EUGENE– In each of their final conference game of the 2019 season, the No. 14 Oregon Ducks (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) defeated Oregon State 24-10 in front of a sellout crowd of 56,243 fans at Autzen Stadium. The Oregon Ducks achieved their first 10-win season since 2014 in the process.
The win makes Oregon coach Mario Cristobal the fourth head coach in program history to win 10 games in a season. It also haults Oregon State’s hopes to becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.
Here are the top three takeaways from the contest.
1. Meet Tristan Gebbia
Oregon State (5-7, 4-5) senior starting quarterback Jake Luton could not play in his final game as a Beaver due to an undisclosed arm injury. Sophomore Tristan Gebbia started in Luton’s place. Gebbia transferred to OSU in 2018 from Nebraska.
In his first career start, Gebbia came out slinging it. His first drive was very strong, going 5-of-7 for 70 yards. The Beavers drove 85 yards on 12 plays and scored but the touchdown was negated by a hands-to-the-face penalty. Oregon’s defense came up with a third down stop and the Beavers settled for a field goal to tie the game at three.
Surprisingly, the Beavers did not incorporate leading wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins in the game, he was targeted zero times in the first half.
Gebbia threw for more yards than Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert in the first half (95 to 82). Oregon’s defense settled down after the first drive and was able to contain Gebbia, who finished the game 26 for 40 with 243 yards passing and zero touchdowns.
2. Exceptional Duck special teams performance
Oregon built their lead on the terrific play of its special teams, who totaled more yards than the offense in the first half.
It started with a house call by freshman Mykael Wright. Wright electrified with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put the Ducks up 10-3. Wright, who is the highest ranked defensive back recruit in school history, broke the record for longest kickoff return in Civil War history.
Jevon Holland followed Wright’s momentum changing play with his own 25-yard punt return. The return set up a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Herbert to Johnny Johnson III, extending the Ducks lead to 17-3.
3. Dude, where’s the offense?
Oregon’s defense continually forced OSU three-and-outs to give the Duck offense chances to add to the lead but the Duck offense was blah at best.
Herbert missed a few costly throws, including one to Juwan Johnson that would have been a touchdown pass. The Ducks struggled to move down the field, the longest drive going 63 yards through the first three quarters. Oregon only scored 10 points on Oregon State in first three quarters.
The rushing attack was slightly better with running back Travis Dye leading the way.
The Ducks finally broke through in the fourth quarter after OSU came within 17-10. Herbert elected to run the ball on a few quarterback keepers for decent gains. After a crucial fourth-down conversion from Herbert to Bryan Addison, Jaylon Redd capped the drive with an eight-yard touchdown catch.
Except, it was reviewed and ruled that Redd fumbled the ball, giving Oregon State the ball with a chance to tie the game.
OSU running back fumbled the ball on the Beavers potential game-tying drive after attempting to hurdle a Ducks defender. Oregon recovered, Habibi-Likio got the nod for Oregon and rushed it in for 20 yards, putting a punctuation mark on the 123rd Civil War.
In the end, Oregon held on to sneak out it’s 11th win of the last 12 meetings against Oregon State.
More to come with quotes and videos from Coach Mario Cristobal and Ducks players.