In the 52-21 victory over Washington, multiple weapons on offense contributed to the blowout.
Kenjon Barner had 122 yards on 20 carries, De’Anthony Thomas also had 122 yards all-purpose (75 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown, 35 yards on two kick returns, and a 16-yard catch), and Colt Lyerla was the best receiver with three catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
Who would you give the game ball to offense if it was limited to those three players?
Mike: Oregon has an embarrassment of riches on the offensive side of the ball and it seems that in a given week anyone can just go off. My choice is Barner; sure, he is the current hot hand but he, like Thomas, just seems to make something happen whenever he touches the ball.
Joe: Everyone always talks about Oregon being a team all about making big plays on offense, and that’s definitely true. However, every high-powered offense still needs a player who can consistently perform at a high level, and nobody else fits this role better than Barner. He did it again against the Huskies and continues to string together some terrific games and has consistently been great.
Barner is one of my darkhorse picks for the Heisman, especially since not many running backs have really entrenched themselves as Heisman candidates (Joseph Randle (Okla St) and Stefphon Taylor (Nevada) are my top two right now). I love what Lyerla and DAT have done, but Barner has been the more consistent player and is the most important player on the Ducks offense. Not the most talented or even the best, but the most important. His performance against the Huskies exemplified this consistent greatness, so he definitely gets my game ball.
Raymond: Barner is having a great season and is a very solid back, but De’Anthony Thomas is always going to be the biggest threat to an opposing defense. You can’t practice against the type of speed he has. It didn’t even look fair how easily he went in for the first touchdown of the game. He plays on special teams as well which makes him more valuable.
Brian: It’s definitely Barner, he’s had 20 carries in each of the last three games and has become a staple of the offense, running with the ball for nearly seven yards a carry. While not as dominate as his showings against Fresno State and Washington State, hitting an average like that shows accountability if the game ever gets close in the end.
The Autzen Zoo staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen along with staff writers Joe Soriano, Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., and Ricky Widmer.