Whoever thought that going into Saturday night’s game against Michigan State Oregon’s offense was going to have the same effect that it had last season against the Spartans; you might have guessed right the was the Ducks opened up the game on their initial offensive possession taking the ball for 13 plays and over three minutes for a touchdown.
Some would say that it wasn’t the same up tempo offense of a season ago, and that Michigan State slowed it down some. You can say both are true. No it wasn’t the same up tempo offense that was ran by a Senior who had been in the offense for a few years in Mariota, but quarterback Vernon Adams, Jr. was effective but the offense wasn’t as explosive; and the Spartans had a formula to keep Adams and running back Royce Freeman contained.
Michigan State knew that whatever Oregon hit them with they could not fold up and lay down. And on the Spartans initial possession they answered in a hurry sparked by Madre London who took the first carry off the left guard side 62 yards to set up the Spartans first and 10 at the Oregon 13 yard line. And on second down Connor Cook found his security blanket Josiah Price of a 12 yard touchdown pass. this would be the theme for the night for the Spartans; when Cook was in trouble he would find his tight ends, and the combination of Madre London and freshman L.J. Scott gashing the Duck defense between the tackles.
The first half was mostly about defense and turnovers on both sides, but Michigan State was able to go intermission with a 14-7 lead.
Vernon Adams threw more than he probably would have liked, most of it was in catch up mode, but he wasn’t effective with his feet running the ball 14 times but only had six yards. Royce Freeman 92 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown and was out for half of the second quarter due to injury.
There were some miscues by Adams that cost the Ducks some points. There was some questions about his index finger on his throwing had that he injured in the game last week against Eastern Washington, and he re-aggravated it in the second half. He over threw Byron Marshall n a few occasions and severely under threw other passes that led to interceptions.
The Ducks Bralon Addison provided a spark to his team at the start of the second half with an electrifying punt return for a touchdown. But just like in the start of the game whenever Oregon seem to try to get the momentum in their favor the Spartans would not fold the tent. L.J. Scott who rushed 11 times for 76 yards with 2 touchdowns on the ground; capped off a 11 play 75 yard drive with a 6 yard touchdown run to put the Spartans back on top 21-14.
In the end, timely first downs Michigan State and the back forth scoring, Oregon just ran out time to come all the way back and came up short 31-28.