett, the coverage unit was as impressive as ever as the defense cruised to a victory against the Bulldogs.
Josh Huff, Carson York, John Boyett, Kyle Long, Jared Ebert, Jake Fisher, and Ryan Clanton
The above mentioned players were either out or suffered injuries during the game on Saturday against Fresno State.
In terms of players who did not see any action on Saturday, the list is composed of notable players such as Boyett, Long, Ebert, Fisher, and Clanton, the most notable being Boyett.
Boyett, who figured to be one of the key pieces part of an improved Oregon secondary, was in street clothes and has been rumored to be out for the rest of the season with a tear to his ACL.
Huff and York, players who both suffered injuries during the game to their knee, would be two significant absences should they miss anytime. It is, as of now, uncertain as to the extent of their injuries although many players have stated that neither will miss significant playing time.
Second half struggles
Since Chip Kelly became head coach of the Ducks, Oregon has been known as a second half team.
The exact opposite has happened in the past two games for the Ducks.
Despite strong first half starts in both games, the Ducks have looked relatively sloppy at times in the second half.
While the Arkansas State game performance can be placed on the backups, the first stringers were still in the game in the third quarter for the Ducks, looking very out of place at times.
Oregon needs to put together a quality second half if they want to have any chance of sustaining blows by other teams throughout the game.