Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011
Three Plays That Made the Difference: Arizona State

2nd Quarter, 1:10

Trailing 17-14, with Arizona State driving looking to extend their lead Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler looked to break the Ducks backs; but he met All-American Cliff Harris who intercepted the ball in the end zone and returned it 50 yards to midfield. Three quick Darron Thomas passes took the Ducks to a go-ahead touchdown going into the half.

3rd Quarter, 9:18

Leading 28-24, the Ducks forced a punt by Arizona State. Facing a long field starting from their own 12 yard line, Bryan Bennett stepped into the backfield on 1st and 10, taking the snap in their normal formation with Kenjon Barner to his right side. At the snap, Bennett made his zone read then a brilliantly deceptive fake to Kenjon before sprinting to the right side for a 36 yard gain. Suddenly, the Ducks were close to scoring again. That is exactly what they did just 4 plays later to take turn a four point game into an 11 point lead.

4th Quarter, 9:00

Facing a 3rd and long after the Ducks defense had forced lost yardage on the previous two plays, Brock Osweiler dropped back to pass, with excellent coverage down field, Osweiler could find no one open, so he scrambled. But, he came up 2 yards short of the first down. With three timeouts in his pocket, Dennis Erickson gambled and punted. Trailing by 14, the team would not get the ball back until only 4:30 remained in the game.

3rd Quarter, 14:53

(This segment normally only has three plays, but for the second week in a row there was a fourth play that is critical to the rest of the season. Therefor, an "overtime" play.)

At the eerily same time on the clock, though in a different quarter, as LaMichael James' injury against Cal, Darron Thomas took his read on the left side, and ran the ball for a nice 6 yard gain. At the end of the play, an Arizona State defender fell on Thomas' legs awkwardly. After laying on the ground for several minutes, Thomas was able to jog off the field. After being examined on the sideline, Thomas was seen jogging into the locker room, then returned to the field a short while later. The students announced his return to the sideline with a rowdy cheer.

Here at The Other Side of Duck, we wish Darron Thomas a speedy recovery and the best wishes of all Duck fans.


  1. I would have included the personal foul on Thomas in the end zone that kept a drive alive that resulted in a score. If ASU got the ball back in good field position and scored again, it would have really changed the tenor of the game.

  2. That's the tough part... there were 152 plays in the game... and I had to come up with three... there are a lot of others that many people consider important...