Oregon Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 2 Game vs. Fresno State
The Oregon Ducks took to Autzen Stadium for the second straight week when they faced off against the Fresno State Bulldogs.
And, just like the week before, the Ducks cruised to a 42-25 victory, once again flexing their offensive and defensive muscles in the first half.
Oregon used impressive statistics from Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas to quell the Bulldogs' upset hopes and solidify their position as one of the more dangerous offensive teams in the nation. Yet, despite all of their offensive prowess, the Oregon Ducks' starting defense has also looked very impressive in their first two games.
On the Fresno State side of the ball, the Bulldogs had difficulty adjusting to the rowdy road atmosphere of Autzen Stadium but made a few adjustments at halftime and played a bit more impressively in the third quarter against a relaxed Oregon defense.
At the end of it all the Ducks prevailed over the Bulldogs and cruised to a 2-0 record, which helped them keep their No. 4 ranking in the AP Poll.
Here are your winners and losers from the Oregon-Fresno State matchup.
Winner: Oregon Ducks
One of the clear winners of this game was the Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks used a 35-6 first-half score to establish all the lead they needed to ensure a victory at the end of the day.
Kenjon Barner solidified a Ducks victory after Fresno State mounted what some called a comeback with a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Though it was no huge blowout like the Ducks had against Arkansas State, the win was still a big one that showed how potent Oregon can be on offense and defense.
Loser: Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State came into their contest as big underdogs and left with a blemish to their 2012 season as they fell to an impressive Ducks football team that should contend for a BCS National Championship.
Though they did have a good third quarter against a lackadaisical Oregon defense, the Bulldogs could not get anything going against the Ducks for the rest of the contest as they were clearly overmatched at Autzen.
Winner: Kenjon Barner
Kenjon Barner had one heck of a night against Fresno State.
LaMichael James' replacement back showed that he could do everything and anything his predecessor did as he rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries.
Barner showed excellent durability and poise throughout the contest as he shouldered the load of the Duck offense.
His efforts against Fresno State proved that he was a more than viable replacement for LaMichael James and may have even put his name onto a few Heisman ballots.
Loser: Oregon Turnover Ratio
The Ducks, who had caused quite a few turnovers during the 2011 season, coughed the ball up three times against Fresno State, giving the Bulldogs a chance to jump back into the game.
Marcus Mariota faced adversity for the first time in the young 2012 season and the Oregon offense looked a little lackluster in their play as they lost all three fumbles that Fresno State caused.
If the Ducks want to make a run at a fourth straight Pac-12 title and BCS National Championship, they will need to secure the ball much better and do so through all four quarters of the game.
Winner: Oregon Duck Defense
The Ducks' defense looked very impressive in the first half once again as it limited Fresno State's offense to just six points over 30 minutes of play.
Oregon flocked to the ball, put pressure on quarterback Derek Carr and limited the production of all the receivers in the first half of the game.
Though Fresno State did accumulate 25 points over the course of the game, one of their touchdowns came in garbage time while the other points came against a team that had already secured the victory.
Loser: Oregon Injury Status
Though Oregon did prevail in this game, they did so at the cost of Josh Huff and Carson York.
Huff went out with a knee injury early on in the game and while he says that he will be back at practice on Monday, it is uncertain as to the extent of his injury; he was spotted on the sidelines on crutches with his leg wrapped.
York, who had already been rehabbing from a knee injury suffered in the Rose Bowl, seemed to re-aggravate his injury against Fresno State and had to exit the game with a noticeable limp. Like Huff's injury, it is uncertain right now about how serious it really is.
Other players that did not see time for the Ducks due to injury on Saturday afternoon were John Boyett, Kyle Long and Jared Ebert.
Winner: De'Anthony Thomas
If people have not already noticed, De'Anthony Thomas is absolutely electrifying.
Against Fresno State Thomas once again showed his worth as he had seven carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Thomas was also the Ducks' leading receiver with 26 yards on four receptions.
Loser: Oregon Duck Second-Half Play
Since Chip Kelly was named the coach of Oregon, his teams have always been identified as great second-half teams.
In their first two games this season, albeit playing generally far ahead of their opponent, the Ducks have looked unmotivated and lackluster.
Watching the way the Ducks performed against Fresno State in the second half was much more troublesome as they continued to have their starters in the game.
Oregon needs to shore up its second-half play before conference games come around or else they will have a lot of trouble ensuring victories in what is shaping up to be a fairly competitive Pac-12.
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