Trap Game? Not so much.
Week 11’s contest against the California Golden Bears has been looked at as a trap game all season long for the Oregon Ducks. Coming off a big win against the USC Trojans, the fear was that the Ducks would be looking ahead to tougher competition, and that they just might struggle in a place that has historically not been kind to them over the past few seasons.
Those struggles were apparent early in the contest, but at half time, the Ducks remembered one thing: they’re much, much better than the Golden Bears this season.
The Oregon offense showed no signs of complacency in the second half, and the defense was equally motivated to come out and show why they deserve a spot atop the BCS.
In a week where No. 1 Alabama fell from the top of the college football world, the Ducks looked as good as ever winning 59-17, and they showed yet again why they are one of the best teams in the entire country.
Offensive Game Ball
Mariota had a record-setting performance against Cal. (Photo: Oregon Football)
The victory in week 10 against the USC Trojans was historic in many senses, and Marcus Mariota kept that trend rolling straight into week 11.
The redshirt freshman quarterback threw for 377 yards and a school record-tying six touchdowns. He was as efficient as ever, completing nearly 80 percent of his passes, and he now leads the entire nation in quarterback rating.
In a game where Kenjon Barner struggled to keep the offense going, Marcus Mariota showed that this team is not a one-dimensional offense. He took to the air and found success, and he even managed to carry the ball for 42 yards on six carries.
Josh Huff deserves a serious honorable mention for his five receptions that led to 109 yards and three touchdowns, but without a doubt, Mariota deserves the credit for the offensive shellacking that took place in the second half on Saturday.
Defensive Game Ball
Half way through the third quarter, Boseko Lokombo made the defensive play of the game that shifted momentum onto the Ducks’ side for good.
California’s offense hadn’t been great all game, but they had been good enough to stay with the Ducks. Oregon was ahead by just six points when Boseko Lokombo intercepted the ball, giving the Ducks possession on the Bears’ 35-yard line, and prompting this Tweet by The Register-Guard’s Rob Moseley:
Boseko Lokombo. Dude is just a damn magnet for the ball.
— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) November 11, 2012
The very next play was a 35-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Josh Huff. The Ducks would go on to score many more times, while Cal remained stuck on 17 for the duration of the contest.
Arik Armstead, the true freshman defensive lineman, also deserves recognition for filling in and making his presence felt. He put the pressure on the quarterback that made him throw the interception, and he showed his potential for fans who had yet to see the 6’8” first-year player.
Special Teams Game Ball
Keanon Lowe had the team’s one decent play in the special teams after their successful attempt at a fake extra point was called back on a holding penalty.
Keanon Lowe returned the ball 60 yards on the initial kickoff of the second half. It was an explosive play that many hoped would jump-start the offense that had been relatively quiet earlier in the game.
The team went on to lose the ball on downs, but with such good field position to start the half, the Bears were forced into a long field because of Lowe’s effort.
Marcus Mariota—24/37 377 YDS 6 TD
Kenjon Barner—20 CAR 65 YDS 3.3 AVG 0 TD
De’Anthony Thomas—8 REC 101 YRDS 12.6 AVG 0 TD
Josh Huff—5 REC 109 YRDS 21.8 AVG 3 TD
Colt Lyerla—4 REC 64 YRDS 16 AVG 2 TD
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