The Oregon Ducks made an impressive statement on Saturday, as they beat the Michigan State Spartans by a score of 46-27 in Autzen Stadium.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter, as the first five drives of the game resulted in punts. Oregon ended up scoring the first points of the game on a one-yard Thomas Tyner run; the Ducks also successfully converted the two-point conversion to give them an 8-0 lead.
Michigan State dominated the second quarter as they scored 24-points, Oregon only scored 10 in the same quarter, and the Spartans took a nine point lead into halftime. The familiar narrative of Oregon being unable to beat physical teams became prominent throughout the media’s halftime shows and on Twitter.
Oregon ended up proving everyone wrong as they outscored the Spartans 28-3 in the second half, thus giving the Ducks a blow-out victory over No. 7 Michigan State.
1) Oregon Ducks: The Ducks blow out victory, at home, over Michigan State was easily the highlight of the Pac-12’s day. Oregon’s romp improves the Ducks record to 2-0 (2-0 at home), and is going to look really good in the eyes of the playoff committee.
2) UCLA Bruins: The Bruins didn’t play well, or clean, in their seven-point victory over Memphis, but the bottom line is that the Bruins were (again) able to find off the upset bid by a supposedly over-matched appointment. Head coach Jim Mora is going to need to figure out why his team is struggling to earn wins against teams that the Bruins should be beating handily, before UCLA loses a game that it shouldn’t.
3) Stanford Cardinal: Stanford’s loss to USC on the Farm is disappointing for a squad that many expected to be able to contend for a playoff spot. Head coach David Shaw’s questionable play calling, plus terrible on-field execution by the players, left points out on the field for the Cardinal and it resulted in the team’s first loss of the 2014 season.
4) USC Trojans: The Trojans had a rough week PR wise prior to their game against Stanford, but the squad managed to pull off the upset on the road. While USC’s defense played a crucial part in the squad’s upset over the Cardinal, Steve Sarkisian’s squad benefited from some questionable decisions coming from the opposing sideline — and barely overcame bad decisions on its own — for the victory.
5) Arizona State: It’s good to see one of the Pac-12’s top teams blow out a team it’s supposed to blow out. The No. 17 Sun Devils 58-23 victory over the New Mexico Lobos was probably relaxing for ASU fans.
6) Washington Huskies: Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Davis is one heck of a QB, but even he probably didn’t expect to toss seven touchdowns, and no interceptions, against the Washington defense. Yet that’s exactly what he did in Eastern’s seven point loss to the Huskies in UW’s home opener. Next up for the Huskies is a home game against Illinois, which actually might be an easier match-up for the Dawgs.
7) Oregon State Beavers: Oregon State became the second straight Pac-12 squad to make the trip to Honolulu, Hawaii and barely hang on for the win. The Rainbow Warriors scored 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull within eight of the Beavers. Fortunately for OSU, the Beavers won both games and are 2-0 on the season.
8) Arizona Wildcats: The UTSA Roadrunners are easily the most experienced team that the Wildcats will face all season — the Roadrunners have 38 seniors on their roster. So it wasn’t too surprising that the Wildcats found themselves in a close game against UTSA; what was surprising was the fact that it was a defensive struggle between the squads. But a win is a win, especially when it means your team is still undefeated.
9) Utah Utes: Utah blew out Fresno State 59-27 in the team’s second game of the season. The Utes offense have scored 115-points, and the defense has only allowed 41 in that time span.
10) California Golden Bears: The Golden Bears offense scored 50-points for the first time during the Sonny Dykes era, as they smashed in-state opponent Sacramento State 55-14. Cal’s offense seems to have made a lot of progress in its second season under Dykes’s leadership.
11) Washington State Cougars: The Cougars trip to Reno, Nev. resulted in WSU’s second loss of the season. But his time, it wasn’t the run defense’s fault.
12) Colorado Buffaloes: The Buffs struggled to beat U-Mass. While Colorado did end up getting the win — the final score was 41-38 Buffs — the game was a lot closer than it probably should have been. Colorado had more total yards, but averaged .1 yards less per play than U-Mass did…that’s not a way to consistently win ball games.