Oregon lost a fumble on its second play, setting up a touchdown and a quick 7-0 deficit. Cause for concern? Yeah, right. Arizona State could have...
TEMPE, Ariz. — Oregon lost a fumble on its second play, setting up a touchdown and a quick 7-0 deficit.
Cause for concern? Yeah, right.
Arizona State could have scored three quick touchdowns and the Ducks probably wouldn’t have been worried.
Shrugging off their early miscue as if it never happened, the second-ranked Ducks ran over Arizona State in an overpowering first half, turning what was supposed to be a duel in the desert into a statement-making 43-21 victory over the Sun Devils on Thursday night.
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“They came out and scored, but the one thing I love about this team is that they don’t flinch,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “We talk about playing a full game and this team bounced back.”
Facing its first true road test, Oregon turned one of Arizona State’s biggest games in years into another we’ve-seen-this-before Ducks rout by running over the Sun Devils (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) in the first half.
The Ducks (7-0, 4-0) had their way against what had been the Pac-12’s best defense, racing to a 36-point halftime lead and rushing for 406 yards for their nation-leading 12th straight road victory. Kenjon Barner got Oregon started with a 71-yard touchdown run two plays after Arizona State’s opening score, finishing with 143 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
Freshman Marcus Mariota held up in his first game in a hostile environment, running for 135 yards and a touchdown, passing for another score, and catching a TD pass from his backup.
Oregon’s defense did its part, too, chasing quarterback Taylor Kelly all night while holding the Sun Devils in check until garbage time.
• Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said DirecTV officials “have dug in their heels” and he sees no reason for optimism the satellite provider will add the new Pac-12 networks to their service.
• Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said he wants to monitor Everett Golson’s recovery from a concussion for another 48 hours before deciding who will start at quarterback against Brigham Young on Saturday.
• South Carolina defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles was suspended for Saturday’s game against Florida after he threw a punch during last week’s loss at Louisiana State.