If you watched the Nevada game for longer than five minutes, or you happened to catch the score in the newspaper, you really don’t need analysis for what happened. There was a football game scheduled to take place between Oregon and Nevada on Saturday but what took place instead was a good old fashioned beatdown. If the Ducks kept their foot on the gas they could’ve pushed 90 points. Complete 180 from last week. Some observations and takeaways from the performance:
After looking uncomfortable and inaccurate against LSU, Darron Thomas had himself a field day. Pulled in the 3rd quarter, DT finished 13-19 for 295 yards (15.5 yp/a !!!) and a staggering six TDs. He also chipped in 35 yards on the ground. After watching two elite D’s (Auburn, LSU) force the Ducks to air it out, it was nice to see Thomas get back to his game and excel while doing so.
The offensive line that failed to get any push up front last week looked phenomenal against Nevada. They cleared some beautiful holes in the run game, engaging defenders and then getting to the second level with apparent ease. They also had a few well-designed moving pockets that allowed Darron Thomas to make some big plays through the air.
LaMichael James had a fantastic all-around day, scoring on the ground, through the air, and once on a punt return. However, a slightly disturbing trend deserves attention. Since being installed as the starter 9/19/2009 against Utah, LMJ has been held under 70 yards rushing just three times. Those three games are the last three he’s played.
There’s the speed. Oregon couldn’t shake loose for big gainers against LSU, but against Nevada it looked like they were playing downhill on roller-blades. Wolfpack players were simply outclassed and couldn’t come close to matching Oregon’s team speed, which led to some ugly coverage breakdowns and easy scores for the Ducks.
Cliff Harris was somewhat surprisingly reinstated for the game, after there was no word on his status for most of the week. He didn’t contribute in the game but it’s nice to have him back.
A clean sheet in the turnover department was a nice thing to see after what happened against LSU. DeAnthony Thomas, who fumbled twice in that game, backed up his impressive debut with another monster game.
Darron Thomas only had to throw the ball 19 times and no WR had over three catches. They didn’t need it in this game but it looks like DT is still searching for a go-to receiver. After two games his two most dangerous receiving weapons actually appear to be running backs (LMJ and Black Mamba).