Eugene native Justin Herbert didn’t have the finest performance in his final game at Autzen Stadium but the hometown kid still notched his third straight Civil War win and ended the in-state rival’s season all the same as No. 14 Oregon topped Oregon State 24-10.
The lackluster margin was reflective of a rather dull and uninspiring game, something neither side has been a part of much lately but nevertheless was what they turned in on Saturday afternoon. Herbert was just 18-of-30 for 174 yards and a touchdown pass as the Ducks’ offense never seemed to find much of a rhythm in either phase. They did run for 191 yards behind that mammoth offensive line (Travis Dye with 91, C.J. Verdell with 50) but converted just three times on third down and fumbled away a ball in the end zone that would have sealed the result much earlier than the final few minutes.
Luckily for the already crowned Pac-12 North champs, their defense and special teams more than made up for the performance. Mykael Wright returned a kickoff 98 yards to the house in the first quarter while OSU was similarly dreadful in converting third downs or moving the chains against a unit that was flying all over the place.
Safety Brady Breeze was the real hero though, scooping up a Jamar Jefferson (81 yards and a TD otherwise) fumble off the turf after the Beavers tailback tried to hurdle a defender but wound up losing control of the ball. That play was emblematic of an OSU offense that showed a few flashes but couldn’t get over the hump to really threaten to take the lead.
QB Tristan Gebbia made the start at quarterback in place of an injured Jake Luton and threw for 243 yards on 40 attempts, the bulk of the action going to top target Isaiah Hodgins to the tune of eight receptions for 85 yards.
It wasn’t enough in the end however, as Oregon moved to 11-1 in the last dozen games against the folks from Corvallis. The Ducks will now turn their attention to either Utah or USC in the Pac-12 title game next Friday night and take comfort in closing out the home schedule undefeated behind their local kid under center.