With Oregon securing a dominant win to end the non-conference portion of its schedule, several freshmen were able to shine in their 48-7 win over Stony Brook. From exciting freshmen debuts to veteran performances, here are the three players of the game:
Travis Dye-Running Back
Dye saw far more carries this week against Stony Brook than he did against Ohio State. Against the Buckeyes, he turned his eight carries into 43 yards and a touchdown.
This week, he was given almost double the carries. He had 15 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown where he pushed past two defenders to dive into the end zone. He also had one reception for four yards.
With the Ducks now heading into conference play, Dye will be utilized heavily similar to how he was used this week. His ability to make a difference in both the run and pass game will make the Ducks' one-two punch with Verdell much more dangerous.
Many viewers were very surprised to see the freshman quarterback run out on the field to start the second half. Due to an undisclosed injury to Anthony Brown, which doesn’t seem to be too serious, Thompson started for the Ducks in the second half.
Although he only recorded nine passes in his first collegiate game, it was his poise and quick decision making that was most impressive.
When he entered the game, the score was only 17-7. He was able to lead the offense to a commanding second half, stretching the lead to 41-7. In his one half of play, he completed six of his nine passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
His most impressive play of the game was a 54-yard touchdown pass which included a perfect pump-fake that the defense bit on, leaving Dont’e Thornton wide open and with room to run.
Though it's unlikely Thompson will get a large amount of playing time throughout the rest of the season, Duck fans should be excited to see their potential future quarterback looking strong this early in his career.
Five Takeaways from No. 9 Oregon's 24-17 Win Over California
There was a lot to digest after the Ducks' heart-pounding victory on Friday night in Eugene.
Dont’e Thornton- Wide Receiver
Speaking of exciting young players, Thornton also had a great debut for the Ducks. He ended the night with two receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown.
His touchdown reception saw him break off a would-be tackler and then explode through the rest of the defense in a race to the end zone.
With Johnny Johnson III and Jaylon Redd likely gone next season, Thornton is a future starter for the Ducks. He's proven that he has what it takes to be special. With Thompson throwing to him, and Thornton's track speed coupled with his 6-foot-5 frame, Oregon should see a lot more explosive plays like what we saw Saturday.
Oregon now turns their attention to next week's matchup against Arizona. The Ducks and Wildcats will meet to kick off Pac-12 play on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
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