Ducks Go To Barner For Win

Eugene -- Oregon relied on the running game Saturday to take and hold control of its contest with Fresno State and won 42-25. Senior running back Kenjon Barner set a personal best by gaining 201 yards on 34 carries and three touchdowns. His teammate, De'Anthony Thomas contributed 102 yards on seven carries and two scores. The game though was far from perfect for the No. 4 team in the country.

(PHOTO) Oregon Ducks running back Kenjon Barner (24) receives the ball from quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

"When you turn it on and off," said Chip Kelly of his team's up and down performance in the game. "We have to work on that."

Barner along with Thomas were calming forces on a team that had three lost fumbles and gave up three sacks. In the first half, Barner and Thomas seemed unstoppable and gained 232 yards of rushing between them. Oregon went into the lockerroom at halftime with a 35-6 lead, but the third quarter Oregon seemed to go into a malaise. Fresno State scored 10 unanswered points while the Ducks struggled to gain ground.

"We came out in the second half sluggish and there is no excuse for that," said center Hrniss Grasu of the Ducks offense.

The fourth quarter was nearly as quiet for the Ducks and when they found themselves holding a 35-19 lead, a long, time consuming drive was needed. That is exactly what Kelly and his staff dreamed up and behind the running of Barner and the receiving of Thomas the Ducks drove of 77 yards and took five minutes and forty nine seconds to bring the score to 42-19 after the PAT. Fresno State tacked on one last TD in the final minute and a half to make the final score 42-25.

"Guys stopped playing a little bit," admitted Thomas. "But we'll bounce back, we just have to get ready for next week."

Marcus Mariota had his ups and downs for the game. He threw for 166 yards on a 19-of-27 effort with one TD (in the first half to Colt Lyerla) but was sacked three times and fumbled twice. The redshirt freshman signal caller also rushed for 67 yards on a total of 14 carries.

Thomas was the leading receiver with four receptions for 26 yards while Barner had three catches for 21 yards. Rahsaan Vaughn also pulled down two catches for 26 yards as did Lyerla. Bralong Addison and Dwayne Stanford both caught two for 16 yards each while Daryle Hawkins grabbed two for 15. Keanon Lowe and Eric Dungy each had a reception.

Fresno State's Derek Carr threw for 234 yards on 29-of-47 and was sacked three times by the Oregon defense. Davante Adams had 12 catches for 92 yards. Isaiah Burse pulled in seven throws for 77 yards and TD. Robbie Rouse finished with five catches for 27 yards while Josh Harper had two for 26.

Rouse was the leading Bulldog rusher with 115 net yards on 27 carries and a TD.

Defensively, Oregon was paced by Brian Jackson's nine tackles (five solos). Jackson also had three break-ups. Dion Jordan had eight tackles (five solos) including a sack. Taylor Hart also had a sack as did Boseko Lokombo.

"It comes down to the whole team being dialed the complete game," said senior defensive tackle Dion Jordan. "Have to take care of business until the clock hits zero."

Derron Smith was FSU's leading tackler with 13 total (10 solos). Phillip Thomas and Tristan Okpalaugo also recorded sacks for the Bulldogs.

FSU's Quentin Breshears made four field goals of 39, 43, 25 and 37 yards. Oregon did not attempt a field goal. The Ducks Jackson Rice punted four times averaging 36.6 yards with a long of 44. Andrew Shapiro of Fresno State had six punts averaging 37.7 yards with a long of 49 and two inside the 20. Carr also punt twice for a 25.5-yard average with one ending up inside the Oregon 20.

There were no interceptions given up by either team.

For the game, Oregon rushed for 366 yards with 166 yards passing for a total of 532 total yards of offense. Fresno State finished with 365 total yards (234 passing, 131 rushing).

Kelly and his coaches will have to work on next week starting with errant snaps from center ball security. Kelly was somewhat astonished at how the snaps from center seemed to be going in all kinds of directions. Grasu was perplexed by the snaps as well but is determined to fix things.

"It's weird, it's really never happened to me even in high school," confessed the center Grasu of the snapping." It's just been a problem today. I promise I'm going to get it fixed."


• Junior Josh Huff caused some concern for the Ducks when he left the game in the second quarter after injuring his knee. He returned later to the sidelines with his left knee covered with an ice pack but was seen walking after to the lockerroom after the game concluded.
• Senior offensive lineman Carson York also had a knee problem and left the game in the fourth quarter. Chip Kelly has a no-comment policy regarding injuries.

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