Sunday, September 23, 2012
Instant analysis: Oregon 49, Arizona 0
By Ted Miller
No. 3 Oregon posted a dominant 49-0 victory over Arizona on Saturday, a win so convincing it might boost the Ducks into No. 2 in the national rankings.
It was over when: A 55-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Bralon Addison made it 28-0 with a minute left in the third. At at that point, you could feel a game Arizona team start to sag.
Gameball goes to: The Ducks defense was dominant. Arizona, which failed to score on six trips to the red zone, entered the game averaging 46.3 points per game and 604.7 yards per game. It was a total team effort, with the Ducks getting big plays on all three levels.
Stat of the game: Look at the scoreboard. See that "0" under Arizona. As far as stats go, that's pretty darn telling.
What Oregon learned, what Arizona learned: Oregon showed that it can dominate a ranked team even if its offense isn't clicking. That's the sort of thing that would hint at the Ducks taking the proverbial next step as a program. Defense wins championships, right? As for Arizona, it went toe-to-toe with the Ducks for a half, and the Wildcats can certainly rue the red-zone failures. This very easily could have been a competitive game.
What it means: After a three-game "preseason" against inferior foes, Oregon announced that it -- again -- is a national title contender. For Arizona, it found out that, despite a nice start, it's not ready to challenge three-time defending conference champions inside Autzen Stadium.