Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ducks Win, 48-14, to Go Unbeaten in Nonconference Play

The second-ranked Oregon Ducks shook off a sluggish start to overcome an early deficit and wrap up nonconference play unbeaten after a 48-14 victory over Wyoming in Autzen Stadium on Saturday.

How it Happened: A Pac-12 Networks telecast necessitated an 11 a.m. PT kickoff time, and for a spell it seemed like Oregon had decided to sleep in. The Cowboys converted 5-of-6 third-down attempts on their first two possessions, sandwiched around the Ducks failing to score from their own 2-yard line. That helped Wyoming take an early 7-0 lead, but ordered soon was restored and the Ducks scored the next 41 points unanswered.

Who Stood Out: Marcus Mariota threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, including a leaping, somersaulting effort in the second quarter to put the Ducks ahead 20-7. He was on the move several times throughout the game, as the offensive line adjusted to the early loss of left tackle Jake Fisher due to injury. That put walk-on junior Matt Pierson in at left tackle, on a day when true freshman Tyrell Crosby made his first career start at right tackle. Defensively, safety Erick Dargan had two more interceptions, the first of which set up Mariota's acrobatic touchdown.

What it Means: The Ducks (3-0) remained unbeaten through nonconference play, knocking off South Dakota, Michigan State and Wyoming. The red flag entering the Pac-12 gantlet will be depth at offensive tackle, as the Ducks were without Fisher, Tyler Johnstone, Andre Yruretagoyena and Elijah George due to leg injuries as of Saturday.

Odds and ends: Mariota threw a touchdown pass for the 29th straight game, every appearance of his career. … Redshirt freshman Chris Seisay made his first career start. Senior Troy Hill suited up but did not appear, after playing through a knee issue last week against the Spartans. … The crowd of 56,533 gave Oregon its 99th consecutive sellout.

Next Up: The No. 2 Ducks (3-0) open Pac-12 play next Saturday in Pullman, Wash., when they take on Washington State at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.

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