The Oregon Ducks came out and represented the Pac 12 proudly in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl as they blew past the Kansas State Wildcats. The Ducks were a able to impose their will on the Wildcats defense by pushing the tempo and wearing down the physical K-State defense with their incredible tempo.
It didn’t happen right away though. For most of the first half, Kansas State was able to slow the game down and contain the No. 2 rushing team, including Kenjon Barner who had just 25 yards before halftime. The Ducks, who pride themselves on running a lot of plays, had just 25 plays through the first two quarters and the Wildcats dominated the time of possession battle.
But following a missed field goal by Kansas State with a minute to go in the second quarter, Oregon drove 77 yards on just five plays to score a touchdown in 46 seconds. That gave them a 22-10 halftime advantage and the Ducks didn’t slow down after the break.
The Ducks came out blazing in the third quarter, running more plays in the third quarter than did all of the first half. Oregon left the Wildcats’ defense gassed as they turned up the pace of the game, snapping the ball eight to ten seconds after the ball was spotted, rarely allowing defensive substitutions. Marcus Mariota was cool, calm and collected as he meticulously moved the Ducks up and down the field for 10 unanswered points to extend their lead to 32-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
That proved to be too much for the plodding, conservative approach of the Kansas State Wildcats to overcome. Collin Klein was able to lead his team to one scoring drive in the fourth quarter, but took five painstaking minutes to do so. The next time they got the ball, they failed to show any sense of urgency and punted the ball back to Oregon and watched as they milked the clock to victory.
The Ducks were able to hit their stride just before halftime and Kansas State couldn’t keep pace. Oregon, in true Chip Kelly fashion, pressed the advantage and left the Cats in their rear-view proving once again that speed kills.