Football is finally back and America is in a frenzy to see how their favorite teams stack up against the competition and this was the first high powered match-up that the people got to see in this early season. It did not disappoint. Despite me being a die hard Oregon Ducks fan, and seeing my team toppled 31-28, the game was extremely intense and entertaining. The Spartan’s physicality and blue-collar mentality seemed to make all of the difference.
Coming into the game, anybody with sense knew that State’s defensive front 7 would create havoc for the Ducks and it held true to form. The Ducks were held to only 28 points which is pretty low for the high powered offense who averages just over 45 points a game in 2014. It withstood a late push by Oregon to try and steal the game on the road sparked by an 81 yd punt return by Bralon Addison early in the 3rd quarter, as well as a TD pass from QB Vernon Adams Jr. to Byron Marshall but it wasn’t enough to topple Sparty.
Connor Cook and company put in a solid effort offensively. Cook threw for 192 yds, 2 TDs and 1 INT, and RB put in 76 yds and 2 TDs on the ground.
Vernon Adams Jr. showed flashes of brilliance throwing for 309 yds and a 2 total TDs but also struggled throwing 2 bad interceptions and showed little patience and decisiveness in the pocket, often holding onto the ball for way too long. His offensive line didn’t offer much help either as Adams Jr. was running for his life for much of the game.
Oregon was also never able to establish their trademark pace on the game. At no point did MSU have trouble subbing or look worn out on defense, which was a problem in last years match-up. The Spartans dominated the tempo of the game and made their mark defensively, forcing 2 turnovers and sacking Adams Jr. 4 times.
With a commendable performance from the Spartans who will surely move up a few spots in the rankings, and add a huge win to their playoff resume and look to create problems for CFP favorites Ohio State later in the season. As for Oregon, they will still contend in the Pac-12 and if they win out, will still be in the conversation to make the four team playoff.
– Credits: ESPN and Bleacher Report (Statistics)
– Melvin Jenkins