EUGENE, ORE. – The Oregon Ducks won their first game of the 2019 football season against Nevada in front of rowdy 50,920 fans in Autzen Stadium. The dominating win extends Oregon’s streak of consecutive wins over non-conference opponents at home to 24, a stretch that dates back to 2008.
It was all eyes on the No. 16 Ducks to see how the team would rebound from their last second loss to No. 11 Auburn in prime time… Would Oregon allow the Tigers to beat them twice? The answer is a resounding no.
Here are the top three takeaways from the game.
1. JUSTIN HERBERT WOKE UP (AND THE STREAK LIVES!)
Saturday marked Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert’s 30th start and his 30th straight game with a touchdown pass, the longest streak in the nation.
After an underwhelming start and a few missed throws from the senior, Herbert settled down and woke up the Autzen crowd with a 66-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jacob Breeland. The explosive play tied Breeland’s career long for a reception in a game.
Following that touchdown pass in the first quarter, Herbert completed the next 10 of 11 passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns. Herbert finished with 310 passing yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Four of those touchdowns were caught by players who had never scored before: Daewood Davis, Ryan Bay, Brady Aiello and Bryan Addison.
2. DUCK DEFENSE DOMINATION
The Oregon defense entertained and delighted all night. Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir made a statement right away, stopping all three plays Nevada ran on their first possession. In the first half alone, the Ducks had eight tackles for loss and held Nevada to only 97 yards of offense.
The Ducks pestered Wolf Pack quarterback Carson Strong, grabbing two interceptions in the first half.
True freshmen Mase Funa and Kayvon Thibodeaux provided highlights on back-to-back plays. Funa recorded his first career sack on third and 12 and then Thibodeaux tackled the Nevada punter for an 11-yard loss after a bad snap.
Oregon didn’t let up, DJ Johnson forced a fumble which Brady Breeze recovered and returned for a touchdown to extend Oregon’s lead to 62-6.
3. MONSTER DUCK TIGHT ENDS
Cue Oprah… “You get a touchdown, you get a touchdown, you get a touchdown!” With a depleted wide receiving corps, Oregon’s tight ends stepped up in a major way.
Breeland recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game and a career-high for receiving yards. The senior was dependable and a constant threat over the middle.
Ryan Bay scored his first career touchdown, a 16-yard grab in the second quarter. The 6-foot-3 senior came to Oregon as a walk-on from Tigard.
The biggest tight end on the field was offensive lineman Brady Aiello wearing a number 82 jersey. Aiello got to do what most lineman only dream about, catch a touchdown pass from the quarterback they usually protect.
Hunter Kampmoyer scored as well, a tight end who began his career as a defensive end.
Oregon had more than 10 receivers catch a pass. The Ducks offense rolled and made a strong statement that dates back a decade. The win marked the 10th straight home opener that Oregon scored 50 or more points.
More to come including videos and articles with quotes from Coach Mario Cristobal and Ducks players throughout the night.