If you weren’t impressed by the Oregon Ducks‘ 66 – 3 win over FCS team Nichols State, you’re in denial. Either you are reading too much into team strength or are scared of what the Ducks might be able to do to future opposition.
Everyone knows how good the offense is. Running back De’Anthony Thomas had over 100 yards with nine minutes left to go in the first half – I don’t care who the opposing team is, that’s impressive.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota passed for 234 yards and ran for 113 in the first of his spectacular 2013 performances that I believe will lead to him winning the Heisman. Both the first string and the second team offenses ran all over the Nichols State defense and shows flashes of the level of future talent for Oregon.
What really should impress people trying to grade the Ducks on their opening game is Oregon’s defense. Yes, Nichols State was an FCS team, but the Ducks’ defense was absolutely dominant. They looked to be determined not to let Nichols State score. It didn’t matter which string was on the field, the Ducks’ defense looked outstanding.
The Ducks’ opening game against such weak opposition may have not have been able to indicate the rest of the season in a definitive way, but anyone who watched how calmly Mariota and Thomas ripped apart the defense should realize that Oregon is a legitimate national title contender; all other teams that face Oregon in the regular season should be very worried about this confident, high energy offense.