Oregon football: Ducks grind out ugly win at Washington State

Oregon Ducks
Washington State Cougars

Oregon football fans can breathe a little easier today, as the Ducks came out of Pullman with a hard-fought, even ugly, victory against the Washington State Cougars.

A lot can be said about the Ducks coaching staff in this game, and how they made adjustments not only between the first and second half but through the final four offensive possessions of the game for Oregon. It was the difference in the game.

From the start, the Ducks’ high-powered offense was able to work the field, but unlike the last few games where scores were touchdowns, three of the first four possessions resulted in field goals as Bo Nix was able to lead the Ducks to the red zone before stalling out.

One possession was intercepted and run back for a 95-yard touchdown by the Cougars as the teams went into halftime with Washington State leading 17-9. The Ducks Defense played stellar in the first half and it was clear they would have to do the same for the rest of the game.

Going into this game, we knew it would be a battle of the quarterbacks. Bo Nix finished 33 for 44 for 428 yards through the air,  along with three touchdowns and an interception. Nix’s 428 yards is a career-high in passing. On the other side of the ball, Cameron Ward was 37 for 48 for 388 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The game came down to the final quarter which saw Oregon take control scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter. Dan Lanning’s team scored 21 points in less than 4 minutes of game time to take the road victory including an interception of Ward by Mase Funa for a touchdown.

The Ducks put up a total of 624 yards for the game and held Washington State to just 41 yards on the ground and an average of 1.7 yards per rush. Good teams find a way to push through adversity, and on the road in a hostile environment, Oregon shut down a key part of the Cougars game and came away with an important conference road win.

Oregon is now 1-0 in Pac-12 play and returns home next week for a game against the Stanford Cardinal. It will be an evening kickoff at 8 pm Pacific Time on Fox Sports 1.

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