Oregon vs. ASU: Ducks Embarrass Sun Devils in 43-21 Rout
It only took 49 seconds for the Arizona State Sun Devils to take a lead on the No. 3 Oregon Ducks. That lead lasted for 23 seconds.
The pumped-up Devils forced a Marcus Mariota turnover on the game's opening drive, and Taylor Kelly threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Ozier on the next play to give ASU the 7-0 lead.
Two plays later, however, Kenjon Barner broke a 71-yard run, the Ducks completed the two-point conversion on a fake field goal, and the 43-21 rout was on. Oregon moved to 7-0 (4-0, Pac-12), while the Sun Devils dropped to 5-2 (3-1).
Note to BCS computers: Oregon is kind of good, too.
The Ducks proceeded to score on their next five possessions, and they weren't all a result of the big play, either.
Their second drive, which ended with a six-yard score from Mariota to Bralon Addison, lasted 14 plays. The next was 15 plays and was capped with a Bryan Bennett-to-Mariota two-yard throw—seriously.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. Thanks to interceptions by Kelly in his own territory, Barner added two short touchdown runs, and Mariota tossed in an 86-yard run.
If you lost count, that's six drives of two plays, 14 plays, 15 plays, three plays, three plays and two plays.
I do believe that's what you call well-rounded. Oregon has the obvious home-run threats all over the field, but it proved on Thursday night it can also grind out long drives.
Oh yeah, and it was all in the first half against an Arizona State defense that was not only at home but was ninth in the nation in scoring defense coming in.
Where will Oregon be ranked in the BCS after this week?
Of course, the offensive outburst—which slowed down in the second half after things were all locked up with a 36-point lead—might not even be the most impressive part of Oregon's road win.
The Sun Devils were averaging 40.5 points and 464 yards per game coming in. They were turning the ball over 1.6 times per contest.
But the Ducks defense, which often gets overshadowed by its entertaining, fast-paced offense, held ASU to 14 points (seven of which came in the fourth quarter when the game was well over; Bennett also threw a pick-six for the other score), 408 yards and forced four turnovers.
The Ducks host Colorado next week (oh, the humanity) while Arizona State will try to get back on track at home against UCLA.
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