EUGENE, OR – Following week 1’s blowout loss against Georgia with a lopsided 70-14 victory over Eastern Washington in week 2, many looked to Oregon’s matchup against the 12th-ranked BYU Cougars to gauge Oregon’s 2022 team. The Ducks stepped up to the challenge, defeating BYU 41-20 in an extremely one-sided game.
BYU moved the ball well in their opening drive but surprisingly played with desperation early as they failed to convert on 4th down at Oregon’s 37-yard line. After being handed excellent field position due to the failed conversation, the Ducks marched down the field taking a 7-0 lead when quarterback Bo Nix capped a quick 4-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown rush.
In his first year as a head coach, Dan Lanning is looking to find his identity with Oregon. Lanning said, “We want to be the team that you don’t want to play again, we want to be the team that when you walk out onto the field you are sore and you’re feeling it, felt physical, we are relentless, and we just continue to nag at you”. That physical identity was certainly on display in the run game where the Ducks rushed for 212 yards and BYU totaled just 61 yards.
The physical run game started with Oregon’s offensive line, who clearly outmatched BYU all day. The strong play from the offensive line gave Nix an opportunity to have what is arguably the best game of his college football career to date, where he completed 13/18 attempts for 222 yards and 2 passing touchdowns, and another 3 rushing touchdowns.
On the receiving end of both of Nix’s passing touchdowns was standout sophomore tight end Terrance Ferguson, who now has four touchdowns on the season. No other Oregon receiver has more than one receiving touchdown on the year.
When speaking about his rushing performance, Nix said “you’ve got to contribute that to the O-Line. From the start of the game, they were able to lock ‘em up, get a hat on a hat, and make a lot of running lanes for the backs and myself”.
Looking to get backup Ty Thompson some much-needed experience, Lanning made a quarterback change surprisingly early with 4:03 left in the third quarter. Thompson was given two series at quarterback, where he went three and out in his first, and then threw an interception after his pass bounced off the hands of wide receiver Dont’e Thorton on his second. The Cougars took advantage of these series, scoring touchdowns after both of them, cutting Oregon’s lead to only 18 with 10:39 left to play.
BYU’s brief comeback hopes were put to rest as Lanning put his starters back in the game the next drive, who would go on to secure the 41-20 victory.