EUGENE – In a decisive game, the No. 6 Oregon Ducks beat Arizona, 34-6, in front of a deafening 54,219 fans at Autzen Stadium, clinching their third Pac-12 North Division title and punching their tickets to the conference championship game.
The win extends the Ducks’ winning streak to nine games and improves them to 7-0 in Pac-12 Conference play for the first time since 2012. Under Coach Mario Cristobal, Oregon (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12) is now 12-1 at home. With the victory, a berth into the College Football Playoff is still possible.
Here are the top three takeaways from the contest.
1. Duck Dominance
The win exhibited balanced strengths all over the field.
Offensively, Oregon’s passing attack thrived. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw incredible highlights, including a 73-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Johnson (longest pass play of UO’s season) and 53-yard touchdown to Juwan Johnson, who made a Sports Center Top 10-type catch. When utilized, the Duck running game was powerful.
UO’s defense smothered. The Ducks held the Wildcats to two field goals through the first half, while pressuring Arizona quarterbacks Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell. Senior Troy Dye, senior Bryson Young and junior Austin Faoliu provided a third-down sacks to end Arizona’s drives.
2. Injury bug strikes
Oregon freshman wide receiver Mycah Pittman suffered a potential season ending injury in the first quarter. Pittman and quarterback Justin Herbert connected on an 11-yard pass and Pittman came down awkwardly after being tackled. Early indications suggest that Pittman's injury could be a broken wrist.
Already this season, Pittman rehabbed back from a broken collarbone that caused him to miss the opening four games. In five games, Pittman has 13 receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns. One of Oregon’s most dynamic receivers, the loss of Pittman would be a serious blow to the Ducks and their Pac-12 title goals.
Sophomore running back CJ Verdell was shaken up the second quarter, he left the game and did not return to play in the second half.
3. VIPs in Autzen Stadium
Through donated tickets, Oregon had more than 1,000 military veterans and their families at the game in conjunction with Veterans Day. Former Ducks Marcus Mariota, Tony Brooks-James, Jeff Lockie and Charles Nelson also were on the sidelines and in attendance for the win.
More to come with quotes and videos from Coach Mario Cristobal and Ducks players.