The Oregon Ducks ran their record to 2-0 with a 59-10 victory over Virginia at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, televised nationally on ABC/ESPN2.
Oregon drove 89 yards with the opening kickoff, scoring in 5 plays, Marcus Mariota sprinting 71 yards straight up the middle untouched on a quarterback draw. Senior quarterback Dustin Haines, this year’s holder, kept on the Swinging Gate play for the 2-point conversion and a quick 8-0 lead.
The defense forced a three and out. Alex Vozenilek shanked the punt, and the Duck offense got the ball back quickly at the 50. Three runs by Byron Marshall gained just 2 yards. The tailbacks had little success running inside all day.
The Ducks second score came after Josh Huff layed out to block a punt midway through the first, giving the Quack Attack the ball back at the Hoos 14. Daryle Hawkins made a nice grab over the middle to get the ball to the 1 on second and 11, and DAT punched it in for the first of his three touchdowns.
Thomas found room outside all day, showing great patience, vision and cutting ability. His 40-yard dash down the right sideline gave Oregon a 21-0 lead with 4:28 to play in the 1st quarter. For the day Thomas darted for 124 yards on 11 carries, 11.3 yards a carry. In two weeks he has 252 yard and 5 tds as a tailback.
Virginia got on the board a few plays later when 2nd team tailback Kahlek Shepherd ran through the Oregon defense on 45-yard stretch play left. The Ducks missed two tackles on the play and the linebackers failed to fill the hole. It will be a teachable moment in Sunday’s video review.
For the defense, Tony Washington had two sacks and a forced fumble. Rodney Hardrick made an athletic interception over the middle, looking like Kiko Alonso in the Rose Bowl. Reserve cornerback Dior Mathis intercepted a pass in the end zone and weaved through the Virginia offense for 97 yards down to the Cav 4. Terrance Mitchell, ejected last week for a targeting foul, intercepted a pass in the first quarter, The Black Momba striking for the 40-yarder on the very next play.
It wasn’t a perfect performance by Oregon. They were flagged for 11 penalties for 119 yards. They missed tackles and missed blocks. There were whole series where the offense lost its rhythm and looked disorganized. Despite winning by 49 they have plenty to improve upon with 2-0 SEC opponent Tennessee coming to Autzen next Saturday.
Gary Campbell unveiled a new offensive weapon in the fourth quarter. Thomas Tyner came off the bench, running with speed, effectiveness and vision, 4 carries for 51 yards and 2 tds. He cut beautifully on a 31-yard td run to close out the scoring, and the most gratifying thing to see was the reception he got from his teammates. Thomas Tyner is now a Duck, with an exciting career ahead of him.