Oregon Wins Civil War Thriller
2013 Oregon Ducks ... Head Coach: Mark Helfrich
at Oregon 36, Oregon State 35
| 2013 Record: 10-2|
8/31 Nicholls State W 66-3
9/7 at Virginia W 59-10
9/14 Tennessee W 59-14
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 California W 55-16
10/5 at Colorado W 57-16
10/12 at Washington W 45-24
10/19 Washington St W 62-38
10/26 UCLA W 42-14
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/7 at Stanford L 26-20
11/16 Utah W 44-21
11/23 at Arizona L 42-16
11/29 Oregon State W 36-35
Basically … Josh Huff caught two 12-yard touchdown passes in the final eight minutes with the second one coming with 29 seconds to play to give Oregon the lead, but Oregon State had a last gasp shot. Two Sean Mannion passes that would’ve put the Beavers in field goal range just missed, and the Ducks held on. Oregon took an early 14-0 lead on touchdown runs from De’Anthony Thomas and Thomas Tyner, but Oregon State came back helped by a two-yard Storm Woods scoring run and a six-yard Terron Ward touchdown catch. Huff kept the Ducks around with a 28-yard touchdown catch, but Oregon State blew up in a wild fourth quarter. Victor Bolden gave the Beavers the lead with 1:38 to play on a 25-yard run, but the Ducks roared down the field finishing with Huff’s diving last scoring grab.
- Oregon WR Josh Huff caught nine passes for 186 yards and three scores.
- Oregon State QB Sean Mannion completed 29-of-47 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns with a pick. WR Brandin Cooks caught 11 passes for 117 yards.
- Oregon QB Marcus Mariota completed 17-of-34 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns with two picks and ran seven times for 53 yards.
- Each team turned the ball over three times. Oregon gained 568 yards of total offense, Oregon State gained 545.
at Arizona 42, Oregon 16
Basically … Arizona was stifling on defense and unstoppable on offense, getting up 14-0 on the first of four Ka’Deem Carey touchdown runs and with the first of two B.J. Denker touchdown passes. Oregon only managed a 33-yard field goal in the midst of the Wildcat storm, with Denker connecting with Nate Phillips from nine yards away and Terrence Miller from five yards out. Two one-yard touchdown runs from Carey, including one with 18 seconds to play in the first half, to put the game out of reach. Marcus Mariota threw his first interception of the season, giving away two, but he threw two touchdown passes, finding Pharoah Brown for a one-yard touchdown and Josh Huff for a two-yard score.
- Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey ran 48 times for 208 yards and four scores.
- Oregon QB Marcus Mariota completed 27-of-41 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns with two picks.
- Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas ran 16 times for 83 yards, and caught six passes for 74 yards.
- Arizona QB B.J. Denker completed 19-of-22 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 14 times for 102 yards.
at Oregon 44, Utah 21
Basically … De’Anthony Thomas caught an eight-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 86 yards for a score, but Oregon didn’t take charge until the second half. Utah pulled within three on a 34-yard Jake Murphy touchdown catch and a four-yard run from QB Adam Schulz, but Thomas changed everything around with his return as part of a Duck run of 27 straight points. Byron Marshal scored on runs from 17 and 16 yards out.
- Oregon QB Marcus Mariota completed 19-of-26 passes for 288 yards and three scores, but he finished with -18 rushing yards.
- Utah QB Adam Schulz completed 13-of-30 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Utah converted nine of 18 third down chances, Oregon converted two of ten.
- The Ducks gained 433 yards and committed ten penalties for 80 yards.
at Stanford 26 … Oregon 20
Basically … Stanford physically beat up and manhandled Oregon for 49 minutes on the way to a 26-0 lead, but it the Duck offense finally showed up in the final minutes to make it scary. The Cardinal ran for 274 yards with Tyler Gaffney and Kevin Hogan running for scores, but the offense settled for four Jordan Williamson field goals and wasn’t able to put the game away. Oregon got hot late with Marcus Mariota overcoming a horrible first three quarters to find Daryle Hawkins for a 23-yard touchdown, but it was a blocked field goal for a score from Rodney Hardirck that set the tone for a wild final few minutes. The Ducks recovered the onside kick, marched down the field, and on fourth down got a Mariota touchdown pass to Pharoh Brown to make it a six-point game with just over two minutes to play. However, the Ducks had to use all of their timeouts, and Stanford ran out the clock after recovering the onside kick.
