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Oregon Ducks Elevator: Yes, Those Uniforms Were Awesome

September 1, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks DeAnthony Thomas (6) runs the ball for a touchdown in the first half. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE
September 1, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks DeAnthony Thomas (6) runs the ball for a touchdown in the first half. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

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: There were a number of questions about Barner coming into the 2012 season. How would he handle being the featured back after LaMichael James left? Would he be durable enough to last in that role? How much of a dropoff would there be in production? Although we may need to wait a few games to get all the answers to those questions, Kenjon definitely looks improved in his new role as the feature back. His 17-yard run around the right edge for a touchdown was a thing of beauty and should have reminded everyone about the talent this guy has. He looks like he's gained a step and some power in the off-season which should help him considerably when Pac-12 play starts. Elevator: Up 1 Floor

De'Anthony Thomas: Being at the game, I couldn't help but think that Thomas had had a quiet game. Looking back at the box score, I see 118 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns including a 33-yard run that, while seeing it in person, reminded me of the famous Washington State run from last year at Autzen. He just looks like he's playing a different game than everyone else out there, seeing things before they happen and reacting before anyone else even knows what is going on. Putting him all over the field just makes Oregon's offense so unpredictable and dangerous, especially given the other weapons on the field. We've gotten used to his performances so it's easy to become complacent in our evaluations. This guy is special and in almost any other game this weekend, he would have been all over the highlights. Elevator: Up 1 Floor

Rob Beard: The kicker for Oregon is in a unique position. Chip Kelly's philosophy on kicking field goals almost appears to be a concession to the defense and you can tell that he doesn't like to be in that position if he can help it. His kicking game seems to rely heavily on accuracy inside 40 yards when the distance to first is long. Rob missed a 32-yard kick and he would have missed a 40+ yarder by a good 15 yards if the kick hadn't been erased by an offensive penalty that resulted in a punt. As impressive as the Oregon offense looked, the kicking game will be a major concern going into the more difficult Pac-12 play. Elevator: Down 2 Floors

Pharaoh Brown: One of many true freshman who saw playing time in the game (Chip played 78 players on Saturday), he caught a pass of 16 yards at tight-end but that wasn't his main highlight. Given Gus Malzahn's strategy of pooch kicking, Brown ended up being Oregon's most dynamic and sure-handed kick returner by fair catching kick after kick that came his way. It's a sign of heady play and good coaching to call for fair catches in that middle ground on kicks. Elevator: Stepped inside and pressed UP

Jeff Tedford: Not only did the California Golden Bears head coach suffer an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Nevada Wolfpack at home on Saturday, he also apparently didn't tell his team that quarterback Zach Maynard wouldn't not be starting the game until Friday, even though the Cal coaching staff knew since June because it was a punishment for missing a tutoring appointment. While people may point to the poor start of Cal, the fact that the team didn't know and wasn't practicing accordingly during the summer and fall places the blame squarely on Tedford and his coaching staff for this blunder. For those fans not on the "Fire Tedford" bandwagon, this is going to be a hard situation to justify. Elevator: Lost in the Lobby

2nd Half Defense: While many people will dismiss the yards and points scored by Arkansas State in the second half as "garbage time fluff", I see it differently. While our first string defense looked strong, we have some major holes to fill in behind the 2-deep. In a long season, depth will be key to how the Oregon defense will go and I didn't see the type of performance that would lead me to believe that depth is a strength. There will be a lot of teachable moments that come from film that should allow the defense to improve over the next few games but from what I saw, there is a long way to go. I'm just glad we have a ramp to the Pac-12 conference season where these things can be worked on in game environments. Elevator: Down 1 Floor

Marcus Mariota: 7 touchdowns on the first 7 possessions. Calm, cool, collected. There were a few passes that would have been picked by a competent Pac-12 defense but that's about the only thing I can pick on. it was pretty obvious why Marcus won the quarterback competition in the fall. In fact, I have to wonder if we were getting shined on this whole time by the "illusion" of a close quarterback race. By a sample size of 2 (a large number I know), the Spring Game and against Arkansas State, Mariota is definitely the better quarterback. Elevator: In the Penthouse

Bryan Bennett: His stat line is misleading. He had a few dropped passes and his interception was the result of a receiver losing the ball through his hands. He got lots of playing time which is only going to help in the long run. He also nearly pancake blocked a linebacker on a run by Byron Marshall when Marshall reversed field. He needs to learn to get his emotions under control but I have confidence that we have a more than capable backup for the 2012 campaign. Elevator: Up 1 Floor

Men's Basketball Marketing Campaign: I haven't laughed that hard at a commercial in a very long time. The Oregon Ducks Men's Basketball "Clapper" commercial was just excellent in every possible way. I would love to find a stream to link to so if anyone has one, please share it in the comments. The only other way you saw it was if you stuck out the blowout game at Autzen Stadium well into the 4thquarter. Oregon Marketing continues to show why they are the number one department in all of college sports. Elevator: Up 1 Floor