There were some questions concerning the Wide Receiving corps for the Oregon Ducks entering a contest with FBS team South Dakota and it did not take long for those questions to be answered. It took the Oregon Ducks under two minutes to score with a Marcus Mariota touchdown to Wideout Dwayne Stanford giving Oregon and 8-0 lead after a quick two point conversion. After that it was a fight for the South Dakota Coyotes, but one they would battle through for the better part of the game.
They knew they were outmatched, but the Coyotes were able to do some running against the Oregon Defense and even managed to catch a few key passes with some flashes of talent, but they were clearly outmatched. The Oregon Duck would go on to win 62-13 as Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth in a solid first half for the Heisman Trophy Candidate. He even managed sixty yards on the ground.
The second half was left for Backup Jeff Lockie to get his feet wet to start the season and he did an admirable job as second in command. His passes were crisp and on target. He was 11/12 through the air with a touchdown pass. The night belonged to several Oregon Ducks, including Mariota, Running Back Byron Marshall and Freshman Running Back Royce Freeman.
Mariota tied Darron Thomas for most touchdown passes, Marshall had the first one-hundred yard game of his career and Freeman showed he will be a force this season. On his first touch of the ball he rushed forward for nine yards and a first down. On his second he scored a touchdown from one yard out, adding another twenty six yard scamper before halftime.
Ten freshman, including Freeman and Wide Receiver Charles Nelson made debuts on Saturday. Nelson, wearing number six(sound familiar) had a punt return for a touchdown and comparisons were being made to a former Oregon Duck, De’Anthony Thomas, who is with the Kansas City Chiefs and will play his first season in the National Football League starting next week.
Now that South Dakota has come and gone, the game of the year in the Pac-12 Non Conference slate beckons next weekend. ESPN announced just before halftime that College Gameday will return to Eugene for the game against Michigan State. The Spartans knocked out Jacksonville State on Friday night 45-7 and have one of the best defenses in the country entering this season. Jacksonville State was held to twenty two rushing yards on twenty five attempts.
Oregon and Michigan State take the field at Autzen on Saturday, September 6th for a 3:30pm Pacific time kickoff. The game will be broadcast on FOX and we’ll have LIVE coverage via #EDNSports.