First road test? Check.
The Oregon Ducks began Thursday night’s contest with a Marcus Mariota fumble on the first play of the game, but wouldn’t you know it, the team recovered in the blink of an eye and led the Sun Devils 22-7 at the end of the first quarter.
In Marcus Mariota’s first true road test, he showed his youthfulness early with a number of freshman mistakes, but he ended up looking brilliant at times as the Ducks took a 43-7 lead into the second half.
The Ducks are about as fun to watch as it gets in college football—on both sides of the ball—and with a 43-21 trouncing this week, they’ve proven once again why they deserve to be in BCS discussions.
Offensive Game Ball
ESPN’s Rece Davis had the quote of the night when he capped off Mariota’s 86-yard touchdown run with the classic zinger, “Aloha means touchdown!”
The redshirt freshman quarterback made up for his early mistakes with sharp passes and a breakout running game, but per the Ducks’ usual routine, Kenjon Barner was a complete workhorse against the Sun Devils this week.
Oregon came out on their first possession and gave all the momentum to Arizona State, but Kenjon Barner’s quick touchdown on a 71-yard run neutralized the score and kept the team from falling behind too much too early.
Having carried the ball 16 times, the senior tailback took advantage of a banged up ASU front line, as he finished the game with 143 yards and three touchdowns.
Mariota kept the offense balanced with his unprecedented willingness to throw deep, but it was all about the ground game when it came to the offense on Thursday.
Defensive Game Ball
In what has become completely predictable behavior by the Oregon Ducks, the team let off the gas and allowed the opposing team to close the gap in the second half.
That being said, the defense was absolutely brilliant almost the entire way through.
Dion Jordan had a key sack on third down in ASU territory in the first quarter, but he also made his presence felt in the opposing backfield late in the half.
Avery Patterson also deserves a serious honorable mention, as he was seemingly everywhere on the field making plays, but the most crucial defense play of the game—if such a one-sided matchup can have such a thing—came from Boseko Lokombo.
Boseko Lokombo picked off ASU’s quarterback with the team leading 22-7 in the second quarter. The Ducks would score on their ensuing possession, stretching the lead to 22 points, and officially marking this game a blowout early.
Special Teams Game Ball
In traditional Ducks fashion, Oregon pulled a fast one on the Arizona State special teams and went for two early in the first quarter.
Jackson Rice is the one who made the throw, but Rob Beard is the one who caught the tipped pass to convert the two-point conversion.
This team is full of tricks, and when you least expect it, that’s when they’re most dangerous.
- Marcus Mariota—9/12 46 YDS 1 TD, 10 CAR 135 YDS 1 TD
- Kenjon Barner—16 CAR 143 YDS 8.9 AVG 3 TD
- Byron Marshall—9 CAR 44 YDS 4.5 AVG 0 TD
- Bralon Addison—2 REC 14 YRDS 7 AVG 1 TD