I'll be the first to admit...that first quarter was scary being a Duck fan. The two quick field goals, the yardage and TOP comparison...it was not pretty.
The overall performance by the Oregon Ducks was pretty spectacular though. A 48-13 victory is something to be proud of. And, we learned 3 valuable things from that game.
1) Darron Thomas is a leader.
Thomas did a great job the entire second half. He finished 17/32 for over 200 yards and threw two touchdown passes. After the quick 13-3 lead Tennessee took, the Ducks never looked back scoring 45 unanswered points.
The second half was a slaughter house and it was led by the cool-under-the-pressure Darron Thomas. He led the Ducks well, coming back from a startling first half.
I foresee great things coming from this guy, especially if he keeps performing like he did today.
2) The run defense has to be improved.
Tauren Poole ended up with 162 yards rushing...111 of which came in the first quarter alone. That must change. The Ducks face some tough rushing games in the future (Washington, Arizona, Oregon State) and they have to tighten up in that area.
While the second half was much better, and they only allowed 13 points altogether, if teams find a way to maximize the weakness of the Ducks run defense, they may end up losing games.
3) Tennessee doesn't have loyal fans.
By the mid-third quarter, there was an estimated 11,000 people there. Only 11,000! Of the 103-104,000 fans that began the game, only about 11% were left. And half of those were Ducks fans.
It amazes me how unloyal the Vols fans were. I admit, it made me laugh that the majority of Neyland Stadium in the fourth quarter were wearing yellow and green.
Oregon played some great second half ball. But they need to work on the run defense, and make sure three stellar wins in a row (you know they'll slaughter Portland State at home) doesn't make them cocky. After all...over confidence ruined the Ducks last year.