Jan. 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) makes a pass against the Kansas State Wildcats in the first half while playing in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks Defeat Kansas State 35-17

If this is way Chip Kelly’s tenure ends at Oregon, it’s a good one. The Ducks’ defense keeps Kansas State at bay throughout the first half, and the offense finally finds its feet late in the first half to pull away from the Big 12 champions.

Kansas State had an opportunity to take the lead late with under four minutes left in the second quarter, but instead a missed field goal led to 17 straight points by the Ducks. Oregon was able to overcome Kansas State using over 20 minutes of clock in the first half and began to run their no-huddle offense efficiently.

Marcus Mariota and Kenjon Barner were dominate in the run. Mariota finished just completing 50 percent of his passes (12-21) for 166 yards and two touchdowns, but the running game finally got going. Once held to well under 100 yards early on, Oregon finished with 221 yards on 41 carries. Barner had the bulk of the order with 30 carries for 141 yards while the freshman quarterback raked in 62 yards on eight carries and a touchdown.

What was just as impressive was Oregon’s defense all night long. Vastly underrated and killed by the media after the game at USC, they held Kansas State to under 300 yards of total offense. For those scoring at home, that only happened once to KSU (against TCU).

Collin Klein was held to 17-32 passing for 151 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. More importantly, they shut him down on the ground with just 30 yards on 13 carries and another touchdown. John Hubert was also shut down with just 55 yards on 17 carries, and the team overall was held to 132 rushing yards – the third least amount in a game this season.

Other notes:

  • Michael Clay received the defensive MVP award at the end of the game while Mariota picked up the offensive MVP award. The woman announcing the awards was incredibly humorous.
  • A one-point safety was scored after a blocked Oregon PAT. Kansas State lateraled it into the endzone where the ball was dropped. Since it was declared dead in the endzone, that gives us the one-point safety that only happened one other time in an FBS game – Texas vs. Texas A&M in 2004. Ironically, Brad Nessler was also the play-by-play announcer for that game.
  • Lou Holtz continues to butcher saying “Oregon,” but it was nice to see him eat his words and believed they were one of the two best teams in the nation. Finally, a Golden Domer sees the light after killing the Ducks in the pregame shows.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Autzen Zoo and Clones Confidential. Follow more Oregon Ducks coverage with the zoo on Twitter.

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Tags: Ducks General Fiesta Bowl Football Kansas State Wildcats Kenjon Barner Marcus Mariota Michael Clay

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