Locker Room Report: Oregon vs. Missouri State

The Oregon Ducks (2-1) end non-conference play with a 56-7 victory over the Missouri State Bears that saw plenty of offense and a stingy performance by the defense front.

(PHOTO) Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas (5) runs the offense against Missouri State during the first quarter at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE.

After the Ducks allowed an 84-yard touchdown drive on the opening series of the game, the defense held firm, giving up only 205 total yards the rest of the game.

They allowed only 32 yards in the third quarter, all on the ground, and wrapped up eight tackles for loss on the day.

Sophomore cornerback Avery Johnson led the team with eight tackles while linebacker Kiko Alonso had seven.

Senior defensive end Terrell Turner noted that the Bears came out aggressive and playing a style unfamiliar to what the Ducks studied on tape. After a few adjustments, the defense began to gel and closed up the big gaps that the Bears took advantage of early on.

Meanwhile the offense picked up right where it left off last weekend against Nevada as quarterback Daron Thomas had another standout game throwing for 206 yards and three touchdowns.

Thomas was efficient and dead-on with his throws for most of the day, highlighted by a three play, 93-yard drive that saw the junior connect on two deep balls before finishing it off with a seven yard touchdown to freshman tight end Colt Lyerla.

Thomas was all smiles after the game and gave most of the credit to his receivers and blockers for giving him the time he needed to make the throws.

Junior running back LaMichael James also had three touchdowns, including a modern day program record 90-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, aided by a block by junior wide receiver Justin Hoffman, whom James touted after the game. James needed only 12 carries to get his 204 yards on the day.

In total, the Ducks run game amassed 416 yards yards on 43 carries.

Most of the first-string offense exited early in the second half and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said that he believed every eligible offensive player had seen action by the end of the game.

Head coach Chip Kelly said that he hoped that with these victories the team will be ready for conference play, which begins next week in Tucson against the Arizona Wildcats.

Kelly knows all to well the troubles the Ducks have had against the Wildcats in recent years and said he's aware that they will try to open up the field with their passing attack.

Kelly also commented on the lack of impact thus far by senior tight end David Paulson. He claimed that the coaches hadn't forgotten about him but that the flow of the game didn't allow him to become a factor this week.

The Ducks take on the Wildcats next Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

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