No. 3 Ducks Overcome Shaky Start to Finish With 43-21 Blowout
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TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 3 Oregon Ducks (7-0, 4-0) did not jump out to the start they were hoping for, with Arizona State (5-2, 3-1) jumping on the board with a 7-0 lead, but Oregon answered right back with 43 straight points of their own. They’d go on to win 43-21 with backups playing the majority of the second half.
“They came out and scored, but the one thing I love about this team is that they don’t flinch,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “We talk about playing a full game, and this team bounced back.”
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota fumbled the ball away on the second play of the game setting up a one play, seven second 28-yard TD pass from Taylor Kelly to Kevin Ozier in the endzone. Mariota, while shaky at first, had his best performance since the opening week by going 9/12 for 46 yards and a TD.
Now, those stats might not sound impressive, but add in his 135 yards rushing on 10 carries (13.5 YPC), plus a touchdown rushing and receiving and you can see he showed just how versatile he really is.
The big question heading into the game, however, was how Oregon’s secondary would hold up to the most efficient QB in the Pac-12. And boy did they respond. The Ducks’ D forced four INTs, bringing their season total to 14th (tied for first nationally with TCU).
And not to take anything away from John Boyett, but Avery Patterson has been absolutely brilliant in filling in for the void left by Boyett’s injury. Patterson extended his streak to three straight games with interceptions, and was about two yards short of making it three straight weeks of pick-6s.
Members of the Thorpe Award were in the press box for the Ducks’ blowout over Washington, and there’s a good chance that Patterson and a few other Oregon DBs could be earning some hardware this postseason. Dior Mathis, Boseko Lokombo and Eric Dargan all recorded interceptions as well.
But the man of the night was RB Kenjon Barner. The star running back racked up 143 yards rushing on 16 carries with three TDs. Had he been granted a touchdown in the second quarter that was called dead due to instant replay on his previous “should be” touchdown, he was looking at four or five scores.
Oregon’s other star on offense, De’Anthony Thomas, had a night he’ll need to put past him. Thomas recorded 25 yards on 12 carries (2.1 YPC) and only a long of seven yards. ASU also did a fantastic job of nulling his impact on special teams. While it not be time to start chanting SI curse, there’s definitely been a drop in productivity. But with the talent that “DAT” has, it’s only a matter of time before he’s blowing up the highlight reels.
Other notables were backups Brian Bennett and Byron Marshall, who both saw extensive play time. Bennett finished the game 2-7 with two yards, one TD (to Marcus Mariota) and an INT. He also rushed the ball eight times for 40 yards. Marshall rushed nine times for 44 yards.
Oregon will have an extended break before the play Colorado next Saturday at Autzen Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.