It was said that Virginia Cavaliers’ Defensive Coordinator, Jon Tenuta, had been preparing for this game since last winter. Obviously he needed more time. Mark Helfrich and the Ducks steamrolled Tenuta’s defense, in a rout from the get-go.
For the most part, the Ducks made it look easy, racking up big numbers on offense as they limited Virginia to a mere ten points. The Ducks rolled up a total of 557 yards on offense, including 350 yards on the ground. Their attack was balanced by 207 yards through the air, leading to a final score of 59-10. Oregon’s ground game also saw the emergence of vaunted freshman, Thomas Tyner, who scored touchdowns on his first and fourth carries from scrimmage, and had a total of 51 yards rushing.
A closer look at Oregon’s play, however, shows that they struggled with efficiency during important downs and made mistakes on both sides of the ball. Oregon’s 3rd- and 4th-down conversion rates were lackluster, going 3-for-10 and 0-for-2, respectively. To be a BCS Championship caliber team requires converting these pivotal downs at a higher rate. The Ducks also committed 11 penalties for 119 yards. In a more competitive game, this could be the difference between a win and a loss.
The Ducks played their first BCS team, in a hostile environment — and dominated every aspect of the game. They did, however, struggle with the details, which could prove costly against a stronger opponent. The Ducks play host to the Tennessee Volunteers in Eugene this coming Saturday. Can Coach Helfrich and staff make the necessary adjustments this upcoming week to fix these kinks? My guess is ‘yes’!