Oregon Ducks stay at No. 3 in ESPN Power Rankings after win over Arizona

·2 min read

The final score of 41-19 would indicate that the Oregon Ducks had their way with Arizona on Saturday night in the conference opener, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

In reality, all the damage for the Ducks was done in the first and fourth quarters, with the middle-thirty spent basically treading water. Oregon scored three times in the first quarter, three times in the fourth quarter, and just once in between, with only two total possessions in the third quarter alone.

We wrote going into this game that Oregon has a potentially fatal flaw that leaves them playing down to the level of opponents and allowing lesser teams to hang around until late in the game. That flaw was alive and well on Saturday night.

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Despite the uninspiring win, ESPN kept their confidence in the Ducks, ranking them at No. 3 in the weekly power rankings, just behind Alabama and Georgia. At No. 4, Penn State has made a jump after a couple of impressive weeks. Here is what ESPN had to say about the Ducks:

Oregon’s 41-19 home win against Arizona wasn’t as easy as the final score indicates. The Ducks led just 24-19 going into the fourth quarter, which, regardless of how they closed, is concerning. Arizona came into the game 0-3 and had just lost to FCS Northern Arizona the previous week. The game featured the return for star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, but he left the game early due to another injury. It’s unclear what his prognosis is.

ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura mentioned Thibodeaux’s injury, but the prognosis seems to be positive, according to Mario Cristobal. The Oregon coach said after the game that Thibodeaux didn’t re-aggravate his ankle injury during the game, and he sat out the second half due to reaching his limit in a pitch-count that slotted him for 6-10 plays on the night.

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Oregon will travel to Palo Alto next week to take on Stanford, who looked solid in a loss to No. 24 UCLA on Saturday. The heavy-running scheme will provide a big test for Oregon, and we will surely learn a lot about this team’s makeup.

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