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Blowout Win Puts Oregon Ducks Back on Track

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...to take the PAC

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

EUGENE, OREGON

DUCKS 77 - WOLF PACK 6

The Oregon Ducks (1-1) defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack (1-1) by a score of 77 to 6. After failing to score on their first couple of drives, the Ducks scored 11 touchdowns and racked up 623 yards of total offense.

Their 77 points tied for the highest score at Autzen and Justin Herbert surpassed two Duck legends in two Oregon passing records. Their defense was nearly perfect, and needless to say things really seemed to click for the Ducks after their first touchdown. Whether it was the first or second string didn’t seem to matter much once Oregon began rolling.

It was a game of firsts for Oregon: first pass for Tyler Shough, first catch for Tevin Jeannis, first carry for Sean Dollars, first touchdown for Tyler Shough, Bryan Addison, Hunter Kampmoyer, Brady Aiello, Daewood Davis, and Ryan Bay, first sack for Keyon Ware-Husdson and Andrew Faoliu, first interception for Sampson Niu and Steve Stephens and of course the first win of the season for the Ducks.


OREGON PASSING

Justin Herbert: 19/26 - 310 YDS - 5 TD

Tyler Shough: 8/9 - 92 YDS - 2 TD

Justin Herbert looked a little off on his first few possessions. He was 3-of-8 during Oregon’s first two drives, which resulted in a punt then a turnover on downs, and both of them ended due to off-target passes.

But everything seemed to fall into place for the senior quarterback when Cristobal elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 with 6:13 left in the first quarter on their own 32-yard line. CJ Verdell pounded it up the middle for two yards and on the following play Herbert found a wide open Jacob Breeland running down the field for a 66-yard touchdown.

The mishandled punt combined with the disappointing drives that preceded it had the fans quiet, praying they weren’t about to see an upset at home. Cristobal had already failed on a fourth down conversion earlier in the game, and a second failed attempt deep in their own territory could have resulted in a disastrous first quarter for the Ducks, but the coaches courage should be applauded. He saw that this team needed a shot in the arm after a slow start and painful week one and the fourth down conversion absolutely got the job done.

After the opening drives, here’s how Herbert’s next seven outings finished:

  • 66-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Breeland
  • CJ Verdell 2-yard touchdown run
  • 16-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Bay
  • 1-yard touchdown pass to Brady Aiello
  • 24-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Addison
  • 16-yard touchdown pass to Daewood Davis
  • Cyrus Habibi-Likio 11-yard touchdown run

With his 310-yard, five-touchdown performance, Herbert became number four on the Oregon career passing list (just ahead of Kellen Clemens and just behind Danny O’Neil) with 7,622 yards. He also surpassed the great Darron Thomas to become second on the Oregon career passing touchdowns list, second only to G.O.A.T. Marcus Mariota.

This was also a huge night for backup quarterback Tyler Shough. After the Habibi-Likio score in the third quarter, Herbert was benched and Shough was called upon to throw his first official pass as a Duck. The sophomore did not disappoint in his aerial debut, throwing a near perfect 8-of-9 and connecting with Jaylon Redd and Hunter Kampmoyer for his first two career scores.

The Wolf Pack defense didn’t pose the greatest threat, however, Duck fans should feel excited about the potential of a competent backup to Herbert. We all know the perils of being unprepared for an injury at quarterback and Shough seemed to have the physical and mental tools to not only step in for Herbert should disaster strike, but also take control of the offense once he leaves next year.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

OREGON RECEIVING

Jacob Breeland: 4 rec - 112 YDS - 1 TD

Bryan Addison: 2 rec - 58 YDS - 1 TD

Johnny Johnson III: 4 rec - 49 YDS

Daewood Davis: 4 rec - 39 YDS - 1 TD

Josh Delgado: 2 rec - 34 YDS

Hunter Kampmoyer: 1 rec - 21 YDS - 1 TD

Darrian Felix: 1 rec - 21 YDS

Troy Dye: 2 rec - 21 YDS

Ryan Bay: 1 rec - 16 YDS - 1 TD

Tevin Jeannis: 1 rec - 14 YDS

Jaylon Redd: 2 rec - 8 YDS - 1 TD

Spencer Webb: 1 rec - 4 YDS

Sean Dollars: 1 rec - 4 YDS

Brady Aiello: 1 rec - 1 YD - 1 TD

The Ducks had 14 players catch a ball Saturday and amassed 402 yards through the air along with seven touchdowns. Perhaps the most calming stat of the evening, especially considering Oregon’s injuries at receiver, is that all seven of those passing touchdowns were caught by a different player.

Oregon tight ends had a fantastic day, racking up 150 yards and four touchdowns on seven receptions. Jacob Breeland ushered in the blowout with the Ducks opening score, Ryan Bay expanded the lead to 21-6 in the second quarter, offensive lineman/tight end Brady Aiello wrangled in a 1-yard pass for an exciting big man touchdown, and the converted defensive end Hunter Kampmoyer caught Shough’s second career touchdown.

Bryan Addison was the first non-running back, non-tight end to score for the Ducks. The redshirt-freshman caught a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-6 just before halftime. Receiver-turned-cornerback-turned-receiver Daewood Davis scored on a 16-yard pass from Herbert to kickoff the third quarter and Jaylon Redd was lucky enough to catch Shough’s first ever touchdown.

