Oregon Ducks Run Over Eastern Washington Despite Questions On Defense


Saturday was the official start of the College Football season for the Oregon Ducks and also the debut of former Eastern Washington Quarterback Vernon Adams. Following the game, Adams spoke of his first experience at Autzen Stadium saying ‘he had goosebumps.’ His on the field performance showed no signs of nervousness as he threw for two hundred forty-six yards and was nineteen for twenty-five in his debut. He averaged close to ten yards per throw. However, the story of the box score wasn’t the passing for Oregon, but the ground game.

Three Running Backs from Starter Royce Freeman to backups Kani Benoit and Tony Brooks-James all found the endzone. Overall the Oregon Ducks ran for close to five-hundred yards, four-hundred eight five to be exact. Freeman had a day with three scores and one-hundred eighty yards on his own. Quarterback Vernon Adams used his legs to a ninety-four yard advantage and on the second to last play of the game Freshman Taj Griffin scampered for sixty yards on one carry. The Running Game is in good shape with a ton of weapons entering the showdown this week with Michigan State.

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While the Offense appeared to not lose much momentum in the offseason, the Oregon Ducks Defense was a different story. The line up front limited Eastern Washington to one-hundred eleven yards on the ground. The downfall was the outside who was gashed for over two-hundred yards by Golden Eagles Wide Receiver Cooper Kupp and gave up four-hundred thirty eight yards through the air. It was also a statistic that bettered Oregon’s passing(438 yards to 236 yards)

It was Kupp who did most of the damage with his two-hundred forty six yards and three touchdowns. He was a key reason why Eastern Washington was able to stay in the game. As a team, the visitors passed for five touchdowns to the home team’s four through the air, but for the Ducks the depth at Running Back was the difference in my opinion. Adams has some great moments, and some that were questionable, but in his first game I’m not going to hold that against him. He showed that he can help move this offense forward after taking the keys from Marcus Mariota. He can get the ball where it needs to be and use his legs when he needs to to get the yards or the first down.

January 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) looks to pass against the Stanford Cardinal during the first half at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The first big test is this week on the road at Michigan State. It appears, at least to me, that the Offensive Line is solid after the first game. Adams was not sacked against Eastern Washington. There was slight hesitation in Adams decisions, but that will adjust as he becomes more comfortable in practice and in games with the offense. Dwayne Stanford, Byron Marshall and Bralon Addison all hauled in touchdowns in the first game. Adams can get the ball into the hands of his receivers and has one of the prettiest spin I have seen in a while from an Oregon Quarterback. He can also get rid of the ball quickly.

The folks in Las Vegas on Sunday don’t even know which way to go with the game this week and have it as a ‘Pick ’em’. To add to the anticipation, ESPN Gameday will also be in East Lansing this week. If Oregon can get a win and Adams shows his talent, he will likely be a Heisman Contender for the rest of the season. If Royce Freeman has a day like he did last weekend, he could also find himself in the mix. On the flipside, a loss in Week 2 does not take Oregon out of contention. There is plenty of time to make up ground and games against ranked opponents, including a showdown with what should be a highly ranked USC team in November.

Oregon has the Game of the Week visiting Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing. Kickoff is set for 5pm Pacific Time on ABC.

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