By Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
EUGENE, Ore. – Tennessee traveled to the great northwest on Saturday to take on second-ranked Oregon in an east meets west battle. The Ducks’ high octane offense proved to be too much for the Volunteers (2-1) to handle in a 59-14 defeat at Autzen Stadium.
Justin Worley got things started off right for the Vols with a 4-yard touchdown connection to Jason Croom in the first quarter, setting Tennessee up with a 7-0 lead. It was all Ducks from that point on, however, as Oregon (3-0) proceeded to rally off 59 unanswered points before the Vols could find the end zone again
Oregon, which employs a frenetic hurry-up, no-huddle offense, wore down the Tennessee defense en route to 687 yards of offense on the afternoon. Signal-caller Macus Mariota threw for 456 yards and four scores on the day, and he also tacked on 27 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Worley and the Vols struggled to get into a rhythm following their opening touchdown, and the quarterback finished the game with 126 yards on 25 attempts. Marlin Lane managed a 4.8-yard per carry average for Tennessee, but by the time the Vols scored again they were facing a 52-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Running back De’Anthony Thomas carried 13 times for Oregon for 86 yards and a score.
Passing – Justin Worley, 13-for-25, 126 yards, TD
Rushing – Marlin Lane, 13 car, 63 yards
Receiving – Josh Smith, 1 rec, 51 yards
Passing – Marcus Mariota, 23-for-33, 456 yards, 4 TD
Rushing – De’Anthony Thomas, 13 car, 86 yards. TD
Receiving – Josh Huff, 6 rec, 125 yards, TD
• Saturday’s game marked the second meeting ever between the Volunteers and the Ducks. Oregon won the first meeting in 2010 in Knoxville.
• Tennessee is now 17-15-4 all-time against Pac-12 teams. The Vols’ last win against a Pac-12 squad came in 2006 over No. 9 Cal in Knoxville.
• The last time Tennessee won a game on the west coast was in 1997 against UCLA behind the leadership of Peyton Manning. Their last two games on the left coast ended in losses to Cal (2007) and UCLA (2008).
• Tennessee is 7-8-1 all-time against teams ranked No. 2 in the country.