Welcome to part two of the series "Moments that mattered." Moving on to week 2, the Ducks went on the road into the heart of ACC country to face a spirited Virginia team who was ultimately overmatched.
Early on, the Wahoos tried to push around and out tough the Ducks, but found Oregon to be too fast from the opening snap to keep up with. Marcus Mariota, De'Anthony Thomas and the Oregon defense had already made their statement and put the game well out of reach and that's when we find this week's moment(s).
Tyner makes his impact at the 10 minute mark in the video
Following a 95+ yard interception return, Oregon handed the ball over to Jeff Lockie and freshman running back Thomas Tyner. On his first carry, Tyner plowed forward and into the end zone scoring his first touchdown of the year.
The Ducks forced a punt and the Cavaliers would get a healthy dose of Tyner as he continued to push the rock forward. On second and short Jeff Lockie handed the ball to Tyner again and he burst up the middle, untouched to give Oregon their final touchdown and a 59-10 victory.
Tyner's stat line finished at 4 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns, and at face value, two garbage time touchdowns don't seem to be that impactful but these were moments which mattered. Why?
Why They Mattered
Oregon had question marks at the tailback position. Moving past De'Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall who had been ineffective to this point in the season, it didn't look like those question marks would have an answer.
What's more is Tyner had injured his ankle in practice just days before the game against Nichols and was unable to play. His first live game action would not come against a team that lost to the state of Oregon 143-3. Rather it would come against a defeated ACC team in their own house.
Tyner's presence gave credence to the thought that Oregon could reload at RB in his freshman year and that the reports of his demise had been greatly exaggerated.