The Oregon Ducks football team still has five conference games to go, but after their 45-30 victory over No. 10 UCLA, no one can argue they are the prohibitive favorites to be one of the two teams in the Pac-12 title game in Las Vegas.
Three of those five games are on the road, but unless a major upset occurs, one would think the Ducks will take care of business at Colorado and California with an always-tough rivalry game in Corvallis against the Beavers.
The two home games certainly won’t be easy wins as Washington and Utah are still scheduled to come into Autzen Stadium. But if the Ducks can control those games like they did today, they’ll control their own destiny.
Oregon’s offense threw the kitchen sink at the Bruins and nearly everything they tried worked. The Ducks had big plays to receiver Troy Franklin and Bo Nix was masterful at throwing the ball going 21-of-27 for 278 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
The Duck senior transfer quarterback also burned the Bruins with his legs by converting two fourth downs on a key scoring drive in the third quarter to make it 38-16. Even after UCLA scored a touchdown, the Oregon offense never wavered. Nix hit Bucky Irving on a fourth-and-four for a backbreaking 37-yard touchdown and a 45-23 lead.
Oregon’s defense, while not spectacular, made sure UCLA needed to work for every yard it got. The Ducks were concerned about explosion plays, but they limited the Bruins’ big-play capabilities. They also held the Bruins to field goals instead of touchdowns on two drives. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson became more frustrated as the game went along.
Head coach Dan Lanning even threw a little Chip Kelly at Chip Kelly with a gutsy onside kick and recovery in the second quarter. They turned a 10-10 tie into a 24-10 lead without DTR even touching the ball. From then on the Ducks announced to UCLA and the conference that they mean business.