The Ducks gave themselves their first marquee victory of the season with their 46-27 win over No. 6 Michigan St and an impressive showing from Marcus Mariota to catapult him to the forefront of the Heisman conversation.
There was plenty of talk the whole week leading up to the game about the match up of the Oregon offense vs Michigan St defense. Michigan St boasted a top 5 defense from a year ago, and in particular have been known for their shutdown run defense. Oregon was held to 2.7 yards per play in the first half. So how did they get 18 points at the end of the second? They had two plays that accounted for 134 yards.
Sure, the Ducks were led by Mariota's 318 yards, and a lot of that can be contributed to consistency but the big plays accounted for a huge chunk of the offensive output and were the key factor in the success of the Ducks' offense. The free flowing offense was able to benefit from the big plays of Royce Freeman and the other two backs.
Looking forward for Oregon, one of the biggest hurdles is out of the way. The Ducks should be happy knowing that they will be able to convert big plays against the likes of UCLA and Stanford. The offense looked as strong as ever against a Defense that we have reason to believe will be the best of the Big Ten.
Look for Oregon to make a lot of big plays against Wyoming Saturday, a game they are favored by 43+ points.