Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011
Saturday night in the desert saw a lot of great highlights and, as always, some teachable moments for the Oregon Ducks football team.


- LaMichael James, staying in the game longer than some thought he should, surpassed Onterrio Smith's record for rushing yards in a single game with 288.

- James also surpassed Derek Loville for the school record in career rushing touchdowns.

- His Saturday night performance in Tucson vaulted James from 13th in conference history to 6th most rushing yards.

- Darron Thomas now has 12 touchdown passes on the season against just 1 interception.

- The Ducks defense recorded five sacks against Nick Foles; more than he had been sacked in the Wildcats first three games combined. It was also more than the Oregon defense had recorded combined in their first three games.

 COMMENTS from the boards:
Originally posted by ZookDuck69:
Darrin Thomas rushing his way down the field. Opens the way for LMJ for the TD. That's more like it!

Originally posted by guy_mamac:
LMJ seems to be on another level tonight.

Originally posted by ZookDuck69:
One thing I'm seeing tonight is LMJ hitting the hole with authority. Nice to see him not dancing as much. Either he's seeing the hole better OR the O line is actually making some holes. Either way, I like it.

Originally posted by AZQuackHead:
Dion doing his best kenny rowe impression, I love it

Originally posted by Tony DiFrancisco:
Loved to see that last sack by Turner.  3 man rush and that OL got owned. 4 sacks in the 1st half

Originally posted by Uduck10:
Not happy with our Defense whatsoever. We need to get our Corner situation figured out and fast. Happy with the offense though!

Originally posted by GOAT*75:
Not sure whether it is the "scheme" or the players themselves, but if the Ducks can't defend the pass better than they did tonight, Luck is going to light them up BAAAAAAAD!  How about playing some press coverage?  Jeezo!!

Originally posted by ducks39:
I wonder if people realize that we played them better this year than last year... on the road... we held Foles to fewer passing yards (2010:448; 2011 398) gave up a little bit more on the ground (2010: 58; 2011:82) gave up slightly more points (2010: 29; 2011: 31) less total yards (2010: 506; 2011: 480). We got to him more in this game than last year (2010: 3 sacks; 2011: 5).

On offense we rushed for more yards (2010: 389; 2011: 415) threw for less (2010: 148; 2011) had less total yards (2010:537; 2011:516) but scored more points (2010:29; 2011:56).

I think that the difficult part is that the Ducks were HAMMERING Arizona and allowed them to, momentarily at least, get back in the game. They were at home, made some good half time adjustments and made a nice run... fro the most part, playing AT ARIZONA we played them better this year than last...

This was a dominating 25 point win, on the road, against a Pac-12 opponent with one of the best QB's in the country. Are there some things to work on? Sure. But there always are....


This game actually went better than most people had projected. Most observers had speculated that Arizona would make the game interesting early and that the Ducks would pull away late. Instead, the Ducks pounded Arizona most of the first half and came out a little flat in the second half before eventually pulling away in the 4th quarter.

The glass half empty fans might point out all of the drops that Arizona had... drops happen to every team. It is the adversity that all teams must overcome. Oregon also had it's share of drops, balls thrown to Will Murphy and LaMichael James come to mind. James also bobbled a ball that, had he caught the ball cleanly, he might have had a significantly longer gain. Dropped passes do not define the performance, the ability to overcome those drops does. Arizona could not overcome drops. Not because they were not offensively capable of doing so, but because the Ducks defense made stops when they needed stops.

Was this the "prettiest" defensive game ever? Certainly not. However, this was a better defensive performance than the one the 2010 Ducks provided against Arizona. This was a road game in a hostile environment. There is reason to believe that this team is getting better every week.

Leading up to the game, some were of the mindset that the Ducks needed to focus on the pass and forget the run... and we see why they are not coaches. Had the Ducks approached the game in this manner, Arizona would have gashed the Ducks defense early with the running game. Rather than focusing on stopping the pass first, the Ducks did exactly what they always do; stop the run and try to make the team one-dimensional.

Give credit to Nick Foles, he played mistake free football. This is an NFL caliber QB who played a very good game. And yet the Ducks still sacked him more than he had been sacked in the previous three games combined.

All in all, when you can get a 25 point road win in the Pac-12, you take it, get on the plane and smile. It won't always be that easy.


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