Autzen Zoo Gameday Recap: Oregon Ducks Secondary Struggles In Win Over Georgia State


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If there was ever a game where you could rest Starters following a rough outing and loss against a Top Ten opponent. They day to do it is today. It was announced before the game that Vernon Adams would not start and Backup Jeff Lockie would get his first start of the season. Georgia State called heads and won the coin toss. They elected to have the ball first.

It was not the best decision. Following two running plays netting a total of three yards, Quarterback Nick Arbuckle threw an interception going through the hands of his Wide Receiver and into the hands of Oregon Ducks Tyree Robinson that was run back for a touchdown giving Oregon an early 7-0 lead. Georgia State had better luck on their second possession.

Arbuckle led the Panthers down the field to the thirty three line. Penny Hart picked up where he left off last week against New Mexico State with two receptions for thirty-eight yards, but Will Lutz missed a fifty yard field goal that clanked off the goal post. Oregon would take over and the Ducks would immediately get to work.

Lockie found Wide Receiver Bralon Addison for a seven yard gain, followed by a pass to Tight End Evan Bayliss for seven yards. The Ducks would see their first fourth down of the afternoon and Running Back Tony Brooks-James would convert. Seven plays later the drive would stall and the Ducks Kicker Aiden Schneider would convert on a twenty-six yard field goal extending Oregon’s lead.

Sep 19, 2015; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux (92) rushes Georgia State Panthers quarterback Nick Arbuckle (4) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia State again had the ball moving on their next drive before Juwaan Williams ended the Panthers drive with a forced fumble that was recovered by Arrion Springs. It would lead to another field goal for the Oregon Ducks to the tune of a 13-0 lead. Arbuckle helped put points in the board with the next possession.

With his arm he threw a forty one yard pass to Wide Receiver Penny Hart and scored a touchdown calling his own number from the one yard line pulling the Panthers within six of Oregon. Byron Marshall would return the ball seventeen yards from the ensuing kickoff and Oregon would go back to work on Offense.

1st Quarter Snapshot:

After the first quarter the Georgia State Defense had the upper hand on Oregon. The Ducks Secondary still needs to get into the game. The Panthers led in total yards, 128 to 85 for the Ducks.

The second quarter would begin with Terrodney Prevot on a Quarterback sack of Arbuckle. He would be sacked again on the drive by Christian French as the Ducks Defense appeared to wake up. DeForest Buckner would force a stop making it fourth and nine and getting the ball back to Bralon Addison and Oregon.

The Ducks took advantage with two running plays from Royce Freeman that ended up with him in the endzone. Forty yards in two plays put Oregon up thirteen on Georgia State. It would not take long for Oregon to have the ball again as a deflection from Tui Talia allowed Tyree Robinson to pick up his second interception of the game on the Panthers next drive.

Quarterback Jeff Lockie would throw a thirty-five yard Touchdown to Dwayne Stanford completing a fifty two second drive and extending the Ducks lead to 27-7 as the Oregon Offense began to roll into the second quarter. Georgia State was forced to punt on their next possession and Will Lutz had more of a pooch punt to the Oregon thirty-two yard line keeping the ball out of the hands of Returner Bralon Addison.

On the next drive Devon Allen had a short pass thrown his way. It was Allen’s first catch since an injury in the Rose Bowl last season. He played last week against Michigan State and was on the field for eighteen snaps, but was never targeted. Taj Griffin would also make an appearance on the Oregon Drive, but the Ducks would be forced to punt.

Arbuckle and Neal would get nowhere with the Oregon Defense. Neal would be tacked for a loss and Arbuckle threw several incomplete passes on the drive.

Jeff Lockie would fumble on the next Ducks drive, but he would recover his own fumble. On third down he was sacked for a big loss making it fourth and twenty-two. Aiden Schneider would come in and kick a forty yard field goal giving Oregon a twenty-three point lead.

The Ducks would finish the half with the ball and march down the field inside ninety seconds with two passes to Tony Brooks-James and a catch from Evan Bayliss before Aiden Scheider hit his second forty yard field goal of the game as the clock hit zero at the half.

