Oregon used a 28-point barrage in the second half and a great effort by the defense to beat UCLA 42-14 in Autzen Stadium.
A week after Nick Aliotti and the defense got embarrassed by Connor Halliday’s 557-yard passing performance, they held Brett Hundley and UCLA to 64 yards through the air and 283 total yards. With Boseko Lokombo and Avery Patterson grabbing interceptions, the Ducks forced 7 punts and a turnover on downs, shutting out the UCLA offense in the second half. They held the visitors to just 15 first downs for the game. Both of the Bruins’ scores came on short fields, a dominating performance, admittedly against a patchwork offensive line.
In all the Duck defense had 10 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Patterson led the effort with 7 tackles, 3 for loss, and the pick.
After De’Anthony Thomas started and had trouble finding room Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner took over the ground game, Marshall with 19 carries for 133 yards and 3 tds, including a slashing 40-yard touchdown run on a stretch play in the second quarter. Tyner added 14 carries for 77 yards, running hard on Oregon’s last scoring drive when he carried the ball 8 times in a row on an 82-yard march as the Ducks iced the game, scoring in 4:55 and running the clock down to 2:25.
It was a tie game at halftime and the Ducks didn’t look good. They fumbled away the opening possession, turned the ball over on downs, punted twice. UCLA scored after the opening fumble, aided by a pass interference penalty. They tied the game after a blocked punt, and got an additional emotional lift when Alejandro Maldonado’s field goal sailed wide right at the end of the second quarter.
At that point UCLA was taking the game to Oregon physically, slamming Thomas to the ground while Hundley scrambled out of the pocket to extend drives. The game had the feel of last year’s loss to Stanford, listless and poorly executed against a physical, amped-up opponent with a great defensive plan. It looked worse early in the second half when a bad snap ended a Duck scoring drive at the five. Another missed opportunity, still tied with 4:29 to go in the 3rd quarter.
The defense held though, and finally the Ducks got something going. Marcus Mariota was 10-10 passing in the second half, and they scored on their last four drives of the game.
They needed to. In a tight BCS race, style points matter, and Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor all won big today. Missouri fell, though, 27-24 to South Carolina in double overtime.