Virginia won today. Coming off a bye last week they court-martialed FCS foe Virginia Military Institute 49-0, paced by two touchdowns from David Watford and 271 yards rushing and four touchdowns from their tailbacks. Now 2-1, the Cavs open conference play next Saturday with a road game against Pittsburgh.
Lache Seastrunk enjoyed another big outing running the football for #20 Baylor. He carried 10 times for 156 yards, including a 75-yard td dash in the third quarter. It was the former Oregon redshirt's third straight 100-yard game to begin the season, and with 417 rushing yards and 6 tds, he's beginning to look like the Big 12's leading Heisman candidate.
Two other former Ducks languished in the shallows. Bryan Bennett left the game early with an injury in Southeastern Louisiana State's 34-31 win over Samford, and Tra Carson had just one carry for 3 yards for Texas A&M. Bennett managed just 3-6 passing for 26 yards, 3 carries for 8 yards before being sidelined.
Nicholls evened their record at 2-2 with a 42-22 win over Langston. The Colonels lost 70-7 to Louisiana-Lafayette a week ago, beat Western Michigan 27-23 in week 2.
Auto-graft Football: Heisman Trophy frontrunner Johnny Manziel passed for 244 yards and a touchdown, ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns as the Aggies hobbled SMU 42-13.
Tennessee fell 31-17 at Florida. They led early after a 62-yard pick six, but couldn't get anything going against a stifling Gator defense, managing just 220 yards and 12 first downs on offense. The 2-2 Vols host South Alabama next, but have to tackle Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama in October.
Around the PAC-12, the Beavers escaped with a 34-30 win at San Diego State, intercepting a pass and returning for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. UCLA pummeled New Mexico State 59-13. USC edged Utah State 17-14. Washington skinned Idaho State 56-0, and Stanford stuck a fork in Arizona State 42-28. Utah and Washington State are in control at the half in games over BYU and Idaho.
Nationally in the Top Ten, #1 Alabama rammed Colorado State, 31-6. #3 Clemson falcon-punched North Carolina State on Thursday night, 26-14. The #4 Ohio State Buckeyes felonized Florida A&M 76-0. Teddy Bridgewater tossed 4 tds and a salad in #7 Louisville's 72-0 feasting over Florida International.
The Ducks didn't play today. They're spending a long weekend away from football, and after checking on today's games and the star turns in both laughers and first conference showdowns, it's apparent that Oregon's road to an undefeated season, national title, conference championship or Heisman Trophy is a lot harder than fans might have assumed after cruise control victories over Nicholls, the Wahoos, and the reluctant Volunteers.
Stanford dominated a decent ASU team in the first half. It was a bruising display of physical football. They led 29-0 at the half, 39-7 after three quarters. David Shaw probably dialed it down a little too soon, but before he did, the fast, mean Cardinal defense completely wrecked everything quarterback Taylor Kelly and the Sun Devil offense tried.
A late ASU rally made this score look closer than it was. The Cardinal destroyed Todd Graham's spread offense in this game. They blocked two punts, intercepted two passes, had three sacks and 10 tackles for loss. In the second quarter they forced three straight three and outs. They held the visitors to 2.1 yards a carry and 6.6 yards per pass attempt. Offensively they had 240 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground. Kevin Hogan threw a pair of scoring passes to Ty Montgomery, who's emerged as the play-action deep threat. Hogan started the game 4-5 passing. The fourth quarter surge was a mirage. Stanford began the night with a 30-minute punch in the mouth.
The big dominating wins in tuneup games by Washington, UCLA, Louisville, Ohio State are a reminder that a 3-0 nonconference start was just the beginning of the challenge for the Ducks. The PAC-12 has gone 29-4 in nonconference play.
Today it looked like Ed Cunningham was a little bit right. Oregon has won big, but they haven't been physical or flawless in dispatching three teams they were supposed to dispatch. They haven't been able to run inside. They haven't started cleanly. There have been too many penalties , blown assignments, missed tackles, dropped passes, errant throws.
These key rivals all got better today and learned some important things about how good they can be. The Ducks took a long weekend off. It's a deserved respite from the sacrifices college football requires, but on Monday, they'll have work to do.
