Looking Back at the Last Meeting Between Oregon and Fresno State
On Saturday, the Ducks will face the Bulldogs for the first time in nine years at Autzen Stadium.
Finally, the wait is over. It’s game time.
On Saturday at 11 a.m. PST, No. 11 Oregon takes on Fresno State at Autzen Stadium, which is packed with fans.
The Ducks are seeking to win their eighth straight game versus the Bulldogs when the two West Coast programmes meet for the 10th time.
Fresno State’s victory over Oregon would be the school’s first since 1982.
But first, let’s take a look at the last time the two clubs met. It was Sept.
8, 2012, at Autzen Stadium, which was crowded with over 55,000 people, most of whom were dressed in yellow to match the Ducks’ bright yellow uniforms.
Fresno State was in its debut season in the Mountain West after being a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
Oregon was ranked fourth in the country.
The Ducks had just won the Rose Bowl over Wisconsin and were considered a strong contender to return to the BCS National Championship Game for the second time in three seasons.
However, two significant issues lingered throughout the offseason: who would replace Darron Thomas as the starting quarterback, and how would the Ducks replace LaMichael James?
The answers to those questions, particularly the first, are very evident nine years later.
Marcus Mariota, a redshirt freshman, earned his first career start against Arkansas State the week before, throwing three touchdown passes and 200 yards with only four incompletions.
Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas, two of the most electrifying players in the country, were also brought back by the Ducks.
On offence, Fresno State had a strong lineup that included junior quarterback Derek Carr and junior wide receiver Davante Adams. Does this ring a bell?
Carr versus. Mariota, the starting quarterback showdown, foreshadowed the currently No. 1 and No.
2 quarterbacks on the Las Vegas Raiders’ depth chart over a decade later. This game also allowed college football fans throughout the country a chance to see Adams, who is now largely recognised as the NFL’s top wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers.
With his blazing fast, no-huddle spread offence, fourth-year head coach Chip Kelly had already established himself as one of the top offensive minds in the country.
In 2012, Tim DeRuyter took over as the head coach at Fresno State.
After 15 years as the Bulldogs’ head coach, DeRuyter was succeeded by Pat Hill.
DeRuyter will coach on the sideline at Autzen Stadium for the first time since that game nine years ago, although from the opposite sideline.
He told the media this week that the game versus Chip’s Ducks in Eugene was one of his favourites.
“It was a very, very noisy stadium, I recall.
Regrettably, I was on the receiving end of the commotion that week “DeRuyter explained. “
Against Oregon, it was difficult to execute.”
It was difficult to execute against the Ducks in the first half, as they stormed to a 35-3 lead at one point in the first half.
Thomas and Barner had combined for four touchdowns at halftime.
The Bulldogs of DeRuyter were able to narrow the final score by outscoring the Ducks 19-7 in the second
half and forcing three turnovers.
Barner’s 222 total yards and three touchdowns, as well as Thomas’ 128 yards and two touchdowns on only
11 touches, led Oregon to a 42-25 victory. Mariota completed 19 of 27 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.
The game on Saturday morning will bring back memories of DeRuyter’s loss to Oregon in 2012, but
instead of being afraid of it, he’ll be urging the Oregon crowd to be insufferably loud.