The Oregon Ducks Elevator is a weekly series that tracks the ups and downs of players, coaches, personnel, celebrities, locations or really anything that needs to be reviewed from week to week. We'll check in on how the Elevator is operating every Monday during the Football season and periodically throughout the rest of the year.
Marcus Mariota: A tale of two halves, Marcus looked skittish and tentative throughout the first half of the game on Saturday. He seemed like he was getting very nervous in the pocket, looking to run out of danger that wasn't there. The offense just wasn't the finely tuned machine that Duck fans have come to expect. The opening drive was extremely efficient, the 2nd quarter was a disaster and things started to pick up again for Marcus after halftime adjustments. My big takeaway from the game was that Marcus looked like a freshman starting his first road game. Washington comes in with confidence, newly found swagger and perhaps the best defense Oregon will have faced so far. Mariota will need to learn quickly from his mistakes on Saturday because Justin Wilcox will not make it easy on him in terms of schemes. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
Kenjon Barner: So far, Barner has answered the critics who questioned if he could be an every down back. With another 20 carries on Saturday, he amassed 195 yards, 3 touchdowns and ran at an amazing 9.8 yards per carry. He also broke out an 80 yard run and added a receiving touchdown to help close the door on any potential Washington State comeback attempt. While he may not have the flash of a LaMichael James, his durability and vision is improving on a week in and week out basis. Elevator: In the Penthouse
Mike Riley: Not only did the Oregon State Head Football Coach get a great win against Arizona in the desert this weekend, he popped a tweet out a reference to "Beaver Juice". If that doesn't make you go up a floor in the elevator, I don't know what does. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
CenturyLink Field: In terms of fan experience, I'm going to have a tough time finding a better experience than the one I had at CenturyLink Field on Saturday. Take away the win for a second. Every seat in that stadium has a seatback (except the Hawk's Nest which is a small section). You have beautiful views of the city and water on the west side of the stadium. With a full crowd, that place is loud... REALLY loud. Even though I was way up in the 300-level, I felt like I was close to the action no matter what was going on in the field. While I loved University of Phoenix stadium, CenturyLink might be my new favorite. Elevator: Up 3 Floors
Wazzu Fans: Overall, great experience amongst the Washington St. Cougars fans this weekend. I'm sure fans of both sides will have some horror stories but hopefully they aren't too scaring. Got some good natured heckling like "Chip Kelly has tiny balls". I had only wished I had said "Better him then me!". Alas, next time. Really enjoyed the Wazzu fan traditions both inside and outside the stadium. The only remotely bad incident was a couple of very drunk students who tried to block one of our camera shots and then insulted us. I responded back with "Huskies suck?" and they came back, shook our hands and sought to start up a "F*ck the Huskies" chant with us which, admittedly, was a bit awkward given the number of kids around. Overall, great fanbase and fun conversations with them about our respective teams. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
De'Anthony Thomas: He got kicked to finally but he didn't do a lot with those kicks. Given the performances by others around the country, I think you have to write Thomas out of the Heisman picture for now. On a night he needed to pop, he just couldn't get that signature moment and those stats to prove he belongs in New York... at least for now. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
Do you have anyone or anything you want to add to the Elevator Rankings? Throw it in the comments.