- Tyler Gaffney set a Stanford school record with 45 carries for 157 yards and a score.
- Marcus Mariota completed 20-of-34 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, but he lost a key fumble. The Duck running game was held to 62 yards on 24 carries.
- Stanford had the ball for 42:34, while the defense held firm time and again in the first three quarters led by LB Shayne Skov’s nine tackles and two forced fumbles.
- Oregon committed ten penalties for 81 yards. Stanford committed two for ten yards.
at Oregon 42, UCLA 14
Basically … Oregon broke open a 14-14 game with 28 unanswered points in the second half with two Byron Marshall touchdown runs, an eight-yard scoring grab from Bralon Addison, and a two-yard Thomas Tyner scoring run. Marshall scored on a 40-yard dash in the second quarter, and De’Anthony Thomas got in from one-yard in the first, but UCLA started out the scoring with a four-yard Brett Hundley touchdown run and an 11-yard Thomas Duarte scoring grab.
- Welcome to Oregon. It can hang around in a close game, and then … boom. The offense kicks in, everything works, and just like that, a tight battle is blown wide open. The running game found its groove with 325 yards, helped by a 133-yard, three score game from Byron Marshall, and Marcus Mariota, despite a fumble, was great going 21-of-28 for 230 yards with a score.
- And now it’s time to work on the Pac-12 North title. The Ducks got by a talented UCLA, and now there’s 12 days to get ready for Stanford. It’s not exactly smooth sailing after that – going to Arizona will be tough and Oregon State is nasty – but nothing is slowing down the machine at the moment.
at Oregon 62, Washington State 38
Basically … Oregon and its pink helmets survived Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, who threw an NCAA record 89 times for 557 yards and four touchdowns, but he threw four picks and he wasn’t enough to overcome Marcus Mariota. The Oregon quarterback threw two touchdown passes and ran for a thrilling 57-yard score. Byron Marshall ran for three scores from one, 26 and 30 yards out, and Thomas Tyner added second quarter scoring runs from one and 66 yards out. Up 34-24 after halftime, the Ducks scored 28 straight points, finished off by a Terrance Mitchell pick six early in the fourth, but Halliday kept on bombing with two touchdown passes in the final four minutes.
- The defense might have had to deal with the passing storm from Connor Halliday, but the offense did the job with Byron Marshall running for 192 yards and three scores and Marcus Mariota coming up with a sharp 23-of-32, 327-yard passing day. Three turnovers and nine penalties made it a little sloppy, but the Ducks were in control from the start.
- Washington State doesn’t get cheated. The Cougars don’t give up under Mike Leach, as Connor Halliday threw and threw and threw some more, completing 58-of-89 passes for 557 yards and four scores with four picks, spreading the ball around to 11 different receivers. Gabe Marks led the way with 13 catches for 143 yards and a score.
- Forget about the ground game. Halliday is the star, and the Cougar offense is going to use him over and over again. The Cougars ran 12 times for two yards – there was no need to keep it on the ground as they tried to keep up in the firefight.
- Now it’s time for Oregon to really shine. It put down Washington without much of a problem, and no one has come close so far, but now it’s time to deal with UCLA and Stanford. There’s not a layup in the bunch the rest of the way, but these are the tests. These are the games that will define the Ducks.
Oregon 45, at Washington 24
Basically … Bishop Sankey ran for his second score of the third quarter – cranking up a 60-yarder and then a 25-yard dash – to pull Washington to within seven going into the fourth, and then Marcus Mariota took over. The Oregon quarterback ran for a five-yard score and found Bralon Addison for a three-yard score as the Ducks survived a major test. Mariota threw three touchdown passes on the day, with two to Addison and a 65-yarder to Josh Huff, and Byron Marshall ran for two first half scoring runs, but Sankey brought the Huskies back to make it a fight before the Ducks dominated the final 15 minutes.
- Oregon really did control the game, even if it didn’t seem like it in the third quarter. The Ducks kept the ball for almost 11 minutes in the fourth quarter as Marcus Mariota connected on third down play after third down play – he was in total command. The Heisman candidate completed 24-of-31 passes for 366 yards and three scores, and he ran 13 times for 88 yards and a score.
- For the second week in a row, Washington showed that it’s really, really good, but not good enough. Bishop Sankey is unstoppable, running for 167 yards and two scores, and Keith Price did a decent job at times, but the offense couldn’t go on any major marches in the fourth and there wasn’t anything explosive in the passing game.
- Now what? Washington lost to the two big boys in the North, and now it’s going to take a minor miracle to win the tie-breakers – and get a few losses from the Ducks – to play for the Pac-12 title. The last two losses might hurt, but not showing up for next week’s road game at Arizona State would make things worse.
- Once again, Oregon was challenged in a huge moment in the Pac-12, and once again it won by double digits and came up with a ton of yards. The Ducks outgained the Huskies 631 yards to 376. They were more dynamic, they were sharper when they had to be, and they have Marcus Mariota.
Oregon 57 … at Colorado 16
Basically … Colorado held a 10-8 lead on a 75-yard double-reverse pass from receiver Paul Richardson to D.D. Goodson for a score, and then Oregon exploded for three touchdowns in less than four minutes. Marcus Mariota connected with Bralon Addison for a 75-yard touchdown, and he found Keanon Lowe for a 17-yard score late in the first. After two Colorado field goals, Mariota was at it again, running for his second touchdown run of the first half and closing out a 43-point first half in the final minute with a four-yard scoring pass to Josh Huff. The Ducks scored 28 unanswered points, with Mariota’s fifth touchdown pass coming with fewer than seven minutes to play in the third.
- Marcus Mariota is playing at a whole other level. Colorado might not have a dominant defense, but Mariota was still close to perfect, completing 16-of-27 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns, and running for 43 yards and two scores.
- Colorado can’t settle for field goals against a team like Oregon. It had to go for the points when it was still a game in the first half, but three Will Oliver field goals and a trick play touchdown weren’t nearly enough to keep up the pace. The Buffs tried things, but they were outgunned. Everyone is against Oregon.
- The one big bright spot for Colorado was Paul Richardson, who continues to have a terrific year now that he’s healthy. The 75-yard touchdown pass was fun, but he also caught five passes for 134 yards. The Buffs have to get the ball in his hands in a variety of ways.
- 11 different Oregon Ducks carried the ball with no De’Anthony Thomas around to help the cause. His absence didn’t matter much; the ground attack gained 349 yards. Everything is clicking, but now comes the tests with Washington, UCLA and Stanford coming up in the next four games.
at Oregon 55, California 16
Basically … In the rain, Oregon’s offense was just fine, rolling up 41 first quarter points before Cal finally got on the board with a 46-yard Vincenzo D’Amato field goal at the end of the first half. Marcus Mariota threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, while Byron Marshall ran for two touchdowns in the in the first quarter. The Oregon punt return game was unstoppable, with Bralon Addison taking a kick 75 yards for a score in the second quarter and one 67 yards for a touchdown in the third. Down 55-3, Cal scored two late touchdowns.
- Oregon kept on being Oregon with pop, explosion, and a terrific came from Bralon Addison and the punt return game, but De’Anthony Thomas was lost early on to an apparent ankle injury. The offense was just fine without him, with Byron Marshall running 19 times for 130 yards and two scores.
- Jared Goff completed just 3-of-6 passes for 11 yards before getting replaced. It wasn’t made known early on whether or not he was hurt, but it was Zach Kline who had to try to make the offense go in the poor conditions. He completed 18-of-37 passes for 165 yards and a score with a pick.
- Don’t get into a twist over Marcus Mariota completing just 11-of-25 passes for 114 yards with two scores. He ran for 33 yards and a touchdown, and he wasn’t needed much. In the rain and weather, the conditions weren’t exactly prime for a top passing game.
- The Bears were struggling enough to handle the Oregon offense, and it didn’t help that they made mistake after mistake. The five turnovers were slightly forgivable because of the rain – Oregon lost two fumbles – but the 11 penalties didn’t help.
at Oregon 59, Tennessee 14, Sept. 14
Basically … Marcus Mariota broke the game wide open with four touchdown passes and a nine-yard scoring run as Oregon scored 59 straight points after going down 7-0. De’Anthony Thomas, Thomas Tyner and Byron Marshall added touchdown runs as a part of the explosion. Tennessee closed out the scoring with an eight-yard Alden Hill run.
