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Five Takeaways From Oregon's Win Over BYU

The Ducks were tested and came up big when it mattered most.
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On Saturday the Oregon Ducks faced a tough test in the BYU Cougars and were able to come out on top 41-20. They were even able to let their foot off the gas a bit midway through the third quarter when quarterback Ty Thompson entered the game. 

Now sitting at 2-1, the Ducks will evaluate this game before starting prep for a 3-0 Washington State squad next week. Here are my five takeaways from Saturday's win.

1. The Defense played better but still has work to do

Oregon's defense played lights out in the first half, allowing only seven points. Then they nearly blew it in the second half. That final score of 41-20 seems like a blowout but when the Cougars drew within 18, it looked like they could make a comeback.

Granted, Oregon's defense was playing on limited rest in between drives, due to stalled drives from the offense. The defense bent but didn't break. But the secondary, which gave up a number of big plays, showed again that it continues to be a liability for this team. The front seven and offense have been winning Oregon games. But the rest of the defense needs to lend a hand in order for Oregon to continue winning as Pac-12 play begins.

2. The crowd helped, big time

Coming into this game people were saying this was a game the crowd needed to show up. And boy did they, with more than 54,000 screaming fans rolling into Autzen, and you could feel and hear it from the press box. 

The crowd was loud in this game, and I think it unnerved  BYU a bit. But they also galvanized the Ducks. Pushing them on to jump up 21 points on the Cougars by halftime. And stifling a team that took the then No. 9 Baylor Bears to double overtime.

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3. Oregon did simple better and were able to open the playbook more

One thing Dan Lanning has harped on is that the Ducks need to do simple better. The Ducks did that on Saturday. Bo Nix looked comfortable, went through his reads, and was able to push the ball downfield. To the delight of many Ducks fans, he even started pushing it down the field on some big gains that helped to break the game open. With Nix finally seeming comfortable in this offense, it looks like Oregon will hopefully continue to open up the playbook as they head into conference play.

4. Guys stepped up when it mattered most

Whether it was the sack on the second play of the game, guys getting open and making big gains, or just elevating their level of play; the whole team stepped up big. Nix silenced critics by leading Oregon on all their scoring drives, including coming back in when Ty Thompson struggled in the few drives that he was in. Big days from Troy Franklin and Mar'Keise Irving helped to drive this offense. And the defense playing physical upfront football helped prevent BYU from getting into any sort of groove.

5. Oregon blocked out the noise and performed

Going into this game, most people had written off the Ducks and said they had no chance of winning this game whatsoever. Oregon not only won, but absolutely dominated this game. They showed the rest of the Pac and the country that they can play ranked teams and win. This win should also give them a big confidence boost. And this confidence will be needed as the Ducks open Pac-12 play next week when they had out to the Palouse to play the Washington State Cougars.

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