The first half in this one looked more like a South Eugene – North Eugene early December tilt, complete with sometimes driving rain, slippery turf, and the odd dollop of mud. The 23-0 halftime score hugely flattered Arizona, who did as close to absolutely zilch as possible, short of not trotting out onto the field at Levi’s in the first place. Looked like RichRod’s head might explode as he plodded off to the locker room.
No, the first half was all Ducks – the ugly (how about all those crucial penalties that erased at least 14 points from the board?), the bad (lots of missed throws and/or missed catches), and the Good (hello Marcus Matriota, Royce Freeman, Charles Nelson, and the entire Ducks defense – RichRod’s been shut out in a half four times now, three of them courtesy of the Ducks – and what a run by Kenny Basset to set the half-ending field goal).
Arizona gained 25 yards, to the Ducks’ 382. The Wildcats netted 34 yards through the air (that’s 2.8 yards per catch), but that was yanked back by a staggering -9 yards on the ground! Meanwhile Marcus Mariota was 14 of 27, and threw for 190 yards. Royce Freeman, who was a force of Nature up the middle, gained 90 yards. Fellow freshman Charles Nelson added 40, and Mariota chipped in 26, including two rushing TDs.
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove