Oregon Reigns Supreme Over Arizona, 51-13: Good, Bad, and Ugly
The heavy Northern California rainfall did nothing to hinder the juggernaut of Oregon Football during the PAC 12 Championship at Levi’s Stadium as the Ducks demolished the Arizona Wildcats, 51-13.
Many experts believed that this was going to be the premier game of the PAC 12 season; but the Oregon Ducks had other ideas.
The Ducks dominated the contest from the opening kickoff until the final whistle on both sides of the ball. The Ducks put forth their best effort of the season by holding the Wildcats to season lows in yards from scrimmage and shut the Wildcats out in the first half for the first time since September of 2012.
Oregon proved that they are the premier team on the West Coast and should be considered for the top seed in the inaugural College Football Playoff this season.
Here was the Good, Bad, and Ugly from the PAC 12 Championship Game:
Marcus Mariota is the Man! – A national audience was able to witness how one young man has transcended the game, and led his team with his body and mind. Mariota is not only a fantastic athlete; he is one of the most cerebral players in the game today. Mariota just dominated the Arizona Wildcats as he threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for an additional three scores. The best moment of the game from Mariota came in the third quarter as he scrambled out of four would be tacklers, heaved the ball 46 yards off his back foot, and completed one of the most amazing passes of the season to Darren Carrington. Mariota is without a doubt the best player in college football this season.
The Ducks Defensive Domination – One thing is for certain, no one expected the Ducks to shut down the high-flying Wildcats offense. The Ducks just hounded the Wildcats, and allowed a paltry 224 yards of offense; which only 25 were gained in the first half. The Ducks proved that they are now a complete team, and will be a force to be reckoned with in the College Playoff.
Oregon Dynamic Duo – This season, Oregon has produced two of the most dynamic Cornerbacks in the game with Ifo Ekpre-Olumu and Erick Dargan. On Friday night, the “Dynamic Duo” did not disappoint as they held the Wildcats air attack in check for the entire game, and were fierce upon the line. Dargan was able to grab another interception, and no balls were completed on Ekpre-Olumu’s side. Both of these athletes have stepped up their game, and will be a force at the next level.
Scooby Wright – The only bright spot was the heroic play of Arizona’s heralded linebacker Scooby Wright. The sophomore linebacker came into the game with a terrible flu, but still played to his full potential. Wright is a tremendous talent, and will be regarded as one of the top linebackers to come into the 2015 season.
Wildcats Play Calling – Arizona came into the PAC 12 Championship known as one of the top offensive teams in college football. On Friday night, the Wildcats seemed to have forgot what got the team to the “Big Dance” and laid an egg in the championship game. Several times, the Wildcats had chances to make a move on the Ducks, but Head Coach Rich Rodriguez made extremely conservative play calls, and cost the Wildcats points on the board. It seemed that Rodriguez had no faith in his young Quarterback, and it may have cost the Wildcats a chance at a major bowl game.
The Laundry was flying – There were 15 penalties thrown in the first half, yes, 15 penalties. Oregon would have scored at least one or two more touchdowns that were wiped away due to un-necessary false starts and holding penalties. Arizona could not garner any sort of offensive attack, and when it looked like the Wildcats might move forward, they would get a holding penalty and the drive would stall. If both teams are to be successful in their postseason, they will need to shore up the penalty situation.
The Levi’s Stadium Playing Surface – One media member remarked that the stadium gets an A, but the playing surface gets a D-. This is the fifth grass surface that has been placed at Levi’s this year, and on Friday night, the nation witnessed how sloppy the field can get while it is wet. This situation will need to be rectified soon, or fans will be calling for the Candlestick Park to return.