EUGENE, OR – After narrowly avoiding a loss last week against Washington State, the 13th ranked Oregon Ducks advanced to 3-1 late Saturday night after they defeated the Stanford Cardinal 45-27 in their Pac-12 home opener.
Stanford was notably without running back EJ Smith, son of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, who will miss the rest of the season with an undisclosed injury
The Ducks took a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter when Bo Nix found wide receiver Chase Cota for a 49-yard touchdown pass and continued to roll after that.
Bennett Williams, who had 7 total tackles on the night, forced a fumble on Benjamin Yurosek in second quarter which was recovered by Noah Sewell. The forced fumble was Williams’s first of season, and third of his career.
Once again, the Ducks dominated the ground game, rushing for Season high 350 yards (515 total). Nix led the Ducks on the ground, rushing for a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns, which is the most in a game by an Oregon quarterback since Jeremiah Masoli ran for 164 yards back on October 31st, 2009. Sophomore running back and Minnesota transfer Bucky Irving matched his career high, rushing for 97 yards on only 10 carries and sophomore running back Sean Dollars recorded his first career rushing touchdown on 2-yard rush in the fourth quarter.
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning has focused his offense around the run game this season, and after the game stated “We want to lean on our strengths, I think our O-line has been a strength all year. Our backs are running really hard. We were obviously able to involve the quarterback in the run game, and wide receivers too, that was part of our plan coming in. If they didn’t take it away, we wanted to continue to lean on it.”
Nix also was great in the passing game, completing 16-of-29 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, but his night was highlighted by an 80-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter that put the Ducks ahead 38-10.
Wide receiver Chase Cota said “I remember when I saw him get out and he was like 40 yards down the field, I’m like `Please don’t slide, you got the touchdown…Sure enough, he made it.”
The Oregon Ducks will head to the University of Arizona next week as they look to continue their win streak and keep their hopes of making the 2022 College Football Playoff alive.