EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon is just as fast with Mark Helfrich at the helm.
The Ducks once again showed off their high-speed offense in Helfrich's debut as head coach when three runners went over 100 yards on the ground to lead No. 3 Oregon to a 66-3 win over Nicholls State Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.
De'Anthony Thomas ran 18 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns while Byron Marshall added 124 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Quarterback Marcus Mariota ran five times for 113 yards and two touchdowns while also competing 12 of 21 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown.
It was the first time in school history that Oregon had three runners go over 100 yards.
Oregon took a 38-3 lead at halftime so Mariota and Thomas were able to rest in the fourth quarter against the Colonels, an FCS school, in the debut of Helfrich, who was promoted from offensive coordinator when Chip Kelly left for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Senior Josh Huff led the Ducks with five catches for 118 yards.
Oregon scored on six of seven possessions in the first half and did not need much time to get those points. Seven of Oregon's eight touchdown drives took less than two minutes.
Oregon took the opening kickoff and Thomas capped a six-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run as the Ducks led 7-0 just 1:31 into the game.
The Ducks forced a punt and once again put together a short touchdown drive that culminated with a 27-yard pass from Mariota to Bralon Addison. Thomas added a 22-yard touchdown run for the Ducks.
Oregon recovered a fumble at the Nicholls State 17-yard line late in the quarter and added a 29-yard field goal by Alejandro Maldonado to take a 24-0 lead.
Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell was ejected under the new targeting rule when he hit Nicholls State quarterback Beaux Hebert in the head.
Hebert left the game with an injury on the play and was replaced by Kalen Henderson. He led the Colonels to a field goal as Andrew Dolan booted a 35-yarder early in the second quarter to cut Oregon's lead to 24-3.
Oregon answered with a 12-yard touchdown run by Mariota to push its lead to 31-3. Mariota added a 46-yard touchdown run later in the second quarter to put the Ducks ahead 38-3.
Byron Marshall had a 49-yard touchdown run for Oregon late in the third quarter and Colt Lyerla scored on a 3-yard run. Backup quarterback Jeff Lockie added a touchdown run in the fourth quarter and Jake Rodrigues threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Chance Allen.
NOTES: Oregon has won nine straight home openers since a loss to Indiana in 2004. ... Oregon's Thomas went over 4,000 all-purpose yards in the win and moved past Ahmad Rashad into fourth place in school history with 38 touchdowns. ... Nicholls State fell to 2-19 against FBS schools, with wins over Arkansas State in 2001 and Rice in 2007.