Oregon Ducks Fall In East Lansing To Michigan State, Adams Throws Two Interceptions


To say that Vernon Adams was nervous entering the first really big game of his College Career may have been something that was expected, but after the first drive against Michigan State Saturday night, Adams was four for six with two of those passes coming on third down. Running Back Royce Freeman would take it in from three yards out giving Oregon a 7-0 lead after getting the ball first. Wide Receiver Charles Nelson also earned the start against the Spartans. His night would also be off to a solid start with forty-two yards receiving on the first drive of the night. It was Michigan State’s turn to answer.

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Michigan State would take just more than one minute to answer with a sixty-two yard run from Madre London followed by a Connor Cook pass to Josiah Price for the score. The predicted shootout may have just been getting started in East Lansing.

Byron Marshall would give the Oregon Ducks great field position on their second drive putting Vernon Adams close to the fifty yard line. Michigan State’s Shalique Calhoun would sack Adams on third and eighteen forcing the Ducks to punt. It would be their first punt of the 2015 season. Michigan State would start with great field position at the twenty-five yard line.

The Spartans would sputter and end up punting back to Oregon. On the next drive Oregon would see Quarterback Vernon Adams sacked for the second time leading to the second punt for the Ducks. Michigan State would again take over with good field position. Madre London would get the ball from Cook and take the ball inside the fifteen yardline. Michigan State would be pushed to fourth down and the Spartans would miss a twenty-seven yard field goal.

On the second play of the next drive, Vernon Adams would throw his first interception of the year on a pass almost caught by Wide Receiver Charles Nelson. The Oregon Defense would step up and push the Spartans to fourth down as the first quarter came to an end.
The Spartans would strike again quickly as Quarterback Connor Cook would hit Aaron Burbridge for an eighteen yard score giving Michigan State a 14-7 lead.

On the next drive, Oregon moved down the field with Charles Nelson, Bralon Addison and Evan Bayliss before the Ducks had a first and goal. After not getting in three times. Adams, twice and a leap by Royce Freeman it was fourth down. Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich was clearly going for it. Oregon would be denied as Running Back Royce Freeman would not get into the endzone giving possession back to Michigan State.

Oregon would do a solid job on Defense, giving up just one first down to the Spartans forcing Michigan State to punt. The Ducks would have just over five minutes until halftime, which this season should give them ample opportunity to score several times, but not against this Michigan State Defense. Vernon Adams would again take the field at Spartan Stadium and look to tie the game.
Oregon would see Adams throw a left handed pass, that looked like he was throwing it away, but it was for a completion to Bralon Addison for a first down. On the next play, Adams would throw his second interception of the game trying to go deep, again giving the ball back to the Spartans and hoping the Oregon Defense was ready for another stand.

Ugo Amadi would change the momentum again and Oregon would take over at the forty-nine yard line. Adams would find himself three plays later sacked for the third time on the night staring down a third and long with just over thirty seconds to go in the first half.
Oregon would have another chance before halftime, but a fourth down play from Adams to Byron Marshall would go incomplete. The Ducks would go into halftime down 14-7. The Spartans would have the ball first in the second half. The Spartans Defense would hold Oregon to forty-three rushing yards in the first half.

The Ducks would hold Michigan State to a punt on fourth down, and Bralon Addison, after have a chance in the first half would break an eighty-one yard punt return for a touchdown to tie the game at fourteen just two minutes into the second half. Now, the Oregon Defense would again need to stand tall against one of the top teams in the country.
Oregon again thought they would be able to hold Michigan State as the Spartans drive was stalled at the Oregon thirty-nine. MSU would go for it on fourth and six and two plays later would take the lead as Running Back LJ Scott ran into the end zone giving the Spartans a 21-14 lead.

Mark Helfrich would watch his team have a three and out on the next drive after two carries by Royce Freeman that went just six yards followed by another take down of Vernon Adams got up shaking his hand. It was reported earlier in the day that he injured his index finger on his throwing hand, but would play.

Michigan State was able to hit a thirty-six yard field goal on the next drive giving Michigan State a ten point lead. Adams would return to the field for Oregon and complete a pass to Bralon Addison to start the next drive. If there was ever a time to wake up, it was now. The Ducks would find themselves at a fourth and seven and Adams would throw a strike to Byron Marshall for a first down. Two plays later Adams would score bringing Oregon within three of the lead. It was again up to the Defense.

Oregon would have to again play catchup if they were going to win the game as LJ Scott scored his second touchdown of the game pushing the lead back to ten points. He ran through Oregon Defenders who could not bring down the Freshman. Oregon would need to get it together on Offense.

On the next drive Running Back Royce Freeman would head to the locker room giving way to Freshman Tony Brooks-James. Again, the Ducks would have their backs against the wall on a third down play that would fall incomplete on an attempt from Adams to Wide Receiver Charles Nelson. It was fourth down. This play was likely the ball game for the Oregon Ducks. Adams would reach for it himself and after a lengthy review and measurement, Oregon came up short and the ball went back to the Spartans.

Connor Cook had a quick three and out for Michigan State and Adams would again have a chance to redeem himself after a rough night already with two interceptions thrown and an injured index finger. Right off the bat, Adams hits Bralon Addison who scampers to midfield. Oregon would then be the benefactor of a holding call on the Michigan State Defense. Byron Marshall would score for Oregon with 3:25 left in the game. Vernon Adams found Marshall in the corner of the end zone for the score. The Ducks Defense gave up one-hundred ninety-nine yards on the night. They would need another stop.

Michigan State Quarterback Connor Cook would throw on second and fifteen to the tune of an incomplete pass stopping the clock. The same happened on fourth down. Oregon would have all three of their timeouts with 2:27 left to go. The Ducks would gain some ground, but Adams would be sacked for the fourth time and find himself in a fourth and seventeen to stay in the game.
Adams would throw an incomplete pass and the ball would go back to Michigan State. The Spartans Defense had the biggest play of the night on more than one occasion. They sacked Adams four times, they stood up on a fourth and seventeen play. Michigan State will remain in the top five, but all is not lost for the Ducks.

Oregon will have time to regroup. Quarterback Vernon Adams will get better and I still expect a solid season for the Oregon Ducks. Michigan State would get their revenge in a 31-28 win in East Lansing over Oregon on Saturday night. Oregon has the weapons to compete in the Pac-12 and the opportunity to redeem themselves begins next week against Georgia State at Autzen Stadium.