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Oregon Opens Pac-12 Play with 41-19 Home Win Over Winless Arizona

Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks came into their Pac-12 opener 3-0 on the season, following a home win against Stony Brook the week prior, and two weeks removed from one of the biggest wins in program history against Ohio State.

The Ducks got things started on the right foot, going 73-yards on just 3 plays, highlighted by a big 63-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Brown Jr. to Jaylon Redd. 7-0 Ducks.

Oregon’s Bennett Williams would intercept Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud on the Wildcats first play of the game, and the Ducks offense was right back on the field. Oregon would turn that into a field goal to extend their lead to 10-0.

After an 11-yard touchdown run by C.J. Verdell to make it 17-7 Oregon, Arizona’s next possession would prove to be a turning point in the first half. The Wildcats marched down the field with relative ease before Oregon defense back Mykael Wright would put an end to the drive with a clutch interception in the end zone, preventing any points by Arizona.

The Ducks would take it 80 yards on 8 plays, extending their lead to 24-7 after a 9-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Brown Jr. to Terrance Ferguson.

Throughout the first half, Oregon’s defense struggled to prevent Arizona’s offense from moving the football. The Wildcats converted on 5 of 8 third downs in the first half, and kept the game within striking distance at the break with the Ducks up just 24-10. A game that could have very well been 17-17 if it weren’t for the MyKael Wright interception.

The half ended with Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal slamming his headset to the turf in frustration after freshman wide receiver Kris Hutson was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty following a routine catch.

Arizona’s opening drive of the second half didn’t look much different, as the Wildcats were able to move the ball inside the Oregon red zone on 14 plays. On the 15th play of the drive, Verone McKinley III secured his fourth interception of the season for the Ducks. Oregon bent, but didn’t break once again.

On the ensuing possession for Oregon, the Ducks were backed up at their one 2-yard-line, and quarterback Anthony Brown Jr. could not escape the pressure on a 3rd and 8 play. Arizona stole a quick 2 points on a rare Safety, making it 24-12 Oregon.

To make matters worse for Oregon, Arizona’s offense would march down the field once again on their next possession and score a touchdown to bring them within one score of the Ducks. The third quarter would end with the Ducks up just 24-19, but in possession of the football.

The Ducks would go on to score 17 unanswered points, highlights by a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown by Bennett Williams, his second interception of the game. Oregon pulled away from Arizona and secured their first win in Pac-12 play this season, improving their overall record to 4-0.

The Ducks won the turnover battle 5-0 in the game (all 5 interceptions), improving their impressive turnover margin to +12 on the season.

NEXT UP: Oregon will travel to Stanford to take on the Cardinal at 12:30pm next Saturday Oct. 2 on ABC.

 

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