Good old fashioned rivalry
The Oregon Ducks needed a bounce-back performance following last week’s debacle against the Stanford Cardinal, and that’s exactly what they got against their in-state rival, the Oregon State Beavers.
Oregon State allowed the Ducks to take the first offensive possession, and the team from Eugene took full advantage with a 42-yard run from Marcus Mariota for the first score of the game.
Back-and-forth would be the story of this game early, as neither team was able to truly establish momentum; but it always slightly in Oregon’s favor, as they held a 10-point advantage leading into the second half.
We all knew heading into this contest that the Beavers would look to throw, and throw deep; and that’s exactly what happened to begin the third quarter—a quarter that would prove to be the most physical 15 minutes of football the Ducks have played all season.
This was a chippy rivalry game, which is why the final score doesn’t tell the whole story, but Oregon was able to finish the contest in dominant fashion with a 48-24 victory.
Offensive Game Ball
Kenjon Barner had the best stat line of any Oregon player, and he showed tremendous fortitude in his ability to return from a second-quarter injury, but it was De’Anthony Thomas who helped the team take over in the second half.
De’Anthony Thomas was a point of focus in last weekend’s game against Stanford, as he barely touched the ball enough to have a decent impact. This time, however, he was forced to step up in Kenjon Barner’s temporary absence, and he took full advantage.
Barner’s ability to add explosive runs to the offensive attack is what kept Oregon State on its heels, but Thomas became the focal point of Oregon’s offense for the first time all season, as he finished the game with 122 yards and three touchdowns as the team’s primary back.
We saw his emotions get the best of him, as he stomped on a Beavers defender following a rough group tackle, but it’s those same emotions that sparked his brilliant third-quarter performance. He proved that he is more than just a finesse running back, as he turned the ball up field and managed to run between the tackles en route to a big game.
Defensive Game Ball
By the time this game was over, the Ducks had become the nation’s leaders in interceptions. They had four on the game, giving them 24 for the season.
Brian Jackson had an interception on a deep-ball attempt, as the pass was overthrown and he sprawled out and made the play to give Oregon the possession deep in their own territory.
Oregon had a 20-7 lead at that point, but that game wasn’t yet decided. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had another big interception to begin the fourth quarter, but Brian Jackson’s helped officially shift momentum in the Ducks’ favor.
Special Teams Game Ball
The Ducks haven’t had many spectacular special teams performances this season, but Keanon Lowe changed that against the Beavers as he recovered two fumbles in the kicking game.
The first was on a short kickoff, and the second was on a muffed punt. Keanon Lowe was in the right place at the right time in both instances, but his effort and determination is what earned him the ball each time.
The Beavers were sloppy with the ball in the special-teams game this weekend, and Lowe and the Ducks took full advantage.
- Marcus Mariota—17/24 140 YDS 1 TD
- Kenjon Barner—28 CAR 198 YDS 7.1 AVG 2 TD
- De’Anthony Thomas—17 CAR 122 YDS 7.2 AVG 3 TD