Oregon sprints past Kansas State to win Fiesta Bowl

Oregon Ducks 35, Kansas State Wildcats 17
Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

 

Barner had a game-high 31 carries for 143 yards (4.6 ypc).

When Oregon picked up the tempo, Kansas State was left in the dust.

The Ducks struck with a 77-yard touchdown drive in a mere 46 seconds just before halftime, and didn’t slow down the rest of the night to beat the Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl. Oregon (12-1) scored in every way possible, getting points on the ground, through the air, on a kickoff return, a swinging gate two-point conversion and a rare one-point safety.

Kansas State (11-2) recovered from a quick 15-0 deficit on Collin Klein’s six-yard touchdown run and a 25-yard field goal by Anthony Cantele. After then holding the Ducks to a second consecutive three-and-out, the Wildcats appeared poised to take the lead when their drive stalled and Cantele missed from 40 yards with 1 minute left in the half.

Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariotta then got the Wildcats’ heads spinning, completing three of four passes in the lightning-quick drive that ended with a 24-yard scoring strike to Kenjon Barner, who had 143 yards rushing. Barner scored his second touchdown early in the third quarter and the Ducks cruised from there to cement their second straight BCS win and third in five years.

The Ducks led from the opening kickoff, when De’Anthony Thomas broke free from traffic and sprinted to the end zone. The score was followed by a two-point conversion from a wild spread formation and Oregon was up 8-0 just 12 seconds into the game. Thomas then caught a 23-yard pass for the Ducks’ second score of the game.

Mariota threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns while adding 62 yards and a score on the ground to win game offensive MVP honors. Klein, a Heisman Trophy finalist, was intercepted twice and held to 181 total yards.

The Wildcats used ball control in an attempt to keep the Oregon offense off the field, holding onto the ball seven more minutes than the Ducks. But all year long, Mariotta and company have made time of possession all but meaningless in helping the Ducks to their third straight 12-win season.

Game notes

  • In what referee Ron Cherry called “an unusual ruling,” Oregon was credited with a rare, but perfectly legal, one-point safety when its PAT was blocked and the loose ball lateraled to Kansas State cornerback Allen Chapman, who was tackled in the end zone by Ducks lineman Jake Fisher. For the record, the one-point safety is covered in Rule 8, Section 3, Article 2, Subsection I in the NCAA’s rulebook.
  • The only time all season that Oregon did not lead at halftime was in its loss to Stanford.
  • Oregon outscored its opponents 211-43 in the first quarter this season.
  • Klein rushed for a touchdown for the 12th straight game.
  • The Ducks’ 8:51 time of possession in the first half was its lowest since last year’s Rose Bowl.
  • Kansas State has never won a BCS game.
  • The Wildcats, who averaged 3.8 points per second half drive during the regular season, scored seven points on seven second-half possessions.
  • Barner had his first touchdown reception since Oregon’s Sept. 29 win over Washington State.
  • Two of Oregon’s touchdowns were scored in less than one minute possession time, giving the Ducks 24 this season.
  • Kansas State running back John Hubert scored his 16th touchdown after scoring just three last season.
  • Klein averaged 74.2 yards rushing this season and was held to just 20 by the Ducks, 16 of which came on one play.

 

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