September 5, 2010

Grades and Analysis: New Mexico

The Oregon Ducks were too much for the visiting New Mexico Lobos on Saturday. An opening day record crowd of 59,104 was on hand to witness the dominating performance by Chip Kelly's squad at Autzen Stadium.

Overall - It would be difficult to give a team anything other than an 'A' following a 72-0 throttling. Saturday the Ducks looked like a team in midseason form. The only asterisk mark to this complete game is the uncertainty of the quality of the opponent. From our vantage point, New Mexico did not appear to be a good football team that day. Grade A

Offense - 60 offensive points is all you can hope for on a given Saturday. A team doesn't have to have a balanced statistical game to win but the Ducks did. Amassing 369 yards rushing to go along with 351 through the air, the score could have been worse had the coaches not begun a liberal substitution pattern halfway through the second quarter. Grade A

Quarterback - Darron Thomas had a solid game with 220 yards through the air and two touchdowns. His interception could be laid at the feet of the tight end that ran the play wrong, but nonetheless a very solid performance for his first start of the season. Nate Costa played extensively in the second and third quarters and was steady in his completion of 10-14 passes. Neither Thomas nor Costa ran the ball by what appeared to be design. Grade A-

Running Back - Obviously this was an outstanding game from Kenjon Barner. Five touchdowns, four of them on the ground, and 155 yards rushing is an amazing accomplishment. His 60 yards reception for touchdown helped pad the passing numbers for the Ducks. Remene Alston showed himself once again to be a solid Pac-10 running back and carried the ball 21 times for 114 yards. Grade A

Offensive Line - The offensive line did an excellent job, particularly the first unit but also the second and third groups that mixed in early and often. The holes were large and the running backs had seams to work with all afternoon. Pass protection was more than adequate. Grade A

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