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Oregon Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Arizona Game

Chris AndersonCorrespondent IIISeptember 23, 2012

Oregon Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Arizona Game

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    The Oregon Ducks quelled any thoughts of an Arizona upset on Saturday night as they took down the Wildcats 49-0 behind a stout defensive effort. 

    The Ducks, heading into this contest not really facing a "true" opponent in 2012, showed why they are one of college football's BCS National Championship contenders as they manhandled the Wildcats at a rowdy and motivated Autzen Stadium.

    Known for their offensive prowess, Oregon's defense stole the night as they shutout the Wildcats for the first time since 1964. The Duck defense totaled five turnovers on the night, two of which were interceptions returned for touchdowns. 

    With brilliant efforts from numerous players, the Ducks proved themselves to be one of the most talented teams in college football.

    Here are the grades from every Duck starter on Saturday night. 

Quarterback: Marcus Mariota

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    Marcus Mariota once again showed fans why he was named the Ducks' starting quarterback over Bryan Bennett on Saturday night against the Arizona Wildcats.

    Though Bennett did see action during the game, Mariota commanded the Oregon offense down the field en route to 20 of 35 passes completed for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

    Mariota was not, however, invincible. 

    Despite leading the Ducks to victory, Mariota found himself in trouble early on as he coughed up a fumble that could have given the Wildcats the early momentum to take the lead in the game. Add an interception into the mix and Mariota was not exactly perfect against Arizona. 

    Overall, however, Marcus showed good poise despite some rocky moments against the Wildcats.

    Grade: B

Running Back: Kenjon Barner

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    Though Barner did not break the 100-yard barrier on Saturday night against the Wildcats, he did everything he could to get something going on the ground for the Ducks.

    With unbalanced play from the offensive line, Barner found a hard time getting anything going on the ground on Saturday night despite rushing for 88 yards. There were no big, outstanding runs that the Ducks have become used to, but Barner was stable enough to keep the Ducks moving down the field. 

    Grade: B

Running Back: De'Anthony Thomas

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    For the first time in quite some time, De'Anthony Thomas (a.k.a. The Black Mamba) was held out of the end zone. 

    Though he failed to cross the goal line, Thomas continued to help lead the Ducks down the field as he rushed for 54 yards, caught two passes for eleven yards and returned a punt for 38 yards. 

    Thomas had just under 100 all-purpose yards on the night and was relatively quiet all night. 

    I guess lightning can't strike every Saturday. 

    Grade: B

Wide Receiver: Keanon Lowe

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    Lowe, one of Oregon's more talented receivers, was limited in his action on Saturday night against the Wildcats. 

    Lowe had just one reception for one yard against the Wildcats, not really being able to create anything against an Arizona defense that held its own against the Ducks for quite awhile. 

    That being said, his lack of production was partly a result of other receivers stepping up and having decent games themselves, not because he was playing particularly poorly. 

    Grade: C

Wide Receiver: Bralon Addison

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    Bralon Addison had his coming out game against the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday. The young and talented receiver caught three passes for 83 yards and one touchdown.

    Addison showed his speed and ability to get into the open field and bust past defenders, hauling in a 55-yard touchdown reception that sealed the win for the Ducks.

    If Addison plays as well as he did on Saturday for the rest of the season, the Ducks will find themselves with quite the receiving corps. 

    Grade:

Tight End: Colt Lyerla

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    Colt Lyerla is a monster. 

    The talented tight end broke out last night against Arizona as he not only hauled in two passes for 53 yards but also rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

    Using his physical force to intimidate defenders, Lyerla showed a strong burst of speed to complement his strength. 

    With Lyerla now emerging as a new offensive weapon for the Ducks, expect to see his stats elevate further as the season progresses.

    Grade:

Left Tackle: Tyler Johnstone

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    Tyler Johnstone played an impressive game despite the offensive line allowing some pressing in the Oregon backfield against the Arizona Wildcats. 

    These guys will all be getting the same grade.

    Grade: B

Left Guard: Ryan Clanton

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    Ryan Clanton played an impressive game despite the offensive line allowing some pressing in the Oregon backfield against the Arizona Wildcats. 

    These guys will all be getting the same grade.