- No quarterback in America is playing better than Marcus Mariota. He completed 23-of-33 passes for 456 yards and four scores, and he ran for 27 yards and a touchdown. He made every right decision and every correct play.
- Tennessee’s offense wasn’t bad, but it couldn’t keep up and had to press once the floodgates opened up. The long drives didn’t matter. They didn’t turn into points, and Oregon was too fast on its scoring drives.
- Too many plays were made in the Tennessee secondary. Ducks were having too easy a time getting to the second and third levels. The Vol defensive front was shoved around too easily, and there wasn’t enough pressure to bother Mariota.
- The scary part? Oregon hasn’t really unleashed De’Anthony Thomas yet. He led the team with 86 yards and a score on 13 carries, but it’s been Mariota’s show so far.
Oregon 59, at BYU 10, Sept. 7
Basically … Oregon never let it become a game. Marcus Mariota tore off a 71-yard touchdown in the opening two minutes, and De’Anthony Thomas followed it up with two scoring runs for a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Virginia managed ten first half points highlighted by a 45-yard Khalek Shepherd touchdown run, but Oregon owned the second half scoring 31 unanswered points. Thomas ran for a third touchdown in the third quarter and Thomas Tyner scored twice in the fourth quarter.
- It has almost become routine and expected. Oregon shows up, rips off 557 yards of total offense and almost 60 points, and leaves. De’Anthony Thomas was breathtaking, running for 124 yards and three scores on just 11 carries, while Marcus Mariota did whatever he wanted. He only completed half of his passes, but they went for 199 yards and two scores to go along with his 122 rushing yards and a score on four carries.
- Virginia was on its heels all game long, which is sort of the point of the Oregon offense. There weren’t any sacks and just three tackles for loss; there wasn’t any pressure on Mariota.
- Don’t forget about the Duck defense. It kept Virginia’s offense completely under wraps, allowing just 124 rushing yards and coming up with three picks. Derrick Malone was a one-man wrecking crew against the run with 12 stops, but the entire D was a half-step faster.
- With a blocked extra point and 11 penalties, not everything worked perfectly for the Ducks, but it was close. Virginia had to chase and play catch-up all game long, and the offense isn’t equipped to come up with big shots down the field.
at Oregon 66, Nicholls State 3, Aug. 31
Basically … At least for one game, Chip Kelly wasn’t relevant anymore. Oregon rolled up 772 yards of total offense with 500 yards on the ground. Three Ducks ran for 100 yards with Marcus Mariota taking off for 113 yards and two score and throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown. De’Anthony Thomas ran 18 times for 128 yards and two scores. Nicholls State only managed a 35-yard field goal.
- Time of possession never matters to Oregon, but this is ridiculous. The 772 yards came in just 19:46.
- This was the leg stretching game. Oregon didn’t get pushed in any way. There wasn’t any pressure in the backfield from NSU and the runners were able to tear off big dashes on play after play. Mariota wasn’t deadly accurate, but he ran well. He did whatever he wanted.
Why To Get Excited … The Ducks’ fourth straight BCS bowl appearance—a Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State—occurred with a rookie at quarterback. A year older, sophomore Marcus Mariota figures to be a year better as well. He’s one of the game’s budding offensive superstars, and will be surrounded by exciting playmakers, like RB De’Anthony Thomas, TE Colt Lyerla and receivers Josh Huff, Keanon Lowe and Bralon Addison. Oregon will continue to run with anyone in the country.
Why To Be Grouchy … Chip is gone. After flirting with the NFL in 2011, head coach Chip Kelly took an offer from the Philadelphia Eagles in January. Big blow for the Ducks. Kelly was a transformational figure in Eugene, guiding the program from good to great during his tenure. Can Oregon remain one of college football’s elite national contenders now that Mark Helfrich is calling the shots? Time will tell. But there’s no doubt that Kelly will be missed on the sidelines.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … rebuilding the corps of linebackers. A couple of All-Pac-12 Second Team defenders, Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay, are no longer available at the second level for the Ducks, which will make the team more vulnerable to the run. Senior Boseko Lokombo is expected to anchor a group looking for increased contributions from youngsters Rahim Cassell, Derrick Malone and Tyson Coleman.
