The Oregon running back took a second-quarter punt 73 yards to the house for a touchdown to make it 42-0 against Colorado in Eugene just 19 minutes into the game. The 5’9″ sophomore also had five carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas avoided being tackled about five times, and then he just turned on the jets down the sideline to outrun two Buffaloes who had the angle on him.
From a football perspective, it was an awful decision by Thomas to pick up the punt as it bounced past him. That’s just asking for a fumble that could lead to an opponent’s touchdown. He also ran about 15 yards backwards after scooping up the punt before running past the entire Colorado punt coverage team.
Sure it was a spectacular play, but this says as much to me about the lack of quality competition in college football as it does about Thomas’ incredible talent. That type of poor decision would have led to a 20-yard loss or fumble in the NFL. Once you get in the habit of picking up balls like that because you can turn them into touchdowns against crap teams like Colorado, it becomes hard to break.
As a reminder, Colorado lost the game 70-14 and is now 1-7. They didn’t belong on the field with Oregon.