Oregon Football started out playing well against Iowa State before turnovers and a stalled offense put the game out of reach.
The Ducks used both Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown in the game, just as they did against USC in the Pac-12 Championship. However, Oregon was also without a key offensive weapon in CJ Verdell for the second straight game. Travis Dye was solid when he had the ball, but was only able to find 52 yards of offense on 8 carries in the game.
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Special Teams mistakes was a key for the game. The Ducks had two errors on receiving punts that gave the ball to Iowa State, which only one resulted in points for the Cyclones. Brock Purdy bested Tyler Shough. The Oregon Quarterback finished 7 for 9 for the game. Anthony Brown was 12 for 19. Combined they threw for 126 yards.
Kayvon Thibodeaux who was named the MVP of the Pac-12 Championship game and was expected to be the difference-maker for the Ducks Defense against Iowa State finished with 6 tackles and including two tackles for a loss. He was not able to get to Purdy. Jordon Scott, who played his final game in an Oregon uniform was credited with the lone sack of the night.
The Oregon Defense held Iowa State to just two field goals in the second half which should have given the Ducks Offense an opportunity. It was one that they struggled with as they have for part of the season. The Ducks lost 34-17. but will have a lot to take away from the game as they look toward the 2021 season.
Oregon came into the game as the less physical team. Head Coach Mario Cristobal said last week that Iowa State was one of the better teams, perhaps best, he had seen in his time with Oregon Football. What we know right now is that everyone has the opportunity to come back for the 2021 season, regardless of eligibility.
With how the season ended, I expect quite a few players will be doing just that. It will be interesting to see how the Quarterback position plays out with both Shough and Anthony Brown. Will Brown depart for the NFL? Oregon did have some success with the two-quarterback system late in the year. The Ducks also have Ty Thompson coming into the system for the 2021 season.
It was a strange year with no fans in the stands, but we did have some normalcy with football for seven Saturdays. 2021 should bring fans back to Autzen, in some form. Oregon Football finishes the 2020 season at 4-3.