The #11 Oregon Ducks (7-1, 5-0) defeated the Washington State Cougars (4-4, 1-4) for the first time in five years, 37-35.
Justin Herbert: 21/30 - 222 YDS
Anthony Gordon: 32/50 - 406 YDS - 3 TD
TD SCORERS: (UO) CJ Verdell, Jevon Holland, CJ Verdell, CJ Verdell, (WSU) Max Borghi, Renard Bell, Brandon Arconado, Brandon Arconado
DUCK YARDS: 528 YDS - 222 passing - 306 rushing
COUGAR YARDS: 446 YDS - 406 pass - 40 rushing
TURNOVERS FORCED: Ducks 2 - Cougars 0
1ST QUARTER: Washington State kicked off and Travis Dye fumbled the attempted return that luckily fell behind him for the touchback. A Jaylon Redd reverse was lucky to gain a yard and a CJ Verdell run gained five to make it 3rd-and-4.
Justin Herbert had trouble finding an open man and elected to run it himself for a 12-yard gain. Quarterback runs are a rare occurrence in this offense, yet Herbert ran on the proceeding play as well, though for only two yards this time. A false start by tight end Hunter Kampmoyer put the Ducks at 2nd-and-13 but Herbert was able to connect with Redd to gain six yards back on the next play. But on third and long, Misiona Aiolupotea-Pei was able to sack Herbert for a 10-yard loss, leading to a 39-yard punt from Maimone.
Starting at their own 25-yard line, Washington State was able to gain big yardage in just four passes, each going for double digits: Dezmon Patmon for 13, Brandon Arconado for 28 then 11, and a screen for running back Max Borghi who gained 18. However, back to back holding penalties on Liam Ryan put the Cougs from the 3-yard line to the 23-yard line, then a short gain by Patmon followed by consecutive incompletions led to a Blake Mazza 36-yard field goal.
Cougars 3 - Ducks 0
CJ Verdell began to pick up steam with carries of seven and then eight yards. Spencer Webb gained 17 yards on the next play after the Cougars were forced to respect the run and then the ball was given back to Verdell for gains of eight and six yards.
Cyrus Habibi-Likio entered the game but was only able to pick up one yard and then Herbert was forced to scramble and was barely caught by defensive lineman Will Rodgers III for a 3-yard gain. On 4th-and-3, Cristobal took a timeout to discuss their options with 3:16 left in the first quarter. And after the commercial break, Oregon elected to attempt a 40-yard field goal and were rewarded by freshman Camden Lewis.
Ducks 3 - Cougars 3
Washington State started their next drive at their own 29 and picked up 14 yards off the strong legs of Borghi, who was shaken up when Nick Pickett’s helmet crashed into his ribs. Easop Winston Jr. made his first catch of the game, a 4-yard reception, but Wazzu’s offense fell flat on the following two plays.
Jevon Holland signaled for the fair catch on the Oregon 11 and the Duck offense once again took the field. And on the first play of their third drive, Verdell took it to the house for an 89-yard touchdown. Lewis missed the extra point.
Ducks 9 - Cougars 3
Gordon completed a 2-yard pass to Patmon who was punished with a hard hit by Holland, and on the last play of the first quarter Borghi ran for three yards to make it 3rd-and-5 on the Wazzu 31.
2ND QUARTER: Washington State was able to pick up the first down on a 10-yard screen pass to Borghi and then another immediately after thanks to an 18-yard pass to Patmon. Borghi gained seven more yards and Arconado picked up the first down and then some on the next play, placing the Cougars at the Oregon 15.
Pressure got to Gordon forcing him to throw it away, and on the next play Arconado dropped a potential touchdown which bobbled its way into the hands of Verone McKinley III for the interception.
The Ducks went three-and-out on a drive that started at their own six after a couple of carries by Dye and a Herbert run fell short of the first down (though the spot of the ball on Herbert’s slide was questionable).
A personal foul on Daewood Davis gave the Cougars excellent field position and then another good run by Borghi had Wazzu at the Oregon 20. Gordon connected with Arconado on 4th-and-1 to get the Cougs at the Duck 2-yard line and two plays later Borghi pounded it in for the touchdown. Camden Lewis’ missed extra point bit the Ducks in the tail feathers when Mazza connected with his for the lead.
Cougars 10 - Ducks 9
Travis Dye took the kickoff to the 24-yard line. An outlet pass to Juwan Johnson picked up eight yards, then a 12-yard run by Verdell gave Oregon a first down. The running back picked up 13 more on his next carry but the momentum was momentarily stalled with an incomplete pass to Johnson.
Dye picked up three yards to make it 3rd-and-7 and Webb came up with another big reception in the middle of the field for an 18-yard gain. Washington State took a timeout at the 4:30 mark with Oregon just outside of the red zone.
Coming back from the break, Rodgers was able to sack Herbert for an 11-yard loss, which seemed to affect Herbert’s next throw - an attempted screenpass to Redd that fell short. A completed pass to Dye resulted in chaos on both sides as Juwan Johnson was called for an illegal block and Washington State was called for targeting by Travion Brown. The penalties offset, Brown was ejected, and Dye’s fumble was given back to the Ducks who replayed the third and long.
The result of the 3rd-and -21 was a 6-yard sack by Ron Stone Jr and Oregon was forced to punt. After the touchback, Wazzu started the drive with a false start, then a Mase Funa sack put the Cougs at their own 5. Gordon was forced to throw away the ball and suddenly Washington State was had a 3rd-and-25.
Despite the fact that Gordon needed 25 yards to move the chains and was deep in his own end zone, the quarterback decided to throw it deep to the middle of the field where Holland was eager to snatch it up for a 19-yard pick six. Johnny Johnson III was able to bring in the two-point conversion despite taking a big hit in the back of the end zone.
Ducks 17 - Cougars 10
The Cougars were able to drive down the field after a 36-yard kickoff return in which safety Jamal Hill was injured. A 21-yard pass to Arconado got things going, then an 8-yard run by Borghi continued their success. Two penalties were called on Oregon: one a pass interference by Lenoir and the other an unsportsmalike on a furious Cristobal. The PI was wiped out after it was made clear that the receiver stepped out of bounds, but on the next play Renard Bell was able to score off a short pass which went for a 15-yard touchdown.
Cougars 17 - Ducks 17
A boneheaded unsportsmanlike on Brady Breeze put the Ducks at their own 20 and Herbert was able to earn a first down after a couple of quick passes. Herbert was unable to connect with Pittman and Oregon ended the quarter with a Habibi-Likio run.
*Halftime Score: Ducks 17 - Cougars 17*
3RD QUARTER: Washington State started with the ball at their own 26 after a 24-yard return from Travell Harris. The first play of the half was an off snap that put the Cougs back 15 yards. Gordon then missed his next pass to Arconado and Winston’s 14-yard reception fell short of the first down.
Holland caught the punt on the Oregon 35. Verdell was only able to pick up one yard on two carries, but Herbert hit Redd for an 11-yard gain despite being affected by a Coug defender. Verdell gained 11 yards on his next run and then seemingly gained another seven on a screen, however two holding calls on Oregon put them back 10 yards.
Verdell picked up six on the ground in two carries and then blew past the first down marker with a 16-yard screen pass. Habibi-Likio spelled Verdell for a play but was only able to pick up two yards. After further review, Johnny Johnson’s apparent catch was ruled incomplete, but Bryan Addison picked up the first on the next play via an 11-yard reception.
A false start had the Ducks at 1st-and-15 on the Wazzu 16, but Redd was able to gain 10 on the next play. Two Verdell runs later, Oregon found the end zone and Lewis was able to hit the extra point.
Ducks 24 - Cougars 17
Starting at his own 17, Gordon escaped the pocket and ran for seven yards to start the drive. Borghi then picked up the first with a 10-yard rush, and on the next play gained six on the outlet pass.
Winston Jr pushed his way forward for an 11-yard reception and Borghi gained nine more on another big run. Gordon connected with Davontavean Martin for 11 yards but then missed out on a pass to Patmon which was nearly picked off on the deflection. However, on the next play, Patmon caught the ball on a slant for a 19-yard gain.
On 1st-and-goal, Borghi picked up five yards, but Gordon was unable to take advantage of the short field due to some outstanding coverage by Graham Jr and other Duck defensive backs. Mike Leach then decided to go for the field goal deep in the red zone, which Mazza made from 23-yards out.
Ducks 24 - Cougs 20
Verdell started the drive off with a 17-yard run to the Oregon 42. Then, Johnson III added to the drive with a 7-yard reception and Verdell followed that up with a 35-yard run. Habibi-Likio re-entered the game to give Verdell a rest and was able to pick up nine yards on two carries before the end of the third quarter.
4TH QUARTER: Starting on the Cougar 5-yard line, short-yardage specialist Habibi-Likio received four straight carries and was able to get the ball to the 1-yard line. And on 3rd-and-goal, Verdell came back into the game and scored his third touchdown of the night.
Ducks 31 - Cougars 20
An unsportsmanlike conduct on the kickoff took the Cougars back 10 yards to their own 11, but receptions to Arconado, Borghi and Harris accumulated a total of 54 yards and an out of bounds hit by Graham Jr added to Washington State’s success. Gordon then completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Arconado, who also caught the proceeding two-point conversion after a Leach timeout.
Ducks 31 - Cougars 28
Unsuccessful plays had the Ducks at 3rd-and-11, but a 17-yard pass to Johnson bailed out the Oregon offense. A couple plays later, Verdell ran for 28 more yards and suddenly the Ducks were at the Wazzu 20.
Three consecutive Habibi-Likio carries earned the first down, but on the 9-yard line Penei Sewell was called for a false start (one of many questionable calls by the refs.) Verdell ran for two yards but Herbert was unable to connect on his next two passes due to Wazzu pressure. Lewis connected on a 30-yard field goal attempt.
Ducks 34 - Cougars 28
Harris got the Cougs to the 30-yard line after a good kickoff return and Gordon took the field looking to throw a game-winning touchdown. Graham Jr broke up a pass intended for Martin, then Pickett batted away a pass for Arconado. But on 3rd-and-10, Graham Jr was lucky to not get called for the PI, forcing the night’s second Washington State three-and-out.
Verdell was tackled for a loss on first down but then took a swing pass for 27 yards on the next play. Per usual, Habibi-Likio came in after the big play by Verdell. The running back gained two yards and Pittman gained two more on the next play, but on 3rd-and-6, Herbert just barely overthrew Verdell on a wide-open screen, resulting in a Maimone punt to the Wazzu 10.
Gordon completed his first pass to Arconado for five yards and then picked up the first down on the next play with a 10-yard pass to Winston. Following an incompletion, Lenoir was called for the pass interference in what was almost an interception, and then Gordon connected with Martin for a 48-yard play aided by a slew of missed tackles.
On the Oregon 12, Gordon threw a 5-yard pass to Harris. A 2-yard Borghi run was followed by a deflected pass by Slade-Matautia, but on 4th-and-3 Gordon threw the 5-yard touchdown pass that gave the Cougars the lead after the made extra point.
Cougars 35 - Ducks 34
With less than one minute left in the game, Herbert led the team down the field for the go-ahead score. The drive started with a 6-yard run by Verdell then continued with a Webb first down reception. Johnson caught a 15-yard pass to get the ball to midfield then Washington State took a timeout to gain their composure.
Johnson nearly scored a touchdown but was tackled after gaining 24 yards. A 3-yard run by Verdell got the ball to the Wazzu six and Herbert took the ball to the middle of the field to set up the field goal.
And in a game in which freshman kicker Camden Lewis missed an extra point, Camden Lewis scored the game-winning field goal at the last second.
Ducks 37 - Cougars 35