All year long (okay, minus the Stanford game), Oregon has been a stick of dynamite. It’s usually just a matter of how long the fuse is.
With about one minute left in the first half of Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl, the Ducks exploded, driving 76 yards in 46 seconds. Oregon senior running back Kenjon Barner sealed the drive with a 24-yard reception and some help in the form of a great block by Josh Huff.
Up until that point, however, the Wildcats had worked to make it a game. K-State remained physical with Oregon, roughing up Oregon’s wide receivers and bullying Oregon’s front line with running backs Angelo Pease and John Hubert.
Quarterback Collin Klein was quietly effective, rushing over the pylon for Kansas State’s points of the game. A subsequent field goal by Anthony Cantele cut the deficit to five.
Then Oregon became their regular, ordinary blur led by Marcus Mariota.
Throws of 22 and 14 yards to tight end Colt Lyerla preceded Barner’s touchdown.
First half by the numbers
21:09 - Time of possession for Kansas State so far. Oregon has just more than a third of that.
12 - First downs for the Wildcats, to the Ducks’ eight.
50% - Completion percentage (6-for-12) for Mariota so far, down almost twenty from his season average. Yet a third of those completions went for touchdowns.