Oregon Football picked up the win on Senior Night, outlasting the Arizona State Sun Devils in a 31-29 victory on Saturday, November 17. The Ducks’ offense got off to a scalding start, out-gaining the Sun Devils 364-142 in the first half. Oregon took its first two-score lead at 14-3 via CJ Verdell’s first career touchdown catch early in the second quarter, which added to his touchdown run from the first. UO then struck through the air, as Justin Herbert and Dillon Mitchell renewed one of the country’s best quarterback-receiver duos through a 57-yard end zone bomb late in the frame. Scores by both sides led to a 28-13 Oregon lead at the end of the first half.
Sledding got a lot tougher from there for the Ducks, though. As the offense slowed to a crawl, gaining only 41 yards in the third quarter, Arizona State brought the game within 12 thanks to Brandon Ruiz’ late-frame 29-yard field goal. Arizona State receiver Brandon Aiyuk further narrowed the margin on a 25-yard screen-pass touchdown from quarterback Manny Wilkins, who finished 15-32 passing with 182 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils. Wilkins nearly brought the Sun Devils even when he crossed the goal line on a quarterback sneak with 4:35 remaining; however, receiver Frank Darby’s catch on the ensuing two-point attempt was ruled out of bounds, leaving the score at 31-29. The game essentially ended following Lamar Winston, Jr.’s strip-sack on ASU’s last possession of the game, which shortly followed Herbert’s second interception of the night.
Herbert finished the night 19-34 for 262 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. Bolstered by Travis Dye’s 105 yards on 18 carries and CJ Verdell’s 70 yards on 14 totes, Herbert continued his strong connection with Mitchell. The junior receiver from Missouri eclipsed 100 yards receiving (with 104) for the sixth time this season. The win puts the Ducks at 7-4, reaching last year’s total with the Civil War and a bowl game still to come. Meanwhile, Oregon delivered a death knell to Arizona State’s Pac-12 South title hopes by handing them the loss; with their 30-7 victory over Colorado earlier in the day, Utah clinched a spot in the conference championship game.
Ducks Defense Steps Up on Senior Night (by Jonathan Rifkind)
First-Half Variety Helps Oregon’s Offense to Hot Start in Win (by Naveed Habibelahian)
Troy Dye, Travis Dye and Gus Cumberlander
Justin Herbert, Thomas Graham, Jr. and Lamar Winston, Jr.