The fifth ranked Oregon Ducks beat up on Arkansas State yesterday by a score of 57-34 in Eugene. Let’s take a look at three things we learned in week 1.
1) Marcus Mariota exceeded the hype. Coming off a very impressive spring, Mariota raised his game even more to begin the year. Mariota completed 18 of 22 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start. He also chipped in with 24 rushing yards all in the first half as he did not play in the second half. In Darron Thomas’ first start against New Mexico in 2010 he threw for 220 yards with two touchdowns and one pick.
2) Kenjon Barner could steal Heisman votes from De’Anthony Thomas. Everyone in the country knows how good Thomas as but Barner doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Barner rushed for 66 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns in one half of play and continues to be overlooked by the media.
3) The defense needs to close out better. The game was over in the first quarter but giving up 34 points to Arkansas State was probably not something Chip Kelly was happy about. The blowout gave the coaching staff the option to take a look at the backups and they allowed quarterback Ryan Alpin to throw for over 300 yards and gave up 530 yards of total offense.