Bahn: Red Wolves Not Up To The Challenge Of Stopping, Scoring On No. 5 Oregon Ducks

by Chris Bahn  on Sunday, Sep. 2, 2012 4:27 am  

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EUGENE, Ore. — It could have been worse.

Arkansas State’s 57-34 loss to No. 5 Oregon on Saturday with 56,144 watching in Autzen Stadium most definitely could have been worse. So much worse.

Chip Kelly called off the Ducks shortly after it became apparent they could name the score. Oregon was up 50-3 before it ever punted and looked the part of national title contender against a shell-shocked Red Wolves team.

Not quite the head coaching debut that Gus Malzahn wanted. Defensively the Red Wolves were no match for Oregon’s deep, quick offense. They gave up 605 yards and 34 first downs and allowed 57 points for the first time in 10 seasons.

Offensively ASU found its rhythm in the second half, but for much of the night it looked little like the record-setting team it was last year. And it didn’t resemble the sort of scoring machine that has become synonymous with Malzahn.

“They kicked the crap out of us in the first half,” ASU Quarterback Ryan Aplin said. “They embarrassed us. We didn’t do anything the first half. … I think the second half was better. We fought back. That was a big thing for us.”

Granted, the Red Wolves’ fight came as the Ducks went as deep into their roster as they possibly could. ASU outscored Oregon 31-7 over the final 33:20 of the game, but it saw very little resistance once the Ducks went up 50-3.

If you’re looking for bright spots for ASU there were a few encouraging signs. It looks like the Red Wolves' offense can move the football if it's relatively evenly matched.

Aplin wound up setting career records in passing yards and total offense. He tallied 341 yards and four touchdowns, completing 29 of 44 passes for 304 yards.

Josh Jarboe, who tied a school record with 13 receptions, was Aplin’s favorite target. He finished with 66 yards and a touchdown. David Oku ran for 81 yards and 12 carries in his ASU debut.

Malzahn wasn’t interested in much of that.

“I’m one of those guys that thinks of stuff we should have done better,” Malzahn said. “Yeah, there was some good things, but we’ve got to get better.”



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