Non-Conference Games: Nicholls State, at Virginia, Tennessee
Games Against The South: at Arizona, at Colorado, UCLA, Utah
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 11-1
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Nicholls State, at Virginia, Tennessee, California, at Colorado, Washington State, UCLA, at Stanford, Utah, at Arizona, Oregon State
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Washington
Schedule Analysis: There are just enough high-profile games to give the Ducks plenty of national recognition, but there isn’t one game that stands out as a sure-thing loss. If Mark Helfrich can keep the momentum from the Chip Kelly era going, there shouldn’t be any problems with the non-conference schedule that starts out with Nicholls State as a light scrimmage before going to Virginia and hosting Tennessee. If Oregon really is national title-good, it should roll through those two games by double-digits.
The Pac-12 slate couldn’t start out much easier with three of the first four games against teams that didn’t go bowling, and helped by getting Utah from the South in November. California, at Colorado and Washington State need to be layups, but going to Washington could be the biggest landmine to sidestep. UCLA will probably be the best team on the schedule, but that’s in Eugene, and there’s a week off before going to Stanford. The Civil War against Oregon State is at home, but that’s coming off a dangerous road trip to Arizona.
Team Concerns For 2013: Mark Helfrich doesn't have a whole bunch of work to do.
The offensive line loses two starters and the defense has to replace end Dion Jordan and tackle Isaac Remington. The kicking game could stand to be better with Rob Beard gone after hitting just 4-of-8 field goals. Alejandro Maldonado will get the first look after making 3-of-6 tries. Considering the explosiveness of De'Anthony Thomas, the kickoff return game has to be better after averaging under 20 yards per try. It's nitpicking a bit, but the pass rush could stand to be more effective.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running back. The coaching change isn't having much of an effect on the recruiting class with several top prospects jumping back on board now that everything has been settled.
Defensive end Torrodney Prevot was a great Wednesday signing, and
getting receiver Tyree Robinson, guard Cameron Hunt and linebacker
Tyrell Robinson allowed everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. Offensive tackle Evan Voeller will be a starter and tight end John Mundt will turn into a player, but the stars on the offense will be at running back with Thomas Tyner leading the way. The big 6-1, 215-pounder isn't necessarily the perfect fit for the up-tempo Duck attack, but he's the No. 2 running back prospect - Mark Helfrich will make it work. The defense welcomes in some terrific linebacker prospects with JUCO transfer Joe Walker ready to step in and start right away.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 17. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Last year was the big class of top-shelf talent. This year the focus is on a line that needs pass rushers to help boost up the depth. With Terrell Turner and Brandon Hanna gone, Oregon needs as many options and bodies for the outside as possible, and this class will do it. The secondary will get a nice boost at safety for a few years from now; the Ducks are stocked for the near future.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 7. That Class Was Heavy On ... Lots and lots of talent. Oregon hasn’t exactly struggled in the recruiting world over the last few years, but it hasn’t made a national splash like this with big-time prospects all across the board. The receiving corps got a mega-boost with JUCO transfer Rahsaan Vaughn ready to be a No. 1 guy right now, while the offensive line got some special talents in Tyler Johnstone, Jake Fisher, and Andre Yruretagoyena. The mega-coup, though, was ripping the heart out of USC by taking away the nation’s No. 1 corner, DeAnthony Thomas, at the last second.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 13. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive backs.
The stars are elsewhere, but the numbers are in the
secondary as corner Dior Mathis and safety Erick
Dargan lead a fast and talented group. DE Curtis
White and guard Nick Rowland will be all-stars
before their done, and JUCO transfer Ryan Clanton
will be part of the offensive tackle rotation right
away. The real excitement is over Lance Seastrunk,
another talented runner to add to the equation
choosing Oregon over Texas, Florida, LSU and
Oklahoma. QB Bryan Bennett doesn't quite fit the normal Duck norm, but he's a great athlete who'll add more passing to the offense.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 29. That Class Was
Heavy On ... special teams. The Ducks made an investment in their future on special teams with the signings of P Jackson Rice and PK Mike Bowlin. Both were ranked in the top 3 at their respective positions, and will have an opportunity to become the cornerstones of the unit now that P Josh Syria and PK Matt Evensen are gone. Rice and Bowlin won’t get the attention of, say, a Cliff Harris or Boseko Lokombo, but that doesn’t they won’t play an integral role down the road.