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Oregon 35, Washington 31

SEATTLE - Justin Herbert hit Jaylon Redd for a 5-yard touchdown with 5:10 left, the last of his four scoring passes, and No. 12 Oregon rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 25 Washington 35-31.

What was expected to be a defensive showdown turned into an offensive shootout with both Herbert and Washington quarterback Jacob Eason taking the spotlight. Eason was great. Herbert was better.

Down 28-14 after Puca Nacua caught a 33-yard TD pass from Eason on the opening drive of the second half, Oregon's touted defense finally showed up and gave Herbert a chance to rally the Ducks. The Ducks pulled within 31-28 on the final play of the third quarter when a well-designed screen pass on fourth-down found Mycah Pittman, and the freshman raced untouched 36 yards for the score.

The Ducks' defense forced consecutive three-and-outs, and Oregon marched its way to the go-ahead score. Between Travis Dye and Cyrus Habibi-Likio, the Ducks went 70 yards in 3 1/2 minutes, and Herbert found Redd in the flat for the final 5 yards and the lead.

"We talk about the harder it gets the better we play and that showed up in the second half," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said.

Herbert finished 24 of 38 for 280 yards. He threw TDs of 12 yards to Spencer Webb and 16 yards to Redd in the first half.

The victory gave Oregon (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) complete control in the North Division. Four of the five other teams already have three conference losses, with Oregon State at 2-2 the closest to the Ducks.

Washington (5-3, 2-3) reached the Oregon 38 with 2 1/2 minutes left, but Eason was sacked on second and 6 by Popo Aumavae and lost 12 yards. It was the first sack of the game by either team.

The Huskies faced third and 23 after a false start but got 20 yards back on a pass to Marcus Spiker. On fourth and 3, Eason's pass for Nacua was high and the Ducks celebrated a second straight win over their rivals.

Washington had just 52 yards of offense in the fourth quarter and two first downs.

"It's pretty frustrating given the fact we were playing pretty well on offense," Washington center Nick Harris said.

Eason was 23 of 30 for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He was nearly perfect for a stretch of the second and third quarters when he threw TD passes 48 yards to Jordan Chin, 5 yards to Andre Baccellia and his strike to Nacua through a tiny passing window.

Oregon's defense was exposed in ways it hadn't during its five-game win streak after dropping its season opener to Auburn, but it made the plays it needed to in the fourth quarter to get Washington off the field and the ball back in Herbert's hands.

"Our defense ended up playing well at the end. I don't think our defense played poorly," Cristobal said.

Habibi-Likio had 81 yards rushing and a 14-yard touchdown. Salvon Ahmed rushed for 140 yards and a score for Washington.

Associated Press


October 19, 2019

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