The Oregon Ducks (8-0, 5-0) defeated the UCLA Bruins (5-2, 2-2) 42-14 Saturday night at Autzen Stadium. The end result would suggest that it was a lopsided affair, however, at least the first three quarters provided a good amount of uneasiness for the Duck football faithful. Oregon played its best football in quarter four and ended up scoring 28 unanswered points.
Despite not starting at running back, Byron Marshall was instrumental in Oregon’s victory, rushing for 133 yards on 19 carries. Starter, De’Anthony Thomas made his first appearance since the beginning of the California game and was met with a number of rude awakenings early on. Thomas was body-slammed, leveled helmet to helmet and thrown like a rag doll in the first half. He finished the game with 31 yards on 10 carries and didn’t play in the second half. As you might expect, Helfrich did not reveal why the speedster did not play after halftime.
Unlike last week, this game was dominated by Oregon’s stout defense. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley only through for 54 yards and was intercepted twice by Boseko Lokombo and Avery Patterson. Hundley and the Bruins may have scored two first half touchdowns, but neither drive was more than 40 yards. The first touchdown came after a fumble by Keanon Lowe on the second play from scrimmage of the game and the second came after UCLA blocked a Alejandro Maldonado punt.
“Arguably this could be the best defense in Oregon history,” said Lokombo.
Despite not starting for the second week in a row, Lokombo came up big, sacking Hundley once and delivering two tackles for losses along with his interception. Patterson was seemingly all over the field and contributed three tackles for losses.
“I love the players in that locker room. The things we do in practice is why we play our best,” said Patterson.
The UCLA offense was held scoreless and only tallied 94 yards in the second half.
Allioti commented on the coaching staff’s ‘halftime adjustments.’
“People think we do something fancy or unbelievable during halftime, but really, the magic is in the kids,” he said.
He also talked about how his players were determined not to give up any points in the second half. ‘The Ducks D’ was true to their word.
“I love it when they talk dirty to me,” Aliotti said jokingly.
However, UCLA was able to run the ball effectively at times. Hundley delivered the most scintillating run of the game. After almost getting sacked, the UCLA quarterback cut his way past multiple Oregon defenders and gained 30 yards. Unfortunately for the Bruins, he threw a pass to Lokombo the next play. UCLA finished with 219 yards on the ground, including 99 from running back Paul Perkins. Bruin starting running back Jordon James did not play due to an ankle injury.
Marcus Mariota through a few balls at the legs of receivers early, but had a strong second half and continued his historic interception-less streak. Mariota finished the game with 230 yards and one touchdown. However, his nine-game streak of scoring a touchdown on the ground and through the air ended.
As he is used to by now, Thomas Tyner served as cleanup crew. Despite not playing until the fourth quarter, Tyner ended up with 77 yards on 14 carries. Bralon Addison had a relatively ho-hum game but was still able to contribute, catching six passes for 66 yards and scoring the Ducks’ only receiving touchdown. Josh Huff added 76 yards on six catches.
“We just had to strap our boots up, continue to fight and continue to burn,” Addison said, regarding the adversity Oregon faced.
Lokombo has noticed how many Pac-12 schools, like UCLA, have tried to copy some of the things Oregon does as a program.
“A lot of people are going to try to emulate us, but we’re the top dog,” he said.
Until the Stanford game, Lokombo couldn’t be more right.