The Ducks put up gaudy numbers. The offense generated 670 yards while the defense held the Oregon State Beavers to 315 yards and most of that came when the game was out of reach in the later part of the fourth quarter. Oregon ran an incredible 102 plays, picked up 38 first downs and for the first time in a very long time, the Ducks actually had to ball longer than the opposition – just over 33 minutes to just under 27.
"That is something we strive for in our preparation for the game every week," Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly said of his team's consistency. "We try to be consistent every day and that carries over to the game on Saturday. Our team is fairly young, but they bought into that mentality really fast and that has helped in these boys maturing into men."
The Duck defense set the tone early by picking off OS quarterback Sean Mannion and also put the Beaver signal caller on his backside six times . Senior defensive end Terrell Turner had three tackles for loss including two sacks. Junior Dion Jordan had two sacks coming from the other defensive end while Ryan Hagen Boseko Lokombo also registered a sack. Michael Clay was the leading tackler with 12 (seven solos) and also had the first interception of the game that ultimately led to Oregon's first touchdown. Kiko Alonso had a pick in the first quarter and while the Duck defensive line was constantly pressuring Mannion, the Ducks broke up eight passes.
"I thought our defense was outstanding," said Kelly. "They set the tone early."
Offensively, the Ducks overcame a semi slow start. On the first drive of the game, Clay picked off Mannion and Oregon marched 38 yards for the first score of the day on a LaMichael James 1-yard run. On the Beavers' second possession Mannion was picked off by Kiko Alonso, but the Oregon offense stalled and tried a fourth down conversion and failed. In fact, the Ducks failed all four times they attempted to convert fourth down.
"It took a while to get into our rhythm offensively," Kelly admitted. "Everyone contributed."
While the Duck faithful were a little nervous that their team misfired on the conversions, Kelly and the Oregon coaching staff was confident and for good reason as the Duck offense racked up 21 points in the second quarter with Darron Thomas throwing three strikes to David Paulson (16 yard TD) De'Anthony Thomas (eight yard TD) and Kenjon Barner (16 yard TD). Barner would score on a rushing play of one yard in the third quarter.
"You know we stopped them on three straight fourth down conversion attempts, we made good plays and that was a critical part for our defense in the beginning," said Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley."Unfortunately for us we had no offensive response today."
Thomas finished the game throwing 27-for-40 and 305 yards and four touchdowns. His fourth touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 39-yard pass play to Colt Lyerla.
"Darron played well," Kelly said of his quarterback. "He managed the game."
Once Oregon was up by five touchdowns at 42-7, Thomas was finished for the day. OS was able to score once after Thomas left on a 19-yard pass from Mannion to Kevin Cummings. Oregon responded when backup running back Ayele Forde scampered in from 8 yards out and following the successful point after attempt it was 49-14. Brandin Cooks on a 23-pass and catch and the scoring finished up with Trevor Romanine's success PAT to make the score 49-21 in favor of the Ducks.
James had 142 net yards of rushing from 24 attempts and a touchdown before he left the game in the fourth quarter favoring his left arm. De'Anthony Thomas added 71 yards of rushing while Barner chipped in 64 and touchdown. Forde had a total of 56 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Tra Carson had three totes for 13 yards. Darron Thomas had three rushing attempts for nine yards and his replacement, Bryan Bennett scrambled for 19 yards but had a net of 10 because he was sacked.
"Oregon is a very sound and fundamental football team," observed Riley of the Ducks. "The new number six (De'Anthony Thomas), the other Thomas is very fast and we had a hard time limiting him today on the field. They will only continue to get better as this season and throughout future seasons. Speed they are a very quick and athletic team and they proved that to us today."
Paulson broke the 100-yard barrier in receiving hauling in eight throws for 105 yards and touchdown. De'Anthony Thomas (DAT) pulled down 10 passes for 86 yards and a score. Barner had three receptions for 33 yards and touchdown while Lyerla's touchdown was part of his 52 yards on two catches. Lavasier Tuinei had two catches for 15 yards while Josh Huff and James both had a catch.
"He helped a lot by not allowing them to put seven or eight men in the box. David (Paulson) did a real good job helping us spread the field."
Jackson Rice punted three times for a 46.3-yard per punt average with a long of 51. Three Ducks had more than one hundred yards of combined offense with DAT notching 197 yards, James 147 and Paulson 105.
Mannion's day wasn't that bad as he finished with 299 yards on 27-for-44 with three TDs and two interceptions. Terron Ward had six carries for 31 yards and was the leading Beaver ground gainer. Brandin Cooks had a total for five catches for 56 yards and a score. Joe Halahuni also had five catches but for 39 yards. Kevin Cummings finished with four receptions for 63 yards and a score. Jovan Stevenson had four catches for 58 yards and a TD. Marcus Wheaton, Colby Prince, Jordan Jenkins and Obum Gwacham all had two grabs with Ward also recording a catch. Oregon 28-7.
Feti Unga was the leading tackler for the game with 13 (eight solos) including one tackle for loss. Scott Crichton had 12 tackles (10 solos) a TFL and a forced fumble. In all the Beavers had six TFLs and one fumble recovery by Michael Doctor.
The Ducks cinched the Northern Division spot for the Pac-12 Playoffs next Friday. The game will be played at Autzen Stadium with a kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m.
"Home field advantage is huge for us," Kelly said of the upcoming Pac-12 Championship game." We have only lost once here since I got here and I know that our fans are going to be in full force and hopefully it helps us one more time."
- Oregon became the first winner of the Pac-12 North and will host UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game on Friday, Dec. 2. The winner of the game will represent the conference in the Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 2, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif.
- The Ducks reached the 10-win mark for the fourth straight season and seventh time overall. This year's senior class has experienced 42 victories since the start of 2008, which is the most in school history.
- JR RB LaMichael James became Oregon's all-time scoring leader when he scored on a 1-yard run in the opening quarter. James broke former kicker Jared Siegel's (2001-04) mark of 323.
- JR QB Darron Thomas passed for a season-high 305 yards, completing 27 out of 40 attempts with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He extended his streak of consecutive games with a TD pass to 24.
- Thomas moved up to seventh on UO's career passing list with 5,423, passing Dennis Dixon (5,129 from 2004-07) and Akili Smith (5,148 from 1997-98).
- Thomas also shot up the career total offense chart, passing Dan Fouts (5,871 from 1970-72 )for seventh with 6,075 yards.
- SR TE David Paulson had career highs of eight receptions and 105 yards, becoming the first Duck this season with 100 or more receiving yards.
- FR RB De'Anthony Thomas had 197 all-purpose yards, giving him 1,908 for the season. That mark ranks fifth in a single-season at UO. Thomas also had a career-high 10 receptions, leading all players in the game. Thomas extended his own UO freshman touchdown record with his 16th.
- JR LB Michael Clay matched his career-high in tackles for a second straight game and fourth time overall with 12.
- SR DE Terrell Turner matched his career-best with a pair of sacks and JR DEDion Jordan set a new career-high with two of his own.
- The Ducks ran 102 offensive plays, tying the school record set vs. Washington State in 2004.
- The victory was Oregon's fourth straight in the Civil War. The last time UO beat the Beavers four times in a row was 1994 to 1997. The meeting was the 115thbetween the Ducks and Beavers, the longest college football rivalry west of the Rocky Mountains.
- The crowd of 59,802 (seating capacity 54,000) marked the 81st consecutive sellout at Autzen Stadium, dating to 1999. The last non-sellout was Sept. 18, 1999 vs. Nevada.