Chip Kelly‘s offense is no longer in Eugene, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the box score. The new-look Ducks lead visiting Nebraska 42-14 at the half.
The Ducks raced to a 14-0 lead over the game’s first three and a half minutes. Oregon accepted the ball to open the game and moved 75 yards in only five plays, the last 32 on a Brenden Schooler pass from Justin Herbert, to score its first touchdown, then intercepted Tanner Lee on Nebraska’s first play from scrimmage. Five plays after that Herbert found Charles Nelson for an 8-yard score.
Nebraska got on the board with a 95-yard drive, capped by a spectacular De’Mornay Pierson-El pass that overcame pass interference.
Oregon moved 75 yards in eight plays, punctuated by a 2-yard Royce Freeman plunge to grab a 21-7 lead as the first quarter gun sounded. Nebraska immediately responded with a 75-yard march of its own to pull within 21-14, and Freeman again capped a long drive — 73 yards — to put the Ducks back up 14 at the 7:10 mark of the second quarter.
Attempting to pull back within a touchdown, Lee converted a 4th-and-1 sneak inside Husker territory, but it was called back for a procedure penalty. Nebraska was forced to punt and paid the price when the Ducks notched their fifth score of the afternoon — a 5-yard Kani Benoit dash that ended a 7-play, 71-yard drive — to give Oregon a 35-14 lead with 2:40 left in the half.
Thomas Graham, Jr., claimed Lee’s second interception of the half at the Nebraska 34, and Herbert again made the ‘Huskers pay with a 17-yard strike to Dillon Mitchell with 39 ticks to play. Herbert closed the half hitting 21-of-25 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns, and the Ducks added 96 yards and three scores on 20 carries. Oregon accumulated 409 yards of total offense in the half; Nebraska’s single-game opponent record is 656.
Nebraska will receive to open the second half.