The Ducks finally beat up their 2-year long tormentor at Autzen tonight. Here's how it unfolded:
Oregon won the toss and decided to put their offense on the field first. It was a good call. The Ducks marched down the field on their first drive for a TD. They went 75 yards on 14 plays that ended on a 6-yard TD pass from Marcus Mariota to Charles Nelson. Stanford responded with a successful drive that ended in a 46-yard Jordan Williamson field goal. Oregon got back to work and again had a 75-yard drive for a touchdown. This time, it was Mariota who ran it in for a 22-yard TD. Stanford once again answered with a Jordan Williamson field goal. At the end of the first, the Ducks led 14-6.
Early in the 2nd quarter, Oregon benefited from pass interference on Stanford. This led to yet another 75-yard touchdown. Thomas Tynder scored on a 1-yard run. The TD occurred with 11:50 to go in the 2nd. On Stanford’s next drive, the Oregon D made a stand. The Ducks got a stop on 4th and 3 at their 25 from a Derrick Malone broken up pass. A good moment of sportsmanship came moments before, when a Stanford player went down with an injury. PA announcer Don Essig reminded the booing home crowd, "This is Autzen stadium. We don’t boo injured players." A collective applause occurred after. On Oregon’s ensuing drive, The Cardinal D held Oregon to a 40-yard successful field goal. After, Stanford was able to break through the Oregon D and get their first touchdown of the night. Patrick Scov scored a 1-yard touchdown with 1 minute to go in the half. The drive went 75 yards on 11 plays. Oregon was unable to get any more points before the half ended, which left the score at 24-13, Ducks.
To start the third quarter Kevin Hogan got the Stanford O rolling into Oregon territory with a momentous drive. Erick Dargan bailed out the Ducks with an interception inside the red zone. Despite fortune falling in Oregon’s favor in this instance, Marcus Mariota would go on to throw an interception on the next drive at the Stanford 40. Kevin Hogan led the classic Stanford drive next. It lasted almost six minutes and went for 62 yards on 10 plays and resulted in another Jordan Williamson made field goal. This left 2:30 to go in the third quarter. Although the scoreboard appeared the remainder of the game would be a dogfight, Thomas Tyner cushioned the Ducks lead with 3 seconds to go in the 3rd quarter, for his second TD on the night. The tally: 7 plays on 75 yards. The score was 31-16 at the end of the 3rd. I think I witnessed the best "shout" in my tenure at Oregon tonight. GOOSEBUMPS.
Despite the game being technically close in the first half and much of the third, it was about to get blown open. Kevin Hogan’s fumble early in the fourth quarter deep in Stanford territory, enabled Mariota to score his 2nd rushing TD of the night. On Stanford’s next possession they went 3 and out. Oregon would go on to score another TD from Mariota to Carrington, to cap off a 45-16 victory.
Pac-12 commissioner, Larry Scott was in attendance tonight, as was Phil Knight to watch both of his Alma Maters battle it out. There was a bountiful amount of NFL scouts in attendance as well. Those represented: Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and the New England Patriots.
In the press conference, Helfrich was quick to credit Stanford as a team. He mentioned how important it was to keep it out of Ty Montgomery’s hands. He also expressed their willingness to exchange touchdowns for field goals. Despite the big win though, he reiterated his thoughts about this win, "It’s one. Flush it and move on." Ifo Ekpre-Olomu also mentioned how moving on would be key for this team. In regards to their road matchup against Utah next week in comparison to their game with Stanford, he said they’re "playing a team that might be better."
Impact players: On the defensive side, Erick Dargan led the Ducks in tackles with 9, and had 1 interception. Tony Washington and Christian French were able to get to quarterback, Kevin Hogan and recorded one interception each. On offense, Marcus Mariota went 19-30 for 258 yards including 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 92 yards. Royce Freeman rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries. Thomas Tyner rushed for 69 yards and two TD’s. Darren Carrington had four catches for 58 yards and one TD.
Random story from the night: It was halftime, and I needed to relieve myself after the copious amount of coffee I consumed. After doing my business, I opened the bathroom door and immediately almost hit this gentleman in the face. After a quick "sorry", I noticed it was Fox’s very own, Gus Johnson. You know, the guy who became famous for losing his mind while announcing games. Gus proceeded to scan the bathroom (which was packed) for about a half a second, and in a perturbed tone, dropped a "F#%K". In short, Gus Johnson isn't a fan of long bathroom lines.