No. 14 Oregon doesn’t have a ton to play for in the final week of the regular season. A Playoff berth is out of the question thanks to an earlier loss to Arizona State and the division title is already wrapped up — with a win in next week’s Pac-12 championship game resulting in a trip to the Rose Bowl.
But you’d be hard pressed to think that the Ducks were just going to go through the motions on Saturday afternoon when they could end their in-state rival’s season and send off a memorable senior class all the same. Oregon was on their way to doing just that with a convincing 17-3 first half lead over Oregon State on a chilly day at Autzen Stadium.
Playing in his final game for his hometown team, UO quarterback Justin Herbert had 82 yards on 8-of-15 passing with a touchdown throw to pace the offensive attack. The Ducks didn’t need to be all that productive on that side of the ball however thanks in part to the other two phases of the game. Their defense didn’t allow a third down conversion until the final minutes of the half and Mykael Wright added in an electric 98 yard kick return for a score.
The Beavers showed a few flashes of making this one interesting but failed to string together enough to find the end zone. Tristan Gebbia made the start at quarterback in place of Jake Luton for OSU, who was dealing with an undisclosed arm injury that prevented him from playing. The former signal-caller was up to 85 yards passing and spread the ball around to six different receivers but was otherwise unable to move the chains much against a team that was flying around the ball on every snap.
We’ve seen some wild comebacks in Pac-12 territory this season but it might be tough to see one happening in this one. The Civil War has been pretty lopsided in favor of the Ducks for most of the past decade and that appears to be continuing with the 2019 edition based on the way things transpired early on.