This En Vouge line really sum up Oregon’s present situation. Back to Life after their loss against LSU with a win against Nevada and Missouri State, and next week Back to Reality. The opening drive in today’s game may have given Duck fans something to worry about, but those worries were quickly dispelled as Oregon’s offense easily marched down the field.
Oregon’s defense looked stunned during Missouri State’s first drive. Suddenly it was Missouri State first and goal at Autzen Stadium as a stunned crowd watched #4 Chris Douglas run the ball in for a Bear’s TD. What?!? That doesn’t happen against the Ducks in Autzen – at least not lately. Oregon’s defense was thrown off early and that can’t happen in Pac-12 play. In college football nothing can be taken for granted and Oregon quickly recovered from that first Missouri State drive. Those seven points would be the Bears’ only points today, but the Bear’s offense may have highlighted a couple Oregon defensive weaknesses that need to be shored up before next week’s Pac-12 opener against Arizona.
Now, for the offense…wow. As predicted, Oregon’s offense came out strong. It was mid-way through the first quarter before Oregon scored their first points. Oregon’s first drive started with a 40 yard kick-off return by DeAnthony Thomas, next a completed pass to Vaughn and finally a run by James for the 6 points. Tied game 7 – 7.
DeAnthony Thomas stole the show for most of the first half. Next up was a 48 yard return with about 4:30 to go in the first quarter. Thomas’ return resulted in a touchdown pass from Darron Thomas to #80 Tuinei putting the Ducks up 14 – 7. I personally expected at least 21 in the first quarter for the Ducks, but those points would start to roll in in the 2nd quarter. Oregon’s offense came out strong with a statement in the 2nd.
Towards the end of the 1st I noticed that the Bears were having success fairly often running up the middle against Oregon. Our defensive line looked a little weaker against this FCS team and that concerns me slightly. By no means was Oregon’s defensive line being “worked” but it may be an area of concern in conference play.
It was early in the 2nd quarter when Oregon decided to make an offensive statement. It was heard loud and clear. Three drives in under a minute each – let’s talk about fast. Around the 12:17 mark in the 2nd Oregon made a 93-yard touchdown drive with #32 Colt Lyerla catching Thomas’ pass and taking the ball into the end zone. 93 yards, 0:37s. During the next Oregon drive the Ducks are on the 10 yard line and James finds himself with the ball. 90 yards later another Oregon touchdown. You thought 0:37s was fast, try 0:14. Second drive of the quarter; 90 yards, 0:14s. Oregon is suddenly up 28 – 7 midway through the second quarter. A few minutes later Oregon proves their offensive prowess as #80 Tuinei catches the ball in the end zone; three plays, 0:51s and 47 yards. Three offensive touchdowns, each in under a minute and Oregon is suddenly up 35 – 7. Duck fans breathe easy.
Darron Thomas was looking flawless in the first half with only one bad drive coming at the end of the second. It was also notable that towards the end of the 1st half we noticed a lot more blitzing from Aliotti’s defense. This would be a trend that moved well into the second half of this football game.
After the half we saw the starters in for one more drive and one more touchdown as James ran the ball for 50 yards and another 6 early in the 3rd putting the Ducks up 42 – 7. After that score the bench came out. Bennett showed up at QB handing the ball off to DeAnthony Thomas for awhile, next we saw #28 Tra Carson convert a 4th down mid-way through the 4th. That set up another Oregon TD, Bennett to Lyerla. Oregon 49 – 7.
With about 5 minutes left to play in the 4th quarter we got to see #19 Eric Dungy (Tony Dungy’s son) score his first TD for Oregon after a 9-play drive for 76 yards over 2:56s. That would prove to be Oregon’s final TD and the final points scored in this game. The ball stayed on the ground for the rest of the game as we saw #28 Carson, #33 Ayele Forde, and #37 Anthony Blake run the ball for Oregon.
All-in-all this was another Oregon offensive statement. No one should be surprised that Oregon was able to control Missouri State and put big points on the board, but there were a couple concerning points during this game. There were no defensive or special team points; against a FCS team I would have expected at least 6 to come from either the defense or special teams. Also, there was a lot of blitzing happening from the Oregon defense. Against Missouri State this may not be worrisome, but in Pac-12 play this much blitzing could mean ample opportunity for seasoned quarterbacks to make big plays against Oregon’s defense.
Oregon made their statement and hopefully can make the adjustments they need to make before meeting up with Arizona next weekend. GO DUCKS!!! Another great victory!!!