2nd Quarter Snapshot:

The Oregon Ducks Offense found their groove and racked up two-hundred yards of Offense to take a 33-7 lead over Georgia State. The Ducks Defense sacked the Georgia State Quarterback twice. The Oregon Kicking game got some work in as Kicker Aiden Schneider was a perfect four for four on Field Goals from twenty six yards and three kicks from forty yards. Oregon would begin the second half with the ball after Georgia State began the game on Offense.

Sep 19, 2015; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Jeff Lockie (17) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Georgia State Panthers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks would begin the second half with a return from Kirk Merritt for thirty-three yards that resulted in a fumble and recovery for Georgia State followed by a roughing the passer penalty giving the Panthers the ball at the Ducks 17 yard line. Arbuckle would catch Wide Receiver Todd Boyd in the endzone putting the Panthers on the board in the second half. It was 33-14 Oregon.

Oregon Special teams would receive the kickoff and take the ball out of the endzone. Tony Brooks-James was tackled at the two yard line but redeemed himself with two consecutive carries getting the ball to the twenty-two yard line.

Oregon would work their way to the Georgia State one yard line following several runs from Taj Griffin who was called out at the one yard line. After several offensive penalties and a defensive rushing the passer penalty the Ducks would give the ball to Griffin to score the touchdown. Oregon led 40-14. It was a ninety-eight yard drive on sixteen plays. Oregon took five minutes six seconds off the clock. It was the Ducks longest scoring drive of the season in both yards and time.

The Panthers took one play to get another score on Oregon. One play for seventy five yards from Nick Arbuckle to Robert Davis. It was the first play of fifty plus yards allowed by the Ducks Defense since 2013.

Oregon would get a fifty-one punt return from Charles Nelson and the home team appeared to be back in business on Offense. After Tony Brooks-James picked up the Ducks second fourth down conversion on the afternoon, Tight End Johnny Mundt added six points off a pass from Lockie giving Oregon a 47-21 lead. Oregon began to pull away tallying twenty-six first downs with over five minutes left in the third quarter. Georgia State had eleven for the game to that point.

The Oregon Defense would again allow Georgia State to go seventy-five yards for a six yard score from Arbuckle to Keith Rucker pulling the Panthers within twenty-one points.  The Ducks would end the third quarter with the ball at the forty five yard line.

Third Quarter Snapshot:

The Offense was decent, the Defense was disappointing. The secondary gave up a one play, seventy five yard touchdown to Georgia State. Special teams had an error starting the quarter which was redeemed and led to the longest scoring drive of the season for ninety-eight yards for a score. This game is not turning out to what it should have been for Oregon, but the kicking game is on fire with four field goals and Offensively Taj Griffin is making his presence felt and Devon Allen has been solid in his return.

Ian Wheeler booted a fifty yard punt to start the fourth quarter. Georgia State would begin their first drive of the quarter there. DeForest Bucker would sack Arbuckle for a loss of five yards. Four plays later Joe Walker took a fumble recovery forty-eight yards for an Oregon score. The Ducks led 54-28.

Georgia State would have four turnovers on the day. For the game the Field Goal unit had a huge day as Kicker Aiden Schneider accounted for eighteen points on the day moving into the fourth quarter. Twelve off four field goals and six off extra points. Quarterback Taylor Allie would make quite a mark on the day following Jeff Lockie with an eighty-seven yard run for a touchdown with just under ten minutes to go in the fourth quarter to make it 61-28 Oregon. (the play was one yard longer than former Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota’s best run in an Oregon Uniform.)

4th Quarter Snapshot:

Allie’s play was a highlight on the day as Oregon won 61-28. The concern is the Defense who in the last quarter gave up eleven first downs to Georgia State. The Panthers had four-hundred thirty one Offensive yards on the day. For a team pushing to get back into the Top Ten, the performance was in my eyes dominating enough on Offense, and on Special teams with Aiden Schneider hitting four field goals, but the Defense, particulary the young secondary left a lot to be desired.Coach Helfrich in the post game press conference used the word ‘effort’ when talking about the Defense. Effort will need to be stepped up this week as Utah comes to town next weekend and the Utes will be looking for revenge after last year’s loss.

Oregon will have a night game next week, this much we know.  The gametime will be decided no later than Monday.