The ducks do not need to run between the tackles to win. The ducks spread offense is designed specifically to force defenses to pick a poison so to speak. In stanfords case, if their strength is the lines, and they commit to stopping the ducks run first, the weaknesses will be there still in stanfords defense: outside running, and the passing game, with mariotas run ability as the ace in the deck. So, the idea the ducks will somehow be handicapped or fighting uphill tobeat stanford, i for one do not buy at all. Kelly blew it with stubborn play calling last year. And, even in spite of his stubborness, if the duck kicker makes a field goal, i am highly confident the ducks would have won the game in OT. Thats all rear view mirror now. The present team is better in so many ways, and the play callers are perhaps that much netter this year too. I also watched stanford play, army, weak!! stanford is over rated. And ASU is an enigma team, has talent but plays inconsistently, you cant read that game as simply as you might think. We will soon find out more about stanford, but to me, so far. they are lesser than the luck teams.
I agree that running between tackles is lagging, so far. Especially early when you want to establish that. It would be great to see more push up the middle with Marshall, Tyner, even Lyerla. Ducks had trouble all game running the edges vs Stanford last year. I would think the improving and deeper passing game, with Huff, the Mundtster (still early to gauge but very promising), Addison, Lowe and Hawkins (plus Lyerla and Brown) will open things up for some up-the-gut running. Then with DAT and Tyner in space, and the threat of Super Mario to do, well, whatever, it might finally be more than the Trees can handle. But many challenging games to go before that one. One at a time, win the day.
He's been right for awhile. Ultimately, the blowouts mean absolutely nothing. Oregon has got to, got to, got to run between the tackles and play a more physical brand of football it they want to beat Stanford. So far, despite the great scores, there isn't much to be proud of in our interior run game. A left guard HAS to emerge, or Oregon will lose.
@nyduck The inside Zone-Read has been a key part of Oregon's attack, but I do agree that so far they've done a good job of compensating with other weapons. Stanford has good lateral pursuit and tougher corners than the teams the Ducks have faced so far, and more defensive intensity.
@rgyle True enough about one challenge at a time. I was looking at it more in terms of how they had to improve to be ready for the stiffer challenges that come later.
@stroupenator You keep downgrading Oregon's offensive line, particularly Mana Greig. Steve Greatwood has coached at Oregon for 21 years and sent 10 guys to the NFL. He was Football Scoop's Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008, molding offensive lines that power an offense that's averaged 45 points and over 600 yards a game for the last four seasons, on teams that have finished 3rd, 4th and 2nd in the country. He's pretty good at his job.
@stroupenator Couple of thoughts on the idea oregon has needs on offense,,,
1) Under kelly not too infrequently his teams would have some slow starts, even some poor halves offensively. But, In virtually every case the defense was solid and or rose to the occasion, and held the opponent down : ie, last years Arizona game. So, I think the current ducks, which are just an extension of Kelly's system, is not a surprise they perform the same way. But, they won almost all of those games too, and the ones they lost were by the closest of margins. When last were the ducks not in game? when last were they blown out? i cant remember either.
2) The current ducks offense cannot be contained, Yes, that is a big statement! But, if I am correct, this years offense is the best ever, and has so many weapons, and so much depth at all positions, that it cannot be contained. Even by the best defenses. This we will find out in the fullness of time, But, I see not only a balance of offense, but a depth and skill players that are beyond what has come before to date. And, believe me I like you agree and know how great the ducks offenses have been up to now.
3) From what I have seen so far this year, The ducks passing game is better then ever and getting better than ever. And it will play the key over the top dimension, that allows the ducks to do what I always wished CK had done in the auburn and last years Stanford games losses. And, that is if stuffed at the lines, beat them over the top, and use better play calling in order to most efficaciously use the superior overall talent that the ducks offense has, to overcome even the very best defenses out there. I am highly confident that the ducks have that talent advantage number one, and I am hoping and beginning to see signs that the MH/frost play calling is maybe that added edge, that little better than CK, and or a little less conservative, a little more flexible and willing to change and react, and if so the ducks offense cannot be stopped by any defense. Meaning they can score plenty enough points this year, that when combined with a very good to emerging excellent duck defense, will beat any team they play.
