Bo Nix etched his name into the NCAA record books on Saturday, marking his 54th consecutive start and leading the Ducks to a resounding victory against a struggling Washington State team. Oregon was determined to rebound after a heart-wrenching 33-36 loss to the Washington Huskies just a week prior, and their rivals from Washington State shared a similar sense of urgency after suffering back-to-back defeats against UCLA and Arizona. This game was pivotal for both teams to maintain their standing in the national conversation.
Photo Cred: KPIC
The Cougars showed promise early in the game by holding the Ducks to only field goal attempts on their first two possessions. Nikia Johnson’s rushing touchdown gave Washington State a 10-3 lead. Nevertheless, Oregon countered with rushing touchdowns from both Bucky Irving and Bo Nix, keeping Washington State at bay with a halftime score of 13-17.
The second half saw the Ducks asserting their dominance. A 42-yard touchdown pass from Nix to Irving, combined with an electrifying 43-yard TD run by Irving, significantly widened Oregon’s lead. Despite Cameron Ward’s impressive 438 passing yards for the Cougars, he struggled to find the end zone until the closing moments of the fourth quarter. Ward connected with Isaiah Hamilton for a 16-yard touchdown, resulting in a final score of 24-38.
Bucky Irving Shines
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
The standout performer of the game for Oregon was undoubtedly running back Bucky Irving, who showcased his continued improvement throughout the season. Irving rushed for 129 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns, an impressive feat on its own. However, his contributions didn’t stop there, as he also made three receptions for 51 yards and added another touchdown to his impressive tally. On the opposing side, kicker Dean Janikowski had a solid outing for the Cougars, consistently converting field goals, including a remarkable 50-yarder in the third quarter.
The two teams displayed different offensive strategies, with Washington State amassing 495 total yards. They gained their yards primarily through the air, as they managed only 57 rushing yards. In contrast, Oregon’s offense demonstrated more balance, accumulating 540 total yards (293 yards in the passing game and 247 on the ground). Looking ahead, both teams are set to hit the road next Saturday, with Oregon facing a formidable Utah squad in Salt Lake City, while Washington State takes on ASU in Tempe.