Oregon Football: Offensive Success against Nevada Sets Up for More Next Week

Matt VelureContributor IISeptember 10, 2011

De'Anthony Thomas Debuts in Eugene With a Win
De'Anthony Thomas Debuts in Eugene With a WinJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Oregon just completed their beatdown of Nevada here in Eugene. Being a huge Chris Ault fan, I have to admit surprise about how poorly Nevada played.

Nevada is consistently one of the nation’s best-coached teams, and I did have higher expectations of the Wolfpack today. I’m sure they did as well.

It is true that Oregon released some pent-up frustrations as many predicted, but let’s not forget that Nevada beat Boise State last year. Of course, a huge part of last year’s team was not present today—San Francisco 49er rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

It was great to see that De’Anthony Thomas made significant progress over the past week and overcame his fumbling tendency as displayed at the LSU game. That ball was “high and tight” all game long.

I’ll say it now: LaMichael James may not want to get too used to being Oregon’s all-time leading rusher.

The Duck receiver corps continued their maturation process. Lavasier Tuinei had a better outing today, but it should be noted that the two leading receivers today for Oregon were the two running backs, Thomas and James. That will have to change when Pac-12 league play begins.

It was great to see Cliff Harris and Kiko Alonso back on the field. Both of these players will play a critical role in Oregon’s defensive success as the season progresses.

Now onto Missouri State. Admittedly another tune-up game for the Ducks. MSU was thrashed by Arkansas the first week of the season losing 51-7, and as of this writing, their experience at Eastern Kentucky wasn’t going well, either.

This week is Missouri State’s bowl game, and I wouldn’t expect them to lie down and let Oregon have their way. However, look for another opportunity to see Duck backup players like Bryan Bennett get quality and valuable game-time experience.

This week’s Missouri State game is a critical final test because next the Ducks open Pac-12 league play at Arizona. I know that the Wildcats had their problems at Oklahoma State this week but do not expect an easy trip to the desert for the Ducks.