Oregon didn’t draw up the beginning of the game on a chalkboard with the first play being an interception. Fortunately, it turned out okay as the Duck’s defense came to play and the offense got things together in the 63-19 win over California.
But the wet conditions did create some plays you normally wouldn’t see such as a blocked field goal returned to for a touchdown only to be called back because the defense was offsides. Both teams were flagged for sideline interference and a 52-yard field goal was missed.
The Ducks got their biggest punt return of the season and scored three touchdowns in the last five minutes of the first half.
Other than that, it was a normal football game.
Bo Nix was outstanding, Tez Johnson had a career game and the defense allowed just one touchdown, their first in two games. Coach Dan Lanning wasn’t particularly happy with the overall performance, but that just shows how high the standard has become in Eugene.
Here’s another very good report card after the big win over California.
That one interception on the first play of the game was not his fault. It went off Tez Johnson’s hands and should have been a 30-yard gain. But after that, Nix was nearly flawless with six total touchdowns and 386 yards. The performance put Nix squarely in the middle of the Heisman conversation.
Ty Thompson came in and it could be argued this was his best outing as a Duck, going 6-of-8 for 58 yards and a touchdown.
The game plan was to exploit the California secondary, but the Ducks still needed to run to keep the Bears’ defense honest. Bucky Irving and Jordan James did just that. Irving rushed for 89 yards and a score with James gaining and another score.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tez Johnson had the game of his life with 12 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns with Troy Franklin adding six catches for 79 yards and a score. Eight different Ducks caught passes and even with the game well in hand, the receivers were still making plays. Traeshon Holden’s touchdown towards the end where he somehow toe-tapped the sideline was an incredible play.
The offensive line didn’t let Cal touch Nix all day and opened holes just big enough for the tailbacks. The grade would be an A except for a few too many holding penalties. It didn’t hurt against Cal and it probably won’t hurt against USC, but these flags need to be cleaned up soon because they will eventually cost the Ducks a game down the line.
Oregon’s defensive line played well and held Jaydn Ott to just 93 yards and a touchdown. They did harass Fernando Mendoza many times and Taki Taimani should have been credited with a scoop-and-score, but he was ruled to be down at the 1-yard line. Casey Rogers was credited with the tackle for loss on that play for -21 yards.
Jeffrey Bassa had six tackles, one for loss and Bryce Boettcher had six tackles with Jordan Burch also adding six tackles. They flew around the field and kept the Bears in front of them for the most part. Just for context, the Oregon defense has allowed one touchdown in the last two games.
Steve Stephens’ first-quarter interception set the tone for the entire game. They held the Cal receivers to just 164 total receiving yards. Jahlil Florence, Khyree Jackson, Evan Williams and Tysheem Johnson pretty much shut down the Bears passing game.
Camden Lewis made all of his extra points, but missed a tough 52-yard field goal and had a kickoff go out of bounds. Punter Ross James had an incredible punt inside the five-yard line and Tez Johnson had a 47-yard punt return that set up the Ducks’ last touchdown in the first half.