Oregon's first major road test of 2012 went about the same as any other Oregon game over the last few years. The Ducks walk away with a 43-21 win that was nowhere near as close as that score indicates.
On pace to break school scoring and yardage records (and challenge for the worst loss in ASU history, too), the Ducks pulled Marcus Mariota and others at the half, then cruised to a three-score win anyway. Their 30 minutes were better than Arizona State's 60.
The Ducks still finished with statistical domination that included 404 yards rushing, 20 yards more than the nation's best flexbone ground attack averages and 85 yards short of the school record.
Credit must be given to Arizona State, however, which kept battling until the end and won the second half against Oregon backups, 14-0. ASU head coach Todd Graham even called a timeout with three seconds left for one last shot at the end zone. Resilience is not a trait ASU has been known for in recent years. But the bad news could continue for the Sun Devils, with Will Sutton and Junior Onyeali both lost due to injury during the game.
Box score hero: Starting quarterback Marcus Mariota finished with 133 yards rushing and scored a touchdown each by land, sea and air (by sea I mean a re-cei-ving touchdown), and that was in a mere 30 minutes of football. Here he and Bryan Bennett hook up for the play of the game:
Rankings ramifications: The Sun Devils were on the edge of the Top 25 coming in, and will have to find themselves a new edge now. Oregon has made a convincing case against a legit opponent for that No. 2 spot held by Florida in the BCS, but the Gators have a chance to extend their edge against No. 7 South Carolina.
Next week: ASU stays at home for 5-2 UCLA, while Oregon heads back to Eugene for ... oh God ... 1-5 Colorado.
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