Lost in all the talk about the performance of Marcus Mariota was how successful the Ducks were on the ground on Saturday night. The Ducks rushed for 297 yards on 57 carries which is an average of 5.2 yards a carry. 78 of the rushing yards were contributed by quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett.
Senior Kenjon Barner lead the team with 66 rushing yards on nine carries with two scores. Sophomore De’Anthony Thomas also had a huge game with 64 yards rushing on only three carries including one touchdown.
Barner and Thomas both sat out the second half.
Freshman Byron Marshall took the brunt of the work in the second half. Marshall carried the ball 24 times for 64 yards with one touchdown. His 24 touches doubled the amount of any of the other Duck running backs.
Sophomore Ayele Ford took 12 carries for 44 yards. Last season Ford only rushed the ball 36 times for 176 yards. Sophomore Kenny Bassett got his first and only rushing attempt in this game as well. His attempt went for one yard.
The Ducks wouldn’t have been able to run as effectively as they did without the offensive line in front of these talented backs. A lot of credit needs to go to Tyler Johnstone, Ryan Clantone, Hroniss Grasu, Nick Cody and Jake Fisher. The Ducks ran 96 offensive plays and held the ball for 32:33, including 10:06 in the fourth quarter to run out the game.
Oregon will be home again next Saturday, September 8th to take on Fresno State.