ARLINGTON, Texas -- At halftime, it looked like a potential nailbiter. By the start of the fourth quarter, it was clear it wouldn't be.
No. 4 LSU dominated the second half and rolled over No. 3 Oregon 40-27.
How the game was won: Oregon trailed just 16-13 at the half and had the better numbers, but the Ducks imploded in a decisive third quarter. LSU outscored Oregon 14-0 in the frame, taking advantage of two fumbles from true freshman De'Anthony Thomas. But it wasn't only Ducks mistakes. LSU outgained the Ducks 122-15 in the third. The Tigers had six first downs. Oregon had zero.
Turning point: The first three possessions of the third produced no points. But then Thomas had his first fumble on the Ducks 21-yard line -- he was in the midst of a nice first-down run. Six plays later, LSU punched it in and increased its lead to 10. That was the beginning of the deluge.
Stat of the game: Oregon had 11 penalties for 89 yards, while LSU had 6 penalties for 31 yards.
What Oregon learned: The Ducks learned that they will be annoyed by the same questions that they got asked before the game: Why does a good team with extra time to prepare seem to shut down their offense? From Boise State to Ohio State to Auburn and now to LSU, it's hard not to see a pattern.
What it means: It means that Oregon and the Pac-12 failed to make a national statement. The top team in the Pac-12 -- the Ducks -- has now lost to two different SEC West foes in consecutive games. We can debate the details of the SEC's ascendancy, but it's meaningless when you don't beat them.