Saturday, September 8, 2012
Ducks start fast, close out Fresno State
By Kevin Gemmell
A sensational day for running back Kenjon Barner paced Oregon, the No. 4 team in the country, to a 42-25 victory over visiting Fresno State.
In typical Oregon fashion, the Ducks (2-0) jumped out to a 35-6 halftime lead behind two of Barner’s three rushing touchdowns. He finished with 201 yards on the ground and touchdown runs of 3, 3 and 16 yards. Barner was the workhorse, carrying 34 times for an average of 5.9 yards per carry.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, making his second career start, played the whole game (unlike last week, when he was spelled after the Ducks took a 50-3 lead halfway through the second quarter against Arkansas State). Mariota completed 19 of 27 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown, a 22-yard score to tight end Colt Lyerla. Actually, it was a 4-yard pass, after which Lyerla muscled his way the rest of the distance to give Oregon a 21-3 lead.
The Ducks actually fell behind early (gasp!) when Fresno State drove 57 yards on 11 plays and took a 3-0 lead on a 39-yard field goal by Quentin Breshears.
But the Ducks went on a run of five touchdowns in their next seven possessions, including the two from Barner, the Lyerla reception and touchdown runs of 39 and 51 yards by De’Anthony Thomas. He finished with 102 yards on seven carries. Thomas also caught four balls for 26 yards.
The offense stalled in the second half after some nicks to the offensive line. The defense held the Bulldogs to just 2 of 16 on third-down conversions, though Fresno State (1-1) had 365 yards of offense.
Oregon totaled 532 yards of offense -- including 366 on the ground. However, the Ducks also fumbled three times.