Oregon crushes Arizona State in an embarrassing defeat

American Football on FieldOregon crushed the Sun Devils in its first true road test on Thursday night in a statement-making 43-21 victory, annihilating Arizona State in one of their biggest games in years.

It seemed to be a great start for the Sun Devils after Oregon’s quarterback Marcus Mariota lost a fumble on the second play, setting Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly up for the 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kevin Ozier and a quick deficit of 7-0. But that would be a short lived lead for the ill-fated Arizona State.

It was downhill from here for the Sun Devils, as Oregon (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12) raced to a 36-point halftime lead, rushing for 406 yards, setting the team up for its 12 th straight victory on the road.

Oregon running back Kenjon Barner retaliated with a 71-yard touchdown just two plays after the Sun Devil’s opening score. He finished the game with 143 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota really held his own for his first game under such public pressure and scrutiny. He ran for 135 yards and a touchdown, and was even able to catch a TD pass from his own back up.

Oregon’s defense also played a crucial part in their success, putting the pressure on Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly throughout the game.

“We just came out and did what we have to do,” said Barner, who surpassed 100 yards rushing for his third straight game, and for the fourth time this season. “We came out and executed well. We made big plays, plays that we’re supposed to make.”

After their first opening score, Arizona crumbled, and was unable to recover or keep pace as Oregon whipped past them, suffering tremendously from the early loss of Will Sutton, their star defensive tackle, to a right knee injury.

Taylor Kelly threw two unfortunate interceptions, consecutively setting up two touchdowns for Oregon in the first half, and seemed to be under a great deal of pressure by the Oregon defense on nearly every play.

Arizona State’s defense on the other hand, although being the core of the team in its first six games, allowed a total of 454 yards, 48 of those being rushing yards.

“We do have a good football team, but we got beat by a really, really good football team tonight,” said Arizona State head coach Todd Graham. “There’s no doubt in my mind, they’re one of the best, if not the best team in the country.”

Sun Devil Stadium hadn’t seen such a high profile game such as this one in quite some time. The most recent was probably some time back in 2005 when No. 1 Southern California beat Arizona State 38-28 with a team comprised of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.

Since that time, Oregon has become the pinnacle of success in the West, winning three straight Pac-12 titles. It’s a tough call but they may even have a better team this year, scoring swiftly and in bunches, and with a better defense to boot.

A win against Oregon on national television is what Arizona State needed to put them on the map. Over 70,000 fans took over Sun Devil Stadium to show their support, donning black shirts to create a “black out” in anticipation for the high profile game.

Unfortunately for them, Oregon took that black out and made it appear that Sun Devil fans were attending a funeral. And it could be safe to say that this time around, the Sun Devils didn’t have a chance in hell.