EUGENE, OR – In their final non-conference game of the season, Oregon Ducks dominated the Montana Grizzlies 35-3 in Autzen Stadium late Saturday night.
Oregon started quickly, as quarterback Justin Herbert connected with Jacob Breeland twice for touchdowns in the first quarter. A 5-yard touchdown across the middle on their opening drive of 75 yards in less than two minutes, and a 17-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter.
Herbert was outstanding once again, completing 30/42 attempts, and throwing for 316 yards and 5 touchdowns on the day. Extending his nation-leading streak of consecutive games with touchdown passes to 31 in the process.
Despite outscoring Nevada by 32 points, Oregon wasn’t perfect. After the game, head coach Mario Cristobal stated “You never apologize for a victory, but we’d like to be a little more sharp in some of our execution”.
The Ducks specifically struggled with offense efficiency, converting only 46% (6/13) of their 3rd down tries against the Grizzlies. When asked why the starters remained in the game for so late into the game, Cristobal said “I just felt we needed to keep playing until we ended on something a little more positive. You know you only get a certain amount of snaps, we’re headed into conference play, and while Justin is in there,I want to make sure he’s surrounded by the front-line guys. I wanted to play a little more football before we pulled the guys off the field”.
The long-awaited debut of senior transfer Juwan Johnson may finally be approaching, as Cristobal also stated “Juwan was really close, but we held him [out]”. Johnson will immediately help with Oregon’s third down conversions, adding a 6’ 4” 231-pound target to a wide receiver core that’s currently decimated with injuries.
Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos had his defensive line firing on all cylinders again, recording 4 sacks, and holding the Grizzlies to only 8 rushing yards on the night.
Oregon will travel to Stanford next week before heading into a bye week.