Oregon, a 14.5 point underdog, is flying back to Eugene with the biggest non-conference regular season win in program history after defeating #3 Ohio State 35-28 in Columbus.
The Ducks were previously 0-9 against Ohio State and Oregon was without two defensive stars in Justin Flowe and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Offensively Oregon was incredible, outgaining Ohio State on the ground 269 to 128 with the offensive line paving the way to beautiful openings for Travis Dye and C.J Verdell along with not allowing a single sack on Anthony Brown. The first-year starter, Brown was under criticism after a poor performance against Fresno State but was excellent when needed against OSU and finished 17/35, 236 yards, 2TDs, and 65 yards on the ground.
Oregon was still significant on defense despite giving up 612 yards. The key, allowing just two short fourth-down conversions on five Buckeye attempts.
C.J Verdell came to play in the opening half accounting for 83 total yards and two touchdowns. His first score was an outside run to the left and the exclamation point on a 99-yard Oregon drive. Verdell got the call with 4:51 left in the half when a 4th and 2 presented itself, Verdell collected the outside toss to the left and again took it 14 yards for the score.
C.J Stroud, who struggled in the first half against Minnesota in week one completed more passes in the first two quarters, 16, than he did the entire Minnesota ballgame. The key difference, just one touchdown pass Garrett Wilson which was the lone OSU score in the first half.
Mario Cristobal and the undermanned Ducks was the first opponent since 2017 to hold Ohio State to single digits in the first half, allowing just seven points on six Ohio State drives.
Verdell wasn’t satisfied with the two 14-yard TD trots, on the brink of three and out to start the second half Verdell took it 77 yards to silence 100k in Columbus just 90 seconds in. On the next drive, Ohio State got one of their own when C.J Stroud completed a 26-yard end zone ball to Jaxon Smith-Njigba to pull the game back to 21-14.
Oregon answered the OSU response quickly, Travis Dye got in on the fun, attacking the weak left side of the Ohio State defense to score a five-yard TD and take a 28-14 lead.
When Oregon took their second 14-point lead of the half, Oregon’s running backs were averaging 9.3 yards-per-carry. Ohio State simply could not handle the Verdell/Dye combo and the offensive line which seemingly struggled against Fresno State looked incredibly improved in Columbus.
Oregon’s defense put an end to the back-and-forth boxing match to open the half, stopping Ohio State on fourth and two inside the eight.
Ohio State brought it back within a single score when Treveyon Henderson pounded it in seconds after an OSU fourth-down conversion. On-trend for the second half, Oregon roared back with an Anthony Brown TD pass.
The Buckeyes just wouldn’t go away bringing it to 35-28 with under eight minutes to go. All the momentum was leaning the Buckeye way, Oregon proceeded with two three-and-outs but the Duck defense supplemented by some missed Stroud throws shut Ohio State out the rest of the way. The icing on the cake was a Verone McKinley interception with 2:50 left to go in the contest.
Next for Oregon is Stony Broke at Autzen Stadium next Saturday.