Ducks Roundtable: Is Oregon Leaning Too Much On Rushing?


In the Fresno State game, Kenjon Barner rushed for 201 yards on 34 carries, finding the endzone three times. 66 of those yards came on a game-clinching score late in the game, carrying the ball nine times in 11 play selections on that drive.

September 8, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Kenjon Barner (24) runs the ball against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

Oregon had 58 rushing attempts compared to Marcus Mariota just throwing the ball 27 times. Did the Ducks use what was just working (except the third quarter), or is there concern for the passing game going into the season?

Joe: To be honest, the biggest concern I have for the passing attack at this point is the health of wide receiver Josh Huff. The struggles of the passing offense seemed to correlate with the absence of Huff, and, I mean, we know Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett have the tools to lead a team at the quarterback position. I’m also not concerned about the receiving corps if Huff is healthy, because Colt Lyerla looks scary for opposing defenses, De’Anthony Thomas is DAT guy, and Rahsaan Vaughn and Daryle Hawkins can play some as well.

I also don’t think it’s fair to use phrases such as “pull it out” and “holds on”. While the result wasn’t nearly what we hoped, Fresno State isn’t as bad as people thought leading up to the game and neither was the Ducks performance. Sure it was disappointing, but I’m glad it was close. It gives the Ducks a better perspective on how this team is and it is an ego check of sorts. But, of course, Kenjon Barner is great, what else can be said about him?

Ricky:  I am not really concerned with the passing attack for the Ducks. It is Mariota’s first season starting at Oregon and there will be a few “kinks” to work out. Also, with a receiver like Thomas, the Oregon passing attack will be just fine this season.

Ray: I’m not conerned with the passing attack as the team has a new quarterback that is easing his way into the college game.  They’ve had huge leads in both games so the offense isn’t much of an issue so far.

Brian: I do believe the passing game is something to worry about. Barner will not put up 200 yards of rushing on anyone in the Pac-12, save Colorado perhaps. Obviously Thomas will be catching a lot this season, but if Huff can’t stay healthy all season, this team could be in trouble unless Vaughn emerges as the lead receiver.

Mike: Saturday was a step up in competition for the Ducks from Arkansas State but the team should focus on the passing game in what should be an easy game against Tennessee Tech.

Coming up today: De’Anthony Thomas and 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.