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Duck Offense Rolls Behind Royce Freeman

Freeman ran for 200+ yards for the second time in his career.

Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks used a balanced offensive attack to overpower the visiting Virginia Cavaliers Saturday night in Eugene. Dakota Prukop completed 21 of 31 for 331 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, proving to be just as efficient as a week earlier against UC Davis. But the real story was Royce Freeman, who scored midway through the first quarter en route to a 207-yard rushing game. Freeman would score again late in the third quarter, and his yardage total would be second only to his 246-yard campaign against Washington State last year.

In a day of storylines, Devon Allen was the leading receiver for the Ducks, bailing the Ducks out on two long third down conversions. The first came in the second quarter with the Ducks facing a daunting third-and-36. Prukop connected with the speedster for a 55-yard gain, giving the Ducks first-and-goal. Dakota Prukop then connected with Dwayne Stanford for a touchdown from two yards out. The next score went with the theme of the day, familiar faces returning to excellence. Pharaoh Brown, who hadn't played since 2014, snagged an 11-yard touchdown pass from Prukop. Brown's catch was one of a team-leading five receptions for the Ducks, proving he is ready to be a force going forward.

Tiquan Mizzell temporarily stopped the bleeding on a Duck 24-point scoring streak, plunging in for a four-yard touchdown. Prukop found Allen the very next drive, hanging in the pocket and taking a shot before delivering a strike to Allen over the top. The Olympic finalist left Cavs in his wake, racing to the end zone before mimicking running over a few hurdles as his original TD celebration. Royce Freeman would end the Duck scoring three minutes later, on a rather short-lived drive. Freeman juked a defender at the 25-yard line before getting to the edge and using blockers to find daylight for an 85-yard touchdown.

In what has become less a letdown than an expectation, the Duck defense didn't close out the game well. The Cavs scored the last two touchdowns of the day, both coming from the hand of transfer quarterback Kurt Benkert. The Ducks have yet to hold an opponent under 26 points this year, and allowed nearly 200 rushing yards to a team that only mustered 38 against the FCS-level Richmond Spiders.

The offense, meanwhile, totaled 632 yards (331 in the air and 301 on the ground). Tony Brooks-James contributed the only non-Freeman touchdown on the ground. The Ducks now prepare for an early-season showdown with Nebraska, where the defense will have to clamp down on the Huskers.