Oregon’s Heisman candidate, running back De’Anthony Thomas, had another great night with 128 all purpose yards. However, like last week, the majority of all that work was in the first half.
Now we didn’t expect Thomas to impact the game in the second half – Oregon had a 50-3 cushion with seven minutes to go in the second quarter. But with the game on the line, Thomas just saw the ball five times. Was this due to Kenjon Barner’s solid production, Kelly saving Thomas for more reps in the conference season, or something else?
Ricky: I would attribute the lack of Thomas in the second half to how teams change their game plans mid game. Thomas and Oregon must figure out how to overcome this because it will only make life harder once Oregon hits Pac-12 play.
Raymond: I think the Ducks have gotten a little complacent with victories seemingly in hand at the end of the first half. I’m sure as the season goes on they’ll be in tighter games and the ball will go to Thomas much more. You have to be pleased with the play of Barner as well so you can look at it that way.
Brian: I believe it was the gameplan going in to give Anthony reps early and probably not using him later unless needed. That same model will be against Tennessee Tech, however I don’t believe the Golden Eagles will get as close as 16 points in the fourth quarter. Probably not even 46.
Mike: I might be totally off here but I think coach Kelly wanted to conserve carries on Thomas and Barner was doing a solid enough job which they could do so. Oregon’s rushing attack has an embarrassment of riches so I’m not too worried in an offense that gets a lot of touches.
Joe: Probably small sample size, because only two games have been played this season so there isn’t much to discuss on that front. There’s also the matter that Thomas’s expectations are sky high to begin with, so we tend to over analyze all the little nuances associated with breaking down a Heisman contender’s play. Listen, I don’t care when he scores his touchdowns, there’s no correlation between ripping off a 70-yard run in the first quarter or getting to paydirt in the third. It is what it is.
Coming up today: Conference depth.
Each week, the staff at Autzen Zoo will react to Oregon, Pac-12 football, and other news that happens in the conference, along with a question from the college football landscape overall. Our current staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen, along with staff writers Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., Ricky Widmer, and Joe Soriano.