Oregon Football: Ducks Spank Beavers, Clinch Pac-12 North

Jordan Ingram Editorials

Ladies and gentlemen, revenge is officially on the menu for Dec. 3 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

After one of his most complete performances this season, quarterback Anthony Brown led the No. 11 Oregon Ducks past in-state rival Oregon State Beavers 38-29 in a chippy, rock-em sock-em matchup on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks (10-2, 7-2) clinched the Pac-12 North for the third-straight year under head coach Mario Cristobal and get some tasty bites of redemption in return.

With the win, the Ducks effectively rid themselves of the rancid stench emanating from last year’s 41-38 loss to the glorified rats of Corvallis. Plus, Oregon gets another crack at the Utah Utes, who are partly responsible for the Ducks’ swift and definitive exit from the College Football Playoff (The Utes only get partial credit. The Ducks’ uninspired performance contributed mightily to their loss). 

Indeed, this win is the gift that keeps giving for Oregon. And fans can thank Brown for another key performance when it mattered most. Rather than focusing on last week’s Salt Lake City shellacking, the Boston College grad transfer was firing on all cylinders, gashing the Beavs’ defensive front on the ground and throwing the ball downfield with confidence and accuracy.

Craig Strobeck

Devon Williams made a big play…

Brown completed 23 of 28 passes (82.1%) for 275 yards and two touchdowns, highlighted by a 50-yard touchdown strike to Devon Williams (six catches, 110 yards, touchdown) to give the Ducks a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Freshman Kris Hutson had seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in Oregon’s third-best aerial performance this season after Colorado and UCLA.

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In the running game, Brown demonstrated why he is the Ducks’ second-leading rusher overall (second to Travis Dye), racking up 78 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Dye, who is knocking on the door of his first collegiate 1,000-yard season (937 yards), had 20 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Byron Cardwell once again tore off a huge 30-yard run at the perfect time, setting up Dye’s go-ahead 1-yard touchdown to ice the Beavs’ late-game comeback and offering fans a glimpse of the future.

Shout out to the BIG MEN plowing running lanes big enough for an 18-wheeler.

Craig Strobeck

Anthony Brown had a career day…

As for Brown, Saturday’s performance is undoubtedly the version of the sixth-year signal caller coaches have seen all year but who has been inconsistent. Too little, too late? Nope. The Ducks needed to beat the Beavers to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive. If the Ducks beat Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game, Oregon will likely return to Pasadena for the second-straight season. Hats off to Brown for a heckuva game.

So, what’s the problem? Penalties. The Ducks had 10 penalties for 52-yards compared with Oregon State’s three penalties (30 yards). Oregon’s false starts are trending in the wrong direction. These drive-killing mistakes come as as a surprise from a coaching staff focused on controlling the line of scrimmage. That’s just not what winning teams do.

See you in Las Vegas. Bring your appetite.

Jordan Ingram 
San Diego, California
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