‘Cats Upset No. 5 Oregon in the Desert

Photo: David Pyles Ka'Deem put up historic numbers against the Ducks.

David Pyles

Coming into Saturday’s game, the Oregon Ducks had five straight wins against Arizona, including two on the road. Yesterday, Ka’Deem Carey and the Wildcats made sure that streak didn’t continue, as Arizona raced past No. 5 Oregon to pull off the upset, 42-16.

In Arizona’s biggest win in two decades, the Wildcats ended the Ducks’ national championship hopes and the right to play for a Pac-12 title.

The shock began right from the start, as Shaquille Richardson made a remarkable play on a tipped pass, throwing the ball back into the field of play, which allowed Scooby Wright to walk the tight rope along the sideline to the first interception against Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota this season.

Arizona quickly capitalized on the mistake with a 6-yard touchdown run by Carey, and that was pretty much the story of the day.

The Wildcats took advantage of numerous miscues by Oregon, behind a dominating performance on the offensive line and the legs of junior running back Carey, who was an absolute workhorse, rushing for 206 yards and four touchdowns on a school-record 48 carries.

Zona quatterback B.J. Denker was impeccable against the nation’s No. 5 team, going 19-22 through the air and two scores, while adding 102 yards on the ground.

The Ducks gave the Wildcats plenty of help as well, with three turnovers and twice more on downs, but undisciplined play also hindered them on both sides of the ball. Every time the defense made a stop or the offense made a big play, it seemed to be followed with a costly yellow flag or a dropped pass.

Mariota threw for 308 yards and two scores, but added an uncharacteristic two interceptions to the stat line.  De’ Anthony Thomas (16 carries-83 yards) and Thomas Tyner (11 carries-53 yards) took most of the load in the backfield, after Byron Marshall went down with an ankle injury.

Oregon didn’t have a terrible game; they were just unable to get into rhythm and made a few too many mistakes.

They will need to fine-tune some things before next week’s game against the Oregon State Beavers, as the 117th Civil War game takes place in Autzen Stadium.

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Bryan Holt

Bryan Holt

Bryan Holt is a 20 year old junior at the University in Oregon looking to major in Journalism and Communications with hopes in pursuing a career as a sports writer or analyst.

  • QuackAddict

    I’ve heard alot of complaints about coaching / players not caring and whatever from spoiled duck fans. The equation is simple, take the zone read out of the offense and look what happens. Mariota’s injury has affected playing calling and strategy of the team. Defensively, they have a tendency to have awful games, (USC 2012) but they aren’t to blame. Personally, I’d like to see Mariota declare and a get new face at QB. I’m getting tired of all the bandwagon “fans” and a rough year or two will thin them out.

    • FishDuck

      You are repeating sound bites without knowing what you are talking about. Go to the front page and click on the Fish Report and go to the middle of the report about Zone Reads.

      • QuackAddict

        I understand the zone read. I also understand Oregon’s ability to confuse defenses comes from the threat of other plays. Midline reads, veer plays off of buck sweeps or power and triple option plays etc. I missed the Utah game but I haven’t seen any of this from the ducks for a while. All these plays require confidence in a healthy quarterback. Watching the games, the ducks run a ton of Outside zone away from a tight end in an attempt to force a read of the Will backer. What I was trying to say is teams do not have to respect Mariota right now as much as they used to. All I needed to see to reaffirm my feelings on this is the pull he made against Nicholls state…not the same level of opponents but look at his aggressiveness on what appeared to be a midline read. He took advantage of a leaning defender. What about the washington game, on the goalie, the ducks ran a buck sweep out of empty for Mariota twice in a row!

    • oregon111

      lack of zone read or fullback does NOT explain how bad the defensive line is playing…

      Its Allioti’s fault — he has them playing tentative, on their heals instead of driving the O-line back (like all the defensive lines do to us and disrupt our plays)

      • Jessie

        Finally! Somebody nails it. Dump Aliotti. This guy has never had a defense that takes over a game when the offense isn’t banging on all cylinders. Once the Ducks get behind by a couple scores, they are screwed. Aliotti’s lousy defense is great as long as the Duck “O” takes command of a game early and gets the other team to drop their gameplan. I know there are “homer” Duck fans who think Aliotti is great, but I watched him screw the pooch when he was at UCLA. His “matador” defense blew the Miami game and a shot at the national championship. As Sports Illustrated wrote after that game, “There is no “D” in UCLA”. Same with Oregon.

  • Ol’CodgerDuck

    I didn’t get to watch the game yesterday, only got to hear about if via text from a buddy last night, and then am reading about it this am. I had recorded the game on dvr, but am probably not going to have time to watch it…
    I was telling my buddy last night that I have been seeing something wrong with the team even 2 – 3 games before Stanford, and that the offence has been tentative and not dominant. I don’t know if Mariota’s injury has been the factor or not – but without him taking off at will, the read options are reduced by about 1/3. If the other team’s defense is pretty sure our QB is not going to run, then it makes it a lot easer for them to slow us down.
    I am hearing our defense being blamed for a terrible game, but historically it is a lot easier for a defense to hold on when their own offense is putting up points (kind of like Arizona did to us)… When our offense is not working as designed, it sure makes it a lot harder on the defense!! Looking at time of possession (I know, it doesn’t matter, cause we’re Ducks…), except that, if the offense is not scoring at will, then it does matter. Arizona had the ball for nearly 2/3 of the game last night, leaving not nearly enough scoring opportunies for the Ducks offense.
    I don’t think we need new coaches or new players, but we definitely need to get our arms around this issue and figure out how to play as a complete team again. I am a fan win or lose, I just hope that if we lose we can at least say we played our best game.
    Some of the most important things I have learned in life have been the result of getting my back side handed to me. Sometimes we learn more by losing than by winning, and sometimes those are the most important lessons of all. I hope our team can pull together and play a complete game this week for the Civil War!!
    Go Ducks!!!

  • InterMandate

    This is becoming an interesting time for Oregon. For years fans complained about being called a “gimmick” team. Here’s the thing. Being a gimmick is good! Being different gives you such an advantage over other teams because they can only spend so much time prepping. Oregon’s offense was different, no-huddle, lots of formations, few plays, spread option. Now that describes around 6 of the PAC 12 teams and many more around the country. While I do think that spread option football is the best way schematically to play the game, if everyone is doing it, everyone will be better equipped to stopping it. I’m not saying it’s time to switch to the wing T but it would be cool to see Oregon lead a rejuvenation of an “outdated” way to play football. Gimmicks are good, it might be time for another.