This receiving corps has been through a lot, so an explosive game like this may be just what they needed. Once PAC-12 play begins things will once again be much tougher for this beat up unit, but against Montana next week we should expect just as much success as we did against Nevada.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

OREGON RUSHING

Darrian Felix: 8 car - 80 YDS - 1 TD

CJ Verdell: 11 car - 60 YDS - 1 TD

Cyrus Habibi-Likio: 8 car - 30 YDS - 1 TD

Travis Dye: 6 car - 28 YDS

Sean Dollars: 4 car - 12 YDS

Tyler Shough: 2 car - 11 YDS

It appears things go best for this Oregon offense when they are able to pull off a balanced attack, but on this night the running game served as the perfect compliment to Oregon’s thriving aerial attack.

CJ Verdell received Oregon’s first 11 carries and didn’t see the field after the second quarter. Yards were hard to find in the beginning, but Verdell’s fourth down conversion sparked the offensive onslaught. His 2-yard touchdown run in the second felt like the finish line for the starting back, which means his 19 yard run a few minutes later was his victory lap.

After a bad longsnap gave the ball to Oregon on the seven-yard line, Cyrus Habibi-Likio was given a couple of carries but failed to pound it in, thankfully Aiello was there to finish the job. The next two Duck drives had Travis Dye as the feature back. He finished with 28 yards on six carries as well as two receptions for 21 yards.

Habibi-Likio re-entered after Aiello’s score and finished the game in a rushing frenzy. Another Duck-forced turnover gave Oregon the ball on the Nevada 22-yard line, Cristobal then elected to give Habibi-Likio the ball four consecutive times and was rewarded with a touchdown.

The Ducks were up 63 to 6 by the time the fourth quarter came around, and their final two drives split carries between Darrian Felix, Sean Dollars and Habibi-Likio. Oregon traveled 80 yards in 15 plays and were able to burn 6:15 off the clock.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite receiving only eight carries, Darrian Felix was the most impressive back out of the group (though this may be in part due to a completely gassed defense), finishing with a team-high 80 yards and providing the exclamation point of the evening via a 62-yard touchdown run. Now that the sophomore has scored in back-to-back games, and has generally looked a step faster and shiftier than many of the others, it seems likely that Felix will eventually start to earn some of Dye’s carries - and may eventually take a few of Verdell’s.

After a huge upset last week, the Wolf Pack were hoping that freshman Carson Strong could do it again on the road, but Autzen proved too hellish and the Duck defense tormented their over-matched foes.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

NOTABLE WOLVES

Carson Strong: 13/25 - 89 YDS - 2 INT

Jaxson Kincaide: 13 car - 52 YDS

Kelton Moore: 9 car - 36 YDS - 1 rec - 23 YDS

Hausia Sekona: 7 tackles - 4 solo

Dom Peterson: 4 tackles - 3 solo - 1 sack

Ben Putman: 1 fumble recovery

The Wolf Pack need to forget about Autzen and the Ducks as soon as possible. After a feel-good victory over P5 opponent Purdue, perhaps there were a few diehard fans that truly believed they had another upset in them.

And for those few fans it must have felt magical when Haki Woods’ mistake led to a quick Nevada 3-0 lead. Then, after two lame duck drives, the Wolf Pack were able to once again score off of the now-legendary foot of freshman kicker Brandon Talton. But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Good news is that they have a couple of games against lesser opponents before they face PAC-12-slayer Hawaii in Reno.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

OREGON DEFENSE

WOLF PACK PASSING: 16/28 - 109 YDS - 2 INT

WOLF PACK RUSHING: 40 car - 83 YDS

TURNOVERS FORCED: Ducks 4 - Wolf Pack 1

It’s easy to overlook the defensive side of the ball when their counterparts are responsible for 70 points, but once the haze of endless touchdowns settled it became clear how impressive Avalos’ squad played.

The Ducks forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and kept the Wolf Pack out of the end zone all night. They had 13 tackles for a loss and five sacks, and in total 29 Ducks played on defense, meaning a lot of young players got meaningful snaps.

Mase Funa was a particularly impressive fresh face, finishing with three solo tackles, two of them sacks. Freshman Andrew Faoliu earned a bearhug from his brother after recording his first career sack, and Keyon Ware-Hudson also got to Carson Strong for his first sack. Kayvon Thibodeaux also punished the Wolf Pack punter on a busted play.

Sampson Niu feasted on the Nevada offense, recording his first career interception and forcing a fumble by a Wolf Pack receiver which was quickly gobbled up by Drayton Carlberg. Steve Stephens recorded his first career interception and nearly his first pick-six by returning it 38 yards before finally being brought down at the Nevada five.

The score was 63 to 6, Nevada had finally forced a punt and were deep in their own red zone when a Kelton Moore fumble, forced by Miami transfer DJ Johnson, led to a Brady Breeze scoop and score, which I’m guessing is the senior’s first touchdown.

DJ Johnson missed out on the Auburn game but made a strong debut at Autzen, leading both teams in solo tackles with seven. He also recorded three tackles for a loss including a sack. Johnson is another player that could be seeing significantly more playing time in the near future.

Honestly, the defense was just about perfect in this one. Next week’s game against Montana should be another vital opportunity for this unit to develop depth before conference play begins.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

ALL-GANG GREEN TEAM

  • DJ Johnson: 7 tackles - 7 solo - 1 sack - 3 TFL
  • Troy Dye: 4 tackles - 4 solo - 2 TFL
  • Sampson Niu: Forced fumble - 4 tackles - 2 solo - 1 INT
  • Mase Funa: 3 tackles - 3 solo - 3 TFL - 2 sacks
  • Steve Stephens: 1 INT
  • Brady Breeze: 1 TD - Fumble recovery - 3 tackles - 2 solo
  • Drayton Carlberg: Fumble Recovery - 1 tackle - 1 solo
  • Basically the entire defense.

NEXT UP: MONTANA

NCAA Football: Nevada at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports