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The Sports Daily > Duck Stops Here
Tour of the day in college football provides measuring stick for the Ducks

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.