    Grade: B

Center: Hroniss Grasu

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    Hroniss Grasu played an impressive game despite the offensive line allowing some pressing in the Oregon backfield against the Arizona Wildcats. 

    These guys will all be getting the same grade.

    Grade: B

Right Guard: Nick Cody

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    Nick Cody played an impressive game despite the offensive line allowing some pressing in the Oregon backfield against the Arizona Wildcats. 

    These guys will all be getting the same grade.

    Grade: B

Right Tackle: Jake Fisher

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    Jake Fisher played an impressive game despite the offensive line allowing some pressing in the Oregon backfield against the Arizona Wildcats. 

    These guys will all be getting the same grade.

    Grade: B

Defensive End: Taylor Hart

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    Taylor Hart was able to help the Oregon defensive line put pressure on the Wildcats on Saturday night as the Ducks' defense flexed its true power. 

    Though he only had three tackles (all of them assisted), Hart played heads-up football throughout the night and recovered a fumble for the Ducks.

    Grade: B

Defensive Tackle: Isaac Remington

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    Isaac Remington was another part of the Oregon defense that shined bright against the Wildcats. 

    Remington totaled four tackles on the night (three solo, one assisted) and was able to put pressure on the Wildcats' backfield as he had one tackle for a loss. 

    Grade: B+

Defensive Tackle: Wade Keliikipi

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    Wade Keliikipi is yet another player who was part of the Oregon defensive line that did not let the Wildcats get anything going on the ground on Saturday night. 

    Keliikipi accumulated three tackles (two solo, one assisted) over the night, including one for a loss of one. He was also integral in halting the passing game as he had one block on the night.

    Grade: B+

Defensive End: Dion Jordan

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    Dion Jordan played a sound game on Saturday against the Wildcats as he did everything he needed to do to give the Ducks the win. 

    Jordan recorded four tackles on the night, forced a fumble and had a pass breakup to pad his statistics.

    Grade: A

Middle Linebacker: Kiko Alonso

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    Kiko Alonso was phenomenal on Saturday night, racking up nine total tackles (six solo, three unassisted), one tackle for loss and one interception that he returned for 16 yards.

    Alonso played a strong linebacking game and showed the nation why he is one of the most underrated defensive players in college football.

    Grade:

Weak Linebacker: Michael Clay

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    If Kiko Alonso was phenomenal, Michael Clay was virtually perfect against the Wildcats. 

    He totaled 13 tackles on the night, including two for a loss. Clay also recorded the Ducks' only sack of the night while also forcing a fumble.

    Using his innate football skill, Clay flew all over the field en route to leading the Oregon defense to an astounding victory. 

    Grade: A+

Strong Linebacker: Boseko Lokombo

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    Boseko Lokombo was one of the only Oregon defenders to have a fairly quiet night against the Wildcats.

    Lokombo failed to register a tackle but did help to get pressure on the Wildcat backfield at times.

    Grade: C

Cornerback: Terrance Mitchell

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    Terrance Mitchell played a sound game at corner for the Ducks. 

    The Wildcats did not pay as much attention to his side as they did to Ekpre-Olomu's so Mitchell was only able to rack up two total tackles on the night, both being assisted.

    Grade: B

Free Safety: Avery Patterson

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    Avery Patterson had a great game against a stout Wildcat passing attack.

    Patterson recorded six total tackles (third on the team) and a pass breakup, not allowing Arizona's receivers to break his defense.

    Grade: B+

Strong Safety: Brian Jackson

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    Brian Jackson was another player who had a sound night for the Ducks on defense.

    Jackson totaled five tackles and one pass breakup as he, like Avery Patterson, limited the amount of damage the Wildcats could do through the air and on the ground.

    Grade: B+

Cornerback: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

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    Ifo Ekpre-Olomu arguably had the best game out of all the Oregon football players against the Wildcats.

    Not only did Ekpre-Olomu have three pass breakups, the standout corner also recorded two interceptions for 54 yards, taking one back for a touchdown. 

    Ekpre-Olomu held his own as the Wildcats continued to pick on his side throughout the night, demonstrating the ability to hang with top receivers. 

    Grade: A+

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