Heading into the desert to face 5-1 Arizona State for their first true road game was supposed to be the first major test for the Oregon Ducks. Instead, in only affirmed their dominance in a 43-21 victory that was not nearly as close as the final margin would indicate.
It looked scary early for the Ducks, as quarterback Marcus Mariota fumbled the ball to ASU on the second play of the game that would lead to an immediate Sun Devil touchdown. However, Arizona State's best defensive player, Will Sutton, was knocked out for the game with a knee injury on the play. Oregon would answer by going on to score 43 straight in the first half.
The Ducks started the scoring with a 71 yard touchdown run by Kenjon Barner, and were having a ton of success running the inside zone read and attacking the middle of Arizona State defense. Barner had 143 yards on only 16 carries and three touchdowns. Marcus Mariota was adept at running the zone read, finishing with 135 rushing yards of his own, including an 86 yarder that was reminiscent of his run in the spring game that put him on the radar with Oregon fans. Mariota even caught a touchdown pass on a play where Bryan Bennett lined up at QB and pitched a forward option pass:
The defense was equally dominant, controllign the line of scrimmage and living in the Sun Devil backfield. Oregon would pick off Arizona State quarterbacks four times and not allow another point until fourth quarter garbage time.
If this was really Oregon's first test, the Ducks passed it with flying colors. With Colorado coming into town next week, the spread will be infinity. Take the over.