If you’re like me, you’re still talking and smiling about the Rose Bowl. Oregon’s domination resulted in a 59-20 win, accumulating 10 Rose Bowl records in the process. With the national title game only one week away, some of those records could have a huge impact come January 12th. Below are two short lists of some of the Rose Bowl records Oregon has set and the impact they could have against Ohio State.
Most Total Offense/Game – 639 (338 Pass, 301 rush)
Most Touchdowns/Game – 8 (TIED)
Most Points Scored/Game – 59
Most Plays, Scoring Drive (since 1993) – 19 (TIED)
For the duration of the game, Marcus Mariota and the Ducks were able to consistently move the ball. Once again Oregon proved they can play against physical teams and that notion might officially be dead. The Ducks out-physicaled, out-hustled and out-performed the Seminoles for the majority of the game. Oregon was great on third down conversions as well, converting 7-12 against FSU.
On the record-tying 19-play scoring drive, a drive started at the Oregon 1-yard line, the Ducks marched down the field by running the ball 11 times for 64 yards. Surprisingly, it was Thomas Tyner, who hadn’t played since the Utah game, who led Oregon’s rushing attack on that drive and in the game. Tyner, Mariota and Royce Freeman combined for 230 rushing yards on 33 attempts, setting the tone for the entire game. With Freeman only rushing for 44 yards (he scored twice), it was Tyner’s game-high 124 yards that gave the Ducks consistent chunk yardage on the ground.
It could be hard to repeat what the Ducks did in the Pac-12 championship game, but against Florida State they did just that. In the past two games, Oregon has rushed for 301 yards each game and scored nine rushing touchdowns in total. What does this mean for the Buckeyes? Well, to put it simply, trouble.
If the Ducks rush for over 200 yards they win, 20-0 under Mark Helfrich. It’s hard to lose games when you can control the tempo on the ground. Not to mention that this makes things far easier on the Heisman winner, as was evident by his 338 yards passing. Mariota was able to hit Darren Carrington on two touchdown passes, both off play action, and when the run sets up the pass Oregon is almost unstoppable.
Most Points Scored/Half – 41
Largest Margin of Victory (non-shutout) – 39
Longest Fumble Return – 58 yards by Tony Washington
It was an 18-13 lead for Oregon at halftime and Florida State got the ball to start the third quarter. It was still a 25-20 lead for the Ducks with 8:07 left in the third and some thought the Seminoles had the Ducks right where they wanted them. Then Oregon Lee-Corso’d FSU, not so fast my friend. Three straight Oregon scores off turnovers and it was a 45-20 Duck lead to start the fourth. That is the danger of playing the Oregon Ducks; you have to avoid the avalanche. Opportunistic turnovers, like the fumble return by Tony Washington, turn into Oregon points that bury the opposition.
Oregon continued their record-breaking second half by scoring two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter, putting the Seminoles away for good. When the Ducks are able to avalanche opponents with points, it forces teams to break from their game plan, which is exactly how they could beat you. The Ducks dictate tempo, they control the game, not the opposition.
Ohio State will have to avoid the avalanche in the title game, easier said than done if the Rose Bowl is any indication. In fact, the Ducks have scored 21 or more unanswered points in every game this season except at Washington State and home for the Arizona loss, both times coming when our offensive line was at its weakest. With the line healthy again, the blowouts have been more consistent: nine-straight games with 21 unanswered points and nine straight wins. Further proof that containing Oregon is no easy task
I don’t need the records, I’ll just take the W. The national title is a match-up of two similar teams both playing their best football of the season which makes for an extremely exciting game. Ohio State is a national power, but so was Florida State and look how that turned out. The Ducks might not set national title game records, but if they can execute like they did in the Rose Bowl, a historic victory could be just a week away.
Top photo credit: Craig Strobeck