One of the the residual benefits of Oregon’s furious pace is that it gives the team a relentless next-play mentality. There’s no frustration factor, no dwelling on mistakes. They correct them in real time. Over throw? Offensive pass interference penalty? Just throw a touchdown on the next play.
Oregon didn’t play a perfect game against Colorado, but they got a perfect result, rolling for 755 yards of offense despite shutting down the starters after Josh Huff’s determined 26-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 6:50 to go in the third quarter.
The twos and threes took over from there, coughing up three turnovers in three possessions, taking a knee at the one yard line to end the game.
DeAnthony Thomas sat out the game with an injured ankle, a boot on his foot, and tight end Colt Lyerla was left home serving a one-game suspension.
Marcus Mariota was effective if not flawless. He completed 16-27 passes for 355 yards and five tds (59.3%), adding two short touchdowns on the ground, 7 carries for 43 yards.
Receivers Huff and Bralon Addison had big days, each going over 100 yards with two touchdowns. Addison grabbed 5 balls for 156 yards, including td plays of 75 and 44 yards. Huff also caught 5 balls, 103 yards. He scored just before half on a 4-yard slant pattern, a tough catch with a defender draped all over him. He capped the Ducks point total with his second td, dragging a Colorado defender from the ten over the goal line.
Bryon Marshall rounded out the attack with a steady, reliable performance in the running game, 23 carries for 122 yards. He moved the chains and took good care of the football after 3 fumbles in the monsoon last week. Thomas Tyner flashed his game breaking potential with a 22-yard run and a 24-dash with a center screen play, but got stuffed badly twice when blocking failed, fumbled on a busted-up play in the third quarter, in all 10 carries for 31 yards. Thus far the running attack lacks the explosiveness it had with Barner and James, but both of these young players will show more with experience.
Colorado competed gamely. They opened the game with an unsuccessful onside kick, scored a touchdown on a wide receiver reverse option play that went 75 yards to take an early 10-8 lead. They went for it on fourth down three times. Connor Wood completed a 55-yard bomb to Paul Richardson on their opening drive, but the Ducks stiffened and held them to a field goal.
Oregon’s defense gave up four plays over 20 yards, but they held the Buffs to field goals on three Red Zone tries, and 0-15 on third downs. They forced 8 Colorado punts. Though the secondary was burned by Richardson for 5 catches and 134 yards, Terrance Mitchell made two interceptions.
The errors didn’t matter. Mark Helfrich was guarded in his praise, calling the Ducks play “just okay” after the game, but the next-play mentality led to a deluge of positive ones. There was no need to dwell on the errors. Through five games against overmatched opponents, the Ducks have not been flawless, but they have been formidable. Washington awaits, and they have Stanford in twenty minutes.