Keanon Lowe and his ‘little brother’ Devon Allen shine in beginning stages of season
Keanon Lowe wasn’t going to revel in what the stat sheet may have said about his performance Saturday night, but there was no denying that the redshirt senior wide receiver had made his most lasting impact in a Ducks uniform.
Lowe, a product of Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, caught five passes, two of which were for touchdowns and eclipsed 100 yards receiving for the first time in his career as part of a 38-31 win against Washington State. It wasn’t as if his mark on the game came unexpectedly – Lowe was the most experienced healthy wideout returning to Oregon this fall, but with things opening up for him like they never did before, Marcus Mariota and Lowe connected on a number of patterns that left the 5-foot-9, 186-pound receiver in space and virtually begging for the ball.
“We had a couple schemes for him that ended up working,” Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost said.
With Washington State plugging in defensive formations that saw as many as nine players lined up in the box in the first half, Oregon’s ground game failed to make an impression and after the offense failed to go forward on its first two drives of the game, Frost elected to use more of a pass-heavy scheme. It just so happened that Lowe was the one open.
“I think it’s the way Frost called the game, he called some clutch plays and the perfect plays when we needed them,” Lowe said. “It just so happens that I was the guy that was at that position.”
Whatever the plays were, the effects were instant. On two of the Ducks’ next three series, Lowe and his freshman teammate Devon Allen were the recipients of 57 and 80 yard touchdown receptions respectively. Allen’s would be the first sign of life for Oregon as he jetted past defenders on his way to providing the team with a one-play scoring drive, while Lowe’s came in the second quarter on a play that left him behind the entire Cougars’ secondary.
Both of their nights wouldn’t finish after big plays like that though, and similar to Lowe, Allen would tack on another score in the second quarter and finish the game with seven receptions for 120 yards.
“Devon’s a big play waiting to happen,” Frost said. “I marvel at him because it doesn’t look like he’s running very fast, but he laps the field.”
Averaging over 20 yards a reception on the season, Allen continues to cause fits for opposing secondaries and his speed is the obvious reason why.
“Realistically there’s a lot of fast guys in college football,” the 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver said. “I just have that mentality that I can outrun everybody.”
It’s not just words coming out of his mouth either. Allen has made an impact as one of the more intriguing threats adorning one of the various uniform combinations Oregon has had in recent memory. To combine that with Lowe’s veteran savvy, not to mention Byron Marshall’s success working at the slot, Oregon seems to have everything already answered as far as passing options are concerned.
For Lowe, alongside an athlete like Allen, working as a tandem is about the best possible scenario he could think of as the season continues.
“He’s going to continue to get better,” Lowe said, referring to his teammate. “He’s going to continue to get me better and we feed off each other every day. He’s like a little brother. We teach each other a lot.”
Follow Justin Wise on Twitter @JustinFWise
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