One of the main things I wanted to see from Oregon football on Saturday was a quick start. That didn’t happen. Actually, it was just the opposite.
Oregon was down 14-0 early on and Mario Cristobal had to figure something out before the game got out of hand. He did just that as the Ducks drove the field and made it 14-7 and then knotted it up with a second Travis Dye touchdown run.
UCLA took a 17-14 lead at halftime, but Oregon’s first drive in the second half was nearly flawless and ended in a third short touchdown run by Dye.
Dye would go on to add another touchdown and that’s all Oregon needed as it nearly blew a 34-17 lead in the second half but held on to win by three.
What’d we learn from this massive win by Oregon?
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best player in the country
Man, if Kayvon Thibodeaux had been healthy earlier in the season, he’d have some video game-like numbers right now. He had another huge game against UCLA, picking up three sacks (I believe someone predicted that) and wreaking havoc all afternoon long.
Before the season, Thibodeaux was ranked the No. 1 player in college football by many experts and even some NFL draft scouts. He hadn’t been able to live up to that billing because he was injured in the first game and missed nearly a month. He has returned in October and looks even better than anyone expected.
Thibodeaux is disruptive and dominant and he’s going to be starting somewhere on Sundays next year. But on Saturday, he was making a living in the UCLA backfield.
It’s pretty clear that he’s the most gifted player in college football. He proved it in the second half last week against Cal and all game long against the Bruins.