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.
Kenjon Barner: 34 carries, 201 yards and 3 touchdowns. While he had way more carries than I would have preferred, you can't argue with the career day Kenjon had. He was quick, made excellent reads and showed a certain durability that has dogged him in the past. While De'Anthony Thomas continues to get the Heisman Trophy hype, Barner is the workhorse that keeps the Oregon Ducks Offense running. In the first two games, he's averaging over 6 yards a carry, right in line with what he did last year while basking in LaMichael James' shadow. In this week's game, with Fresno State down by 2 possessions, Barner took over with 9:40 remaining, gaining 66 of the team's 77 yards and scoring a touchdown to finally put the game out of reach. Elevator: In the Penthouse
Marcus Mariota: It would have been hard to keep up the pace that he set in his opening game and MM came back to Earth a little bit against Fresno State. That being said, he still completed over 70% of his passes and threw for a touchdown in the victory. While people may be disappointed in the dropoff, he still had pretty good numbers when compared with normal quarterbacks. The main problems for MM this week came from losing two fumbles to Fresno State and making several misreads on the option plays which resulted in lost yards. It also didn't help that the play calling got ultra conservative in the 2nd half and Fresno State became much more aggressive. Despite all that, he got the win and some good experience and film to grow from. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
Oregon Marching Band: I know school isn't in session for a couple more weeks but I have to say that it was a great idea to do a halftime show about the in-game music, when it was played, for whom it was played for, the names of the songs and to teach the audience some of the moves to go along with it. I think one of the main things the Oregon fanbase can do to improve the Autzen Experience is to work on participation of more than just yelling and having this type of education and outreach in a larger scale can only help that cause. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
Traditional Pac-10: Upsetting Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, and beating Illinois were among the non-conference highlights of the traditional Pac-10 schools. Those wins helped the conference to 5 Top-25 rankings for the conference with some others receiving votes. Hopefully those performances will erase that horrible week 1 effort. Elevator: Up 1 Floor
The Other Pac Teams: Colorado's performance most likely had the Sacramento State Athletic Director calling up Larry Scott asking if they can join the conference since they have now beaten Pac-12 teams in consecutive seasons. Utah lost their starting quarterback and to Utah State on Friday, possibly signaling to others that maybe they aren't quite ready to challenge USC in the South just yet. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
Fans' Reaction to Games: Ok, just so I'm clear. We've beaten teams handily that we're supposed to beat. Our offense looks potent and our defense has been extremely strong and fast. Despite those facts, we aren't getting enough style points in the second half for your tastes. We're young, we've had a slew of injuries and we're obviously working on things after the games are in hand. I think some people have forgotten how to enjoy wins and instead want to pretend like we've lost. Elevator: Down 1 Floor
UO Athletic Department: You've managed to define a sellout as "no two seats together". You've pushed through some tough to sell non-conference games in order to maintain the "sellout" streak. You've endured press about how prices for tickets are too high and fans are giving up their season tickets as a result. Yet, despite it all, attendance is only down a couple thousand in the first few games. From this angle, it appears that the ticket price raise was well worth it in terms of net dollars gained. It remains to be seen what happens with increased access to watching games on TV, the economy, and continued discord by the media in terms of ticket prices that should last the entire season. Elevator: On the Same Floor