The Oregon Ducks came up short in the final game of their regular season and ended their eight-year winning streak by losing to rival Oregon State 24-34 in the rain-soaked 120th Civil War matchup at Reser Stadium.
After starting off slow early in the first quarter on both offense and defense, the Ducks eventually came to life and were tied-up 7-7 going into the second quarter. This momentum would continue into the second quarter, which included a trick play from Jalen Brown, who threw a pass to Darren Carrington for a 33 yard score. By the end of the first half, the Ducks and Beavers were tied-up again at 14, and it was anyone’s game for the taking.
However in the second half, the Beavers came out more determined and ran through the Duck defenders (at one point scoring three touchdowns on three straight drives) while the Ducks’ offense stalled and costly penalties put them in third and long situations (converting only 3-10).
Oregon freshman quarterback, Justin Herbert, completed 16-28 passes, throwing for 180 yards, scoring one touchdown, and no interceptions. In addition, he scrambled away from pressure two times and lost five yards.
The Oregon Ducks’ running game led by Royce Freeman, had another strong outing. Freeman rushed 19 times, gaining 108 yards, but did not find the end zone. Furthermore, running back Tony Brooks-James had a solid performance as well, rushing nine times, gaining 70 yards, and scoring one touchdown.
Oregon receivers Jalen Brown, Darren Carrington, Jacob Breeland, and Charles Nelson also had a solid outing, combining for 12 receptions, gaining 169 yards, and scoring two touchdowns. In addition, Royce Freeman was also used three times in passing situations, gaining 33 yards.
After the game, wide receiver Charles Nelson commented on the Oregon coaching talk, saying, “We haven’t heard anything about coaching changes, we are just here to go out there and go play the best game we can.”
Although the Oregon defense gave up 12 plays that resulted in a gain of more than ten yards, they still gave up 411 total offensive yards to Oregon State.
The Ducks’ Defensive Coordinator Brady Hoke recapped the Oregon defensive gameplay by saying, “Nall is a good running back, we had to go out there and stop him and we weren’t able to do that.” Hoke also commented on the future of this Oregon-Oregon State rivalry by saying, “we are going to have the same kids out there and we are going to play OSU for a couple more years, so we have to get ready.”
After the game, Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich said, “part of the reason why we lost was getting dominated on the front line, part of it was missed tackles, and part of it was missed bits.” Helfrich also said “we didn’t play well on our side of the ball.”
For Oregon State, Marcus McMaryion was on fire for most of the entire game. McMaryion completed 13-20 throws, gaining 101 yards, and scoring one touchdown. McMaryion also was forced to scramble away from pressure 11 times, which culminated in 94 yards.
The Beavers’ running back, Ryan Nall also had quite a game, rushing 31 times, gaining 156 yards, and scoring four touchdowns. Nall was able to do pretty much anything he wanted to against the Ducks’ defense, who couldn’t seem to bring him down in the second half.
In addition to their strong running game, Oregon State also made use of wide receivers Victor Bolden Jr., Timmy Hernandez, and Artavis Pierce (who combined for eight receptions, gaining 50 yards). Ryan Nall also took some plays as a wide receiver, hauling in two receptions, gaining 34 yards.
Overall, this was another painful loss for the Oregon Ducks, who ended their 2016-2017 season with a 4-8 overall record, with no chance at being selected for a bowl game bid.