Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

November 12, 2012

Oregon overcomes injuries to move to No. 1

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon's defensive line was so depleted that backup tight end Koa Ka'ai and two other freshmen were pressed into emergency duty.

Big-play running back Kenjon Barner was bottled up all night so freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota put the game on his arm.

Oregon overcame numerous hurdles to beat California 59-17 on Saturday night to move into the top spot in The Associated Press poll with just three weeks left in the regular season.

"That's always been our philosophy,'' coach Chip Kelly said of the "next man up'' mantra. "We really got tested with it today. Our guys did a nice job. I can't say enough about what that young defensive line did.''

The Ducks (10-0, 7-0 Pac-12) were without four of their top five linemen coming into the game and then lost defensive tackle Taylor Hart in the first quarter to another injury.

While Isi Sofele and the Golden Bears (3-8, 2-6) were able to run the ball effectively for 2 1/2 quarters, freshman Arik Armstead forced the interception that turned the momentum in the third quarter and the banged-up defense kept Cal off the scoreboard for the final 25 minutes of the game.

"Just because they're low on the depth chart doesn't mean they're not going to play,'' safety Brian Jackson said. "They showed that today. They were able to step in with the big boys. They came in and we didn't see any letdown. I saw different numbers and different names in front of me but I didn't see any difference in the play.''

The Ducks survived the litany of injuries to the front four and a possibly season-ending injury to safety Avery Patterson to win their 13th straight game and move into the top spot in the poll following Alabama's 29-23 loss to Texas A&M earlier in the day.

The only other time the Ducks held the top ranking came in 2010, when they were No. 1 for seven weeks before being passed by Auburn late in the final regular season poll in 2010.

Oregon, No. 2 Kansas State and third-ranked Notre Dame are the only undefeated FBS teams left who are eligible for the postseason and are fighting for the two spots in the BCS title game.

But that's not what the Ducks are worried about right now.

"That's what's so good about this team,'' said Josh Huff, who had three TD catches. "We don't pay attention to the rankings and what's around us. We just play Oregon football. We'll pick our heads up in December and we'll see where we're at.''

Before that happens they need to navigate a treacherous closing stretch of the schedule, starting with a home game next week against No. 14 Stanford. A visit to No. 15 Oregon State and a possible spot in the Pac-12 title game follow, but the big concern now is the Cardinal and their powerful running game behind Stepfan Taylor.

The Bears rushed for 236 yards - the most allowed all season by the Ducks - with most of the damage coming in the first three quarters.

"It was getting a little frustrating,'' Jackson said. "Stanford is a running team. We know what to expect next week.''

What made those losses on defense easier to overcome was the strong performance by Mariota. Most of the focus on the Ducks offense was on Barner last week after he rushed for 321 yards and five touchdowns against Southern California.

But he never got going against a Cal defense focused on shutting down the run and even left the game briefly with a right hand injury that he refused to talk about after the game.

Barner was held to 65 yards rushing on 20 carries - his lowest output against an FBS team this year - and the Ducks managed a season-low 180 yards on the ground, their lowest total in a conference game since 2010.

But with Mariota throwing for a career-high 377 yards and a school record-tying six touchdowns, the Ducks still managed to set a major college football record by scoring at least 40 points for a 13th straight game.

"At the end of the day we still had a good game,'' Barner said. "I'm not the type of person that has to be the guy. Josh Huff deserved everything that came his way tonight. Marcus continues to impress, guys just continue to step up and do their job. As far as me having a tough game, I'm not worried about it. We came out with a win. That's the most important thing.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0344web.jpg ‘Lucky 7’ comes through in the 3rd

    Over the course of his four-year baseball career at Verdigris High School, third baseman Ryan Skalnik has had his share of memorable at-bats.
    None more important than Tuesday’s appearance in the Large School East-West All-State Game at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa.
    Skalnik, who was the lone senior this season for Verdigris and a four-time Class 3A state champion, thrived under pressure in the top of the third inning for the East.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Larue, Skalnik power East to 3-0 victory

    The East blanked the West 3-0 in the Large School All-State Baseball Game Tuesday night at J. L. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
    Claremore catcher Matt Whatley and third baseman Ryan Skalnik of Verdigris represented Rogers County in the contest.
    Skalnik finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's.  Whatley was 0-for-1 with a walk.

    July 30, 2014

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • RSU places 77 student-athletes on Heartland Conference Academic All-Conference Honor Roll

    The Heartland Conference announced that more than 1000 student-athletes from its 12 member institutions landed a spot on the Academic All-Conference honor roll, including 77 from Rogers State.
     
    The Hillcats had 33 student-athletes named to the President's Honor Roll while 44 earned Commissioner's Honor Roll recognition.

    July 31, 2014

  • Indoor football coming back to Enid?

     Is Enid ready to give professional arena football another try? Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers owner Mark Timberlake think so, and are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 31, 2014

  • OU holds Mixon out of practice, investigation continues

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today, but freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there, the school announced Wednesday night.

    The university, in its statement, said “Joe Mixon is not reporting for team activities at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Ticket options available for Arkansas women's basketball

    The excitement surrounding head coach Jimmy Dykes and the 2014-15 University of Arkansas women’s basketball season is building every day in Northwest Arkansas.

    As the excitement builds, the Razorback Ticket Center has announced the availability of women’s basketball season ticket plans including several new options for this season.  Tickets go on sale beginning today and can be purchased online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-4647.  Current season ticket holders will receive renewal forms in the mail the first week of August.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-OSU baseball players Oliver, Hague on new paths in All-Star season

    Matt Hague has transitioned to being a power hitter and Andy Oliver has evolved into a shutdown closer.

    The former Oklahoma State players were both named International League All-Stars after reinventing themselves this season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-Sooner Courtney Paris finding niche with Shock

    It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the nation.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Keuchel tosses 4-hitter, Astros roll past A's

    In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel is Clayton Kershaw's equal. For at least one three-game series, Houston was better than Oakland.

    Keuchel pitched a four-hitter and Robbie Grossman homered to cap a six-run first inning that sent the Astros past the Athletics 8-1 Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014