Las Vegas, NV – This is not the way first year Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal wanted to begin his tenure. The Ducks were outclassed from the kick-off and were routed in the Las Vegas Bowl 38-28.
“Obviously we are all disappointed,” said Cristobal. “We shot ourselves in the foot a lot tonight”.
The Boise State Broncos came out firing on all cylinders in Sin City. After forcing Oregon into a three and out on its first possession on the game, Boise State QB Brett Rypien and the Broncos engineered a 13 play drive to take and early 7-0. Rypien found WR Ryan Wolpin from 1-yard out after converting on a 4th and short on the 3-yard line.
A lifeless offensive Oregon team looked unprepared against a Boise State team which looked dominate all game.
After intercepting Rypien in the end zone, the Ducks would gift the ball back to the Broncos on a fumble. Boise State would extend their lead 14-0 3 plays later on a 28-yard catch by Cedric just before the end of the first quarter.
Justin Herbert and the Oregon’s offense was one step behind the Broncos the entire first half. Herbert was picked of by Kekaula Kaniho for the Ducks 3rd turnover. Kaniho returned the interception 53-yard for a Broncos score and extended their lead 24-0.
Oregon’s defense kept the team chances of a comeback in sight, but not until late in the second half. Rypien and the Broncos were knocking on the door of another score, but on an attempt to execute the statue of liberty play, Rypien and his running back miscued on the hand-off. Oregon’s Troy Dye picked up the fumble and returned it to the house, putting Oregon on the board.
The quarter wouldn’t go any better for Boise State. After a 65-yard reception by Cedric WIlson, Rypien would once again be picked off in the end zone. This time, his pass would be returned 100 yards for an Oregon touchdown cutting the Broncos lead 24-14.
The Ducks had a total of 77 yards offensively in the first half compared to 186-yard gained on defense.
The third quarter began much like the first for the Broncos. Boise State got back to what had granted them a 24 point lead, with short intermediate passing routes. Rypien and the Broncos tacked on another 7 points on its opening drive of the second half on a 12 play 75 yard drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Rypien.
Despite being visibly outmatched the entire competition, the Ducks threw their punches and managed to make it interesting in the 4th quarter. Oregon’s first offensive touchdown of the day came on an 8 play drive to reduce the Broncos lead 31-21 with 10:04 left in the game. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be enough for the Ducks.
“Everything we were striving to do, we didn’t do that today,” said Cristobal. “We have to get back to work after the break and reestablish ourselves”.