The anticipation inside Autzen Stadium for this one was palpable from the beginning. For the last nine months the billing between Oregon and Michigan State was considered by some as the non conference game of the year for 2014. From the opening kickoff till the end of the game it did not disappoint. Add to the fact that the younger generations favorite play by play man Gus Johnson was in the house to call the game on FOX and ESPN’s College Gameday was in town to add to the hype. This game was special and during the game one player let the entire nation know how special he is.
It was hot. Over one-hundred degrees hot on the South side of the stadium at kickoff. Each team took two series each to get used to each other before the Oregon Ducks were first to strike when Marcus Mariota handed off to Thomas Tyner who worked his way into the end zone for a touchdown and a two point conversion put the Ducks on top 8-0. Oregon would extend their lead with a Matt Wogan field goal to 11-0 before he Spartans would strike back.
The Oregon Ducks Defense did not look great in the first half as the Spartans would use rushing and passing to take a 24-18 lead into the locker room at halftime. Michigan State’s touted rush defense did their job on the Oregon Ducks. The first half Oregon had thirteen yards on fourteen attempts on the ground. Momentum is a big piece of the college game and the Oregon Ducks needed to step up in the second half and one player did.
With the Spartans making the Oregon Ducks a one dimensional team, Quarterback Marcus Mariota took the team on his shoulders and used footwork and passing to give Oregon the lead scoring an unanswered twenty-eight points in the second half. The Oregon Defense had a shutout in the fourth quarter and Oregon went on to beat Michigan State 46-27.
The Defense had several key plays in the game as well with interceptions from Erick Dargan and one of the most athletic plays you will see all year with Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Now, the team turns their attention to the third team they face this season in Wyoming on Saturday.
Fans in Portland and the surrounding area will not be happy with this one, an 11 am start on Pac-12 Networks.
For more on the Oregon Ducks visit AutzenZoo.com