What a statement! As a Duck fan, this was by far the best performance I’ve seen from Oregon this season. They showed the college football world, along with all their doubters, that they indeed have the power to beat any team that poses a challenge to them. In this case, the Seminoles came into the 101st edition of the Tournament of Roses with a previous Heisman winner in Jameis Winston and a 29-game winning streak. However, the Ducks took care of business by annihilating the Seminoles with a 59-20 blowout. At the end of the day, Oregon handed Winston his first loss as a college starter. Here are the top three reasons why the Ducks won the day.
No. 1: The Turnovers
The countless FSU fumbles and defensive stops that the Ducks made throughout the whole game were the main two factors that contributed to Florida State’s turnovers. The best turnover was by the one and only “Famous” Jameis Winston during the third quarter. On a 4th-and-5 play, Winston attempted to scramble out of the pocket without being sacked but ended up slipping and fumbling the ball. In a matter of a couple of milli-seconds, the Ducks’ LB Tony Washington recovered the ball and ran for a touchdown giving Oregon a 45-20 lead. There’s no doubt in my mind that Oregon’s defense gave Winston a nightmare last night, especially in the second half.
No. 2: Up-Tempo
One of the most stunning aspects of the Ducks is their up-tempo offense, which they consistently used to their advantage. Every time it was Oregon’s turn on offense, they were relentless in keeping the game play fast pace. The “up-tempo-ness” every down caused the Seminoles’ defense to get tired, thus allowing QB Marcus Mariota to throw beautiful passes to his receivers. Additionally, this helped the Ducks’ offensive line create perfect gaps to allow running backs such as Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner to bolt for solid yards.
No. 3: Oregon’s “Swarm” Defense
Although this applies to the turnovers aspect that I mentioned earlier, it’s worth recognizing the Ducks’ overall performance of the defense. In the first half, it was evident that Oregon was giving the Seminoles some open looks. However, once the second half started, the Ducks swarmed to the ball carrier and stopped that so-called “different-team-in-the-second-half” aspect that Florida State is known for. In the third quarter, Oregon held the Seminoles to only seven points, while totally shutting them out in the fourth.
What a game!
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck