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Game Recap: Ducks Thrash Sun Devils in Tempe, 49-13

Bo Nix tosses 6 TDs in first half as Oregon breezes past Arizona State

Oregon v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Oregon hadn’t won a football game in Arizona in November in 5 years heading into the night. Fueled by another Heisman caliber performance from Bo Nix, the Duck offense blew the doors off what had been billed as a tough Arizona State defense. Meanwhile, Oregon’s defense bottled up do-everything back Cameron Skattebo.

Here’s how it happened….

Oregon Owns the First Half

After Arizona State won the coin toss and deferred, the Ducks got the ball first and wasted no time going to work. Oregon would only see one 3rd down on the drive (an 18-yard strike from Nix to Tez Johnson to convert 3rd and 11) as they marched down the field. Nix found TE Patrick Herbert for the 23-yard scoring toss to put up the first points of the game. Camden Lewis would tack on the extra point for the 7-0 Oregon lead.

Arizona State’s first play from scrimmage would feature a pass interference penalty to get the ball out near midfield. A long pass from Skattebo to TE Jalin Conyers would set the Sun Devils up at the Oregon 23. Their next 3 plays would net -2 yards before Dario Longhetto would miss the 43 yard field goal attempt.

The Ducks wouldn’t need much time as their drive would go 75 yards in under 2 minutes. Nix hit Herbert a second time and the tight end wouldn’t be touched as he raced 49 yards for the score. Ducks up 14-0

Oregon v Arizona State
Tight end Patrick Herbert #88 of the Oregon Ducks runs with the football en route to scoring a 49-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half of the NCAAF game at Mountain America Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Sun Devils would pass for a first down as Elijah Badger moved the sticks on an 11-yard catch from Trenton Bourguet. The drive would stall there and they would be forced to punt on 4th and 8.

A balanced attack from the Ducks on their next drive would march down the field on connections from Nix to Johnson and Troy Franklin and powerful runs, including a 15-yard blast from Bucky Irving that was a shoestring from going the distance. Nix would hit Franklin for his third TD pass of the night from 16 yards out. Oregon lead climbs to 21-0.

Arizona State would go 3-and-out giving the Ducks the ball back at their own 35. The Ducks would be forced to convert a pair of 4th downs to keep the drive alive before Nix dropped a dime to Troy Franklin on the post route. Ducks up 28-0

Another 3-and-out from the Sun Devils put the ball back in Oregon’s hands. The second play of the drive, Gary Bryant Jr caught a short pass from Nix on the sideline, spun out of a tackle and hit the afterburners for a 71-yard race to the endzone. Ducks pouring it on 35-0.

The Sun Devils found some success on the ground running with TE Conyers as acting quarterback in the Wildcat formation they had been in and out of all game. A series of gutsy runs up the middle and timely completions put the ball in Oregon territory. Down big, Arizona State went for it on 4th and 1 from the Oregon 26. They would get the conversion, only for Cole Martin to pick off Skattebo on the next play, giving Oregon the ball on their own 2 yard line with 1:05 left in the half.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Oregon at Arizona State
Oregon Ducks wide receiver Gary Bryant Jr. (2) runs for a touchdown during the college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 18, 2023 at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Not content to coast into the half, Nix executed a meticulous drive going 98 yards on 7 plays in 56 seconds. They would cap the drive with a 16-yard strike to Tez Johnson, giving Nix is 6th TD pass of the game and tying the school record for TD passes in a game. Oregon leads 42-0.

Oregon Lets Up in Second Half

ASU would get the ball in the second half, coming out trying to get something started in the passing game. Three straight completions by Bourguet would get the ball across midfield. A short gain on 1st down would be followed by 3 straight incompletions, including the attempt on 4th and 7.

Oregon’s first drive of the second half would feature a 27 yard rush and 20 yard catch by Bucky Irving on back-to-back plays. Nix’s seventh TD of the night, this time to Terrence Ferguson, would be negated by an offensive pass-interference call. The drive would stall in the red zone, and a bad snap on the field goal try led to an interception thrown by holder Luke Ross.

The Sun Devils would continue to mix in Bourguet passes with wildcat runs by Skattebo and Conyers, moving down to the Oregon 25 before the Duck defense tightened down. They would give up only 5 yards the next 3 plays forcing another FG attempt. Dario Longhetto would finally put ASU on the board, 42-3.

Ty Thompson would check it at QB for the Ducks as Oregon leaned on Jordan James in the run game to burn time off the clock. Thompson would hit Traeshon Holden for 19 yards on a nice strike to convert 3rd and 9. The drive would stretch into the 4th quarter before Thompson found TE Casey Kelley for the scoring toss. Ducks up 49-3.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Oregon at Arizona State
Oregon Ducks quarterback Ty Thompson (13) throws a pass during the college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 18, 2023 at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arizona State wouldn’t go away yet. Several quick passes had them marching down the field. Melquan Stoval would scamper into the end zone from 15 yards out to give the Sun Devils their first TD of the game putting the score 49-10.

A false start on Oregon’s next drive would put them behind the sticks and Thompson would get picked off on 3rd and 16 from their own 19. ASU would try to take advantage of the short field, but would only manage 15 yards in 7 plays before settling for another field goal. Those would be the last points of the game as Oregon would kneel it out on the next drive setting the final score in favor of Oregon 49-13.

Hello Heisman

The Oregon offense absolutely owned the first half allowing Bo Nix to turn in a performance that should turn a few heads in the Heisman race. Nix finished the game 24-29 for 404 yards and 6 TDs. Yes, he had more scores than incomplete passes. Troy Franklin would pull down 8 catches for 128 yards and 2 scores. Notably 5 different pass-catchers for the Ducks hauled in scores with Franklin and Herbert nabbing a pair each.

The Ducks come home to Autzen to host the Oregon State Beavers on Friday November 24.