A holding penalty deep in their own end thwarted Oregon’s first drive. In his own end zone Justin Herbert got pressured and fumbled but the ball bounced straight to him and he was able to throw it away.
The Oregon defense stuffed two running plays and pressed Sterling-Cole into a wild throw to force the Sun Devil’s fifth punt of the game.
A fake punt got the Ducks out to the 40. Herbert found some success throwing underneath, but breakdowns on the offensive kept putting the offense behind the sticks.
Tony Brooks-James made a nifty run for a first down, Shane Lemieux pushing the pile forward for the last few yards.
1st half notes:
This was the first time all year the Ducks have scored on the opening drive of the game.
Herbert’s three scoring throws gave him 11 for the year, an Oregon record for true freshmen, breaking the old mark by Oregon color man Mike Jorgenson.
Washington beat Utah 31-24 to reach 8-0.
Schneider hooked a field goal try left, Arizona State taking over with an opportunity to make it a one-score game.
While Royce Freeman has been an ineffective 14-29 yards, Tony Brooks-James has carried 4 times for 54 yards.
More poor tackling and assignment discipline led to an easy Arizona State drive late in the third quarter, Kaelin Ballage scored on an 11-yard run and then Sterling-Cole found him in the end zone for the two point conversion.
That cut Oregon’s lead to just 30-22, and the Ducks needed to answer. They seem to have lost their offensive rhythm in the second half as the Wildcat defense ramped up the pressure. They’re making just enough mistakes to keep the opponent in the game.
They need a big play to get the momentum back, and have to do a better job of protecting Herbert.
Another trotting, indifferent run by Freeman goes for a loss, then Herbert laces a pass to Carrington for a first down.
A pass to Baylis goes for a loss, but a quick out to Carrington and a substitution infraction gets the Ducks closer to another first down. Mundt drops Herbert’s third down pass in traffic and the Ducks punt.
From midfield Wheeler’s line drive punt only reaches the 20, and the Sun Devils cost themselves good field position when they are flagged for holding.
Jimmie Swain stacks up Ballage on second down, and on 3rd and 5 Ballage drops a pass in the flat uncontested. The Sun Devils have to punt from their own end zone.
Carrington fields the punt at the UO 45 but is wrapped up immediately. It is permissible to block on punt returns.
Herbert shuffles away from pressure on 2nd and 10 and finds Jalen Brown for 39 yards down near the goal line.
Tony Brooks James is down with an injury and had to be helped to the sideline. Tough, because he has been Oregon’s most effective runner by far for the last four weeks.
2nd and goal from the 6 Herbert gets immediate pressure and has to throw it away in the direction of Pharaoh Brown. His third down pass goes off the hands of Pharaoh Brown at the goal line, and the Ducks have to settle for a 23-yard field goal, good for a 33-22 lead.
Oregon has only one touchdown in five trips to the red zone today.
Herbert has thrown for 418 yards and 3 TDs in his third career start. No Oregon quarterback has been this good this early, not ever. Not even Mariota. The kid has a terrific arm and great poise.
33-22 at the end of the third quarter.
6 Oregon penalties for 48 yards. They’ve been averaging 9.1 a game, 126th in the country.
On 3rd and 10 the soft Oregon defense gets no pressure and Sterling-Cole finds a receiver in the seam for 15 yards and a first down to cross midfield.
A substitution infraction is Oregon’s 7th penalty.
Swain with another short-gain tackle. Moved to the Mike linebacker slot, he’s been active today.
A dumpoff pass to Ballage goes for a big gain and bails out ASU again, then the QB hits N’Keal Harry in the corner over Arrion Springs, who was demoted this week.
Ugo Amadi breaks up the two-point conversion. Oregon leads 33-28.
Charles Nelson finds a crease and brings the kick out to the 38. Carrington made a leaping catch at the sideline for a good gain, then Freeman gets two yards for the first down.
Herbert is spilled for a sack, the fourth of the day, a 14-yard loss. A screen to Freeman gets back some of it, but the big back is brought down by an ankle tackle.
Then on 3rd and 10 Herbert connects with Johnny Mundt down the left hash for a touchdown, 53 yards as Mundt runs it in.
False start on Brady Aiello is UO’s 8th penalty, but Schneider makes the point anyway, 40-28.
Herbert 31-41, 489 yards, 4 TDs. Utterly phenomenal beginning to his career.
A penalty backs ASU to their own 10 but the Oregon D gives up a 45-pass on first down.
A third down pass is tipped but Ballage catches it anyway to set up 4th and 3. ASU calls a timeout.
Oregon leads by 12. A stop here would provide them some breathing room.
Tyree Robinson battles a pass to Harvey and the receiver juggles it as he goes out of bounds, turnover on downs.
Kani Benoit drives through tackles for a first down, 7:47 on the clock, the Ducks milking time between plays.
Heartbreak! Benoit, fighting for yardage, gets stripped and turns the ball over. Marcus Ball returns the ball inside the 10. Huge swing in the game. Ducks will have to gut it out if they want to end the losing streak.
Ballage lines up in the Sparky with a tight end slipping into the flat. He arm punts the ball to the wide-open receiver for an easy score. 40-35.
Ducks to need to put this away.
Drop by Mundt on first down.
Herbert keeps and gallops for a first down.
Tony Brooks-James spins out of a tackle and sprints for a 58-yard touchdown, a beautiful run, and a dagger. TBJ’s 8th score of the year.
Brooks-James has his 4th 100-yard game of the year. He’s ought to be the #1 running back going forward, explosing in the way LMJ and Barner were.
Five missed tackles on the kickoff return by Ballage. 47-35 as ASU starts on the 35.
On 3rd and 10 Sterling-Cole rifles a 12-yard out for a first down. The Ducks always seem to give up just enough cushion.
Sterling-Cole is carving the Ducks up with outs and curls underneath the soft coverage. but Tyree Robinson steps in front of a pass at the two and returns it all the way to the ASU 14.
Darren Carrington draws a celebration penalty to cost the Ducks 15 yards, but the turnover stands. Oregon 9 penalties, 73 yards.
Brooks-James runs for 6, then 14, then Freeman scampers in for the 43rd rushing touchdown of his career. Ducks lead 54-35.
Oregon will be 3-5 when they face USC in the Coliseum next week. The Trojans are 5-3, winners of their last four in a row, coming off a 45-24 win over Cal on Thursday night, giving them a couple of precious extra days to rest and repair.
Stanford comes to Autzen in two weeks, then a road trip to Utah. The Ducks have a very tough road to make a bowl, but hope for next year is clearly established.
Brendan Schooler seals the game with another interception, his team-leading third of the year.