In Autzen Stadium there is a jumbotron that shows highlights, stats, hype videos, and several other pieces of information. One thing that the jumbotron displays is the pushup count for the Duck. For those who are uninitiated, the University of Oregon mascot does pushups equivalent to the teams total score whenever the Ducks score.
On Saturday against Portland State, the certain-to-be-exhausted Duck had to muster the strength to do 546 total pushups. The broadcasters mentioned over and over again how tiring this feat must be, and they were right, as the Duck could be seen collapsing on the field – exhausted – every time Oregon scored in the second half.
The 81 points scored by the Ducks to open Saturday were a modern record for the program, as well as a record in a stadium that has seen some absolutely incredible offenses over the last decade and a half. While Bo Nix threw all of four incompletions over the course of the game, the running game, headed by Bucky Irving rushed for 348 yards on over 10 yards per carry.
The defense, on the other hand, gave up one extended touchdown drive, and never allowed Portland State to threaten a score again. Oregon allowed only 52 yards passing on less than 50% completions. The run defense struggled early, but locked in at the end of the first quarter and never allowed the Vikings to gain any momentum again.
There is effectively no way to talk about this game without being overwhelmingly complimentary toward the Ducks. Oregon out earned first downs by a margin of 38 to 9. They outgained PSU by 329 yards through the air, and 200 on the ground. They committed only two penalties to Portland States four. Backup quarterback Ty Thompson threw for more yards in the third quarter than PSU did in the entire game. Punter Ross James even did better on his one punt (58 yards) than Portland States best punt (56 yards). Speaking of punts, PSU had nine of them.
The only way to spin the victory in a negative light is to say that the defense left some things to be desired. PSU had a couple of deep throws early that their quarterback just missed on, otherwise the Ducks would have given up at least one more score. The run defense gave up a few easy runs to the quarterback as well, which led to the big rushing numbers in the first quarter for the Vikings.
That being said, the defense eventually put it together and stopped allowing the Vikings to do just about anything. Though the Ducks didn’t log any sacks, they got consistent pressure from all over the defensive line. If they can work on finishing those plays, it will be a good season in Eugene.
For now, my thoughts go out to the Duck and his poor arms.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Top Photo Credit: Twitter
Ryan Robertson is a defense contractor for the United States Marine Corps. A lifelong Duck fan from Grants Pass, he joined the Army out of high school. After four years as an Intelligence Analyst he decided it was time to further his education and pay more attention to his Ducks. One of Ryan’s first memories is of watching the Ducks, led by Joey Harrington, beating up on the Utah Utes in 2001. His grandfather ran track at Oregon in the ‘50s. He loves the Ducks, and has a passionate interest in reading every scrap of analysis centered around the football team.
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