Of course we are going to find out if my hunches and current view of this years ducks is correct. And I will add that I in relation to all the flaws of the other major contenders I see the ducks as the best bet right now to win it all. Happy to say that!
@Duckbill Florida's quarterback Jeff Driskel went down early and is lost for the year. The Vols will be more competitive in the SEC this year but they have a brutal schedule.
@Duckbill Watched it on and off and the Gators QB leg broke in 1st Q. Back-up did pretty well but it likely slowed their scoring. Vols were never really in it, up and down. Still, coming back and losing by only 16 to the #19 team in their crib is better than by 45 points. Vols have potential under their new coach and system.
@greenandyellow He had that much time in the pocket.
@nyduck They're showing some life, although the big loss to ULM is alarming. Takes some of the luster off the Duck win, you'd think. The way the polls and computers work, it's not just who you beat, but who your opponents beat after you beat them, and this could be a year where that matters a lot. Some years the BCS has gotten lucky and it's all sorted out, but this season there could be four or five unbeaten teams at the end. Ohio State, Louisville, Alabama, Clemson, and Oregon all have the schedule and the talent to run the table. In BCS math you want your victims to do well.
You say this, and I've heard from others Greatwood is very good at his job. As I've followed Oregon, I've noticed - as Oregon has emerged as a national brand - Neal, Pellum, Campbell, Osborne, Azzinaro, and Helfrich have all been elite assistants. They've constantly adapted to the increased pace, and so has Greatwood. But where they differ is in their abilities to recruit. Greatwood is the only coach who still plays walk-ons, and he's lost numerous four-star recruits, which has coincidentally augmented Stanford's brand. I can easily argue Greatwood, as beloved as he is, is the Achilles Heel for Oregon's entire program. They will win tons of games with him; they will lose the ones that matter most with him as well.
@rgyle @DuckbillI know we are on the same side,, but I disagree on the reading of the Stanford vs ASU game. ASU is a Jekyll Hyde type team. They have talent but it is erratic. At least early and so far, it only shows up for half of games. As the Stanford game last night again showed, asu didn't show up in the first half, but suddenly appeared in the second half! ASU played a very hard tough physical opponent the week before in Wisconsin(not AT Wisconsin). And they were beaten up relative to Stanford who played army the week before, So, I believe that Stanford caught a break in catching ASU last night. Not that ASU necessarily would have won at full strength but they were weakened to some degree relative to Stanford. Against Army just down the road form me, and a game that was on tv here, i was shocked at how army was very competitive with Stanford for much of that game, despite being outweighed by 50 to 75 pounds a man on the lines, they were tied at half time, 14-14. How many points would you guess the duck would have put on Army there in a first half?? did you answer MORE than 14??!! Stanford is not THAT good, not an elite dominant type of team. The Ducks are. At least right now, that is how Stanford is, and the ducks are way better.
@Dale Newton @nyduck At least Nicholls now has a 2 win season going, and they may garner a few more. Glad to see the wahoos winning as well. Was rooting for the Vols at Florida, but they are SEC middling so far.
Seems like Stanford's mission is to destroy spread-option teams. We'll soon see how the best one in the country fares on The Farm. Ducks will have the Trees vs. ASU, Huskies and UCLA film to study in their bye week before Nov. 7. Trees get a bye week too, hmmm. That game looks to be natty quality.
@Dale Newton @nyduck @Duckbill @rgyle so far I have a good feeling about Helfrich/Frost combo calling plays on offense,, I just get a sense they may be a little more creative and dare I say 'a better analytic read of the opponent in game' then the last few years,, it is still too early to know for sure,,, but I get a feeling that the utter efficiency of the offense the last few games overall may be saying that,, the collection of talent assembled under CK is also truly awesome.. and they did that without top 10 recruiting classes,,, an eye for talent to fit their systems,,defense and offense,,, and excellent player development.. If they don't turn the ball over the duck offense cannot be contained by any defense.
ASU was beat up by Big physical Wisconsin the week before,, Many things were to Stanford's advantage in that game,, IMHO. The pundits love to love 'good ole stanford', i think, as I did too in past history, when they were that lovable brainiac school team that usually always lost to the Pac 10 powers, usc, wash, ucla, of long history,,but as underdog would occasionally pull the big upset of usc, notre dame, or some big power team,, they still get that warm fuzzy 'good guys' association with them, it tends I think now to lead to them being over rated to some extent because of it,, doesn't mean they are not a very good team lately, that much is undeniably obvious, but they now get too much benefit of that historic goodwill IMHO.
@nyduck @Duckbill @Dale Newton @rgyle It was weird too that De'Anthony Thomas was having more success picking his way through tiny holes with his quickness, but the Ducks kept stubbornly trying the stretch play to Barner.
Regarding Stanford Saturday, in the first half of the ASU game they showed the potential to be a physically dominating team similar to the Alabama squads of the last four years.
@Duckbill @nyduck @Dale Newton @rgyle The ducks lost by 3 points to the tree last year, because there pathetic field goal kicker couldn't kick a 25 yard field goal. And mostly because CK refuses to change his strategy and pass the ball, etc, use his talent better on that day,, he had a problem with that in big games. problem is that his teams were always neck and neck in those games, which instead of being down 2 touchdowns, let CK hold tight to his convictions for a game plan, and not understand that he could blow them out of the water and not have it be a nail biter by going in another direction. That was CK's only real flaw.
Now, the NY giants who beat the NE patriots 2 Superbowls, LOST to NE in the final game of the season in 2007. So, NE was regarded as the better team, follow me??!! but come a month later, it was the giants going home with the hardware,, capiche??!! Not the patriots, that's simply a perfect example of the flaw in thinking that the best team is the one who wins first,, or on 'that day'. Plenty of better teams have lost games to lesser teams on given days. OK, enough of past history,, as i said,, the past years are not relevant to today's teams in ranking them.
Now, this year the ducks are a machine gaining uphill momentum more so completely than any other college team out there. Second, I watched ASU in its last 2 games, and they are not a very good team right now. NOT. So Stanford beating ASU does not impress me as much as some might like to think it should. Then, did you watch the Stanford - Army game?? It was a struggle for Stanford against a vastly over-matched glorified 1AA team that Army, though playing in 1A league, clearly is not a 1A team. Maybe you don't know much about Army or west point etc, but believe me Army is like a team of complete 'walk-ons' (FCS level/IAAA) comparably speaking, and guys who are not at West Point firstly because of or to play football. Stanford won the game but it was much more competeive than had the Ducks played Army. I have little doubt that Oregon would beat Army at Army by at least 50 points, say 65-10. It was a huge tell as to just how much lesser a football power the present Stanford team is this year versus and relative to the present Oregon ducks team.
Stanford was better last year, and better in Lucks last year then it is right now. Stanford is highly over rated right now, and going to be defeated before they meet the ducks, But keep drinking that red tree Kool-aide at your own peril. You will find out soon enough.
@Duckbill @nyduck @Dale Newton @rgyle OVER RATED. In the fullness of time you will see. They did not crush ASU, and it would not have been 6o-10,, but keep drinking the stanford koolaide if it suits you, NOT ME.
ps.. wisconsin was a good team last year,, yes,, but not nearly as good as the russell wilson led team the year before,, easy to over state the past. Last years ducks were better than stanford,, but last year is irrelevant now. You dont get extra credit for your past.
@Dale Newton @nyduck @rgyle @Duckbill of course,, but this duck team to my eye is way ahead of schedule at this point in the season,, and like all the good teams ,, only going to get that much better. Considering how good they are right now, i see reason for high level confidence , to put it mildly. I believed they were the best team at the end of last year; Better then Alabama, and yes better than Stanford. I am certain Alabama was happy they only had to beat the cream puff that was Notre Dame, versus the next alternative which would have been the ducks. To all who will knee jerk and say, oh wait that's ridiculous because Stanford beat Oregon, i say the best team does not always win every game they play, and if there were a rematch last year stan and ore, i would have laid money on the ducks for sure. Sometime in the future when they get to a 12 team playoff system, we will see those rematches like ore and stan might have been, and we will see that who won the first isn't who wins the second all the time. STANFORD IS OVER RATED!