3 takeaways from Oregon's blistering win over Arizona State
Oregon was too much for Arizona State. That was a known fact heading into Saturday’s showdown in Tempe. The only question was whether the Ducks would act like it in the desert. Or would Dan Lanning’s squad get caught looking ahead? Caught feeling themselves? Caught slipping right before the finish line?
The answer was a resounding no.
As Oregon has done all season, the Ducks handled their business. Oregon scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, three more touchdowns in the second quarter, and cruised to a 49-13 win over Arizona State to move to 10-1 on the year.
The Ducks are within one win (or one Oregon State loss to UW) of the Pac-12 Championship Game. And they’re two wins away from the College Football Playoff. That pressure didn’t matter against the Sun Devils.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
Bo Nix stamps his name
Oregon’s superstar — because that’s what he has become in Eugene — finished Saturday’s win with more touchdown passes than incompletions.
Nix hit 24 of his 29 passes for 404 yards and six touchdowns. Almost the entirety of his production came in the first half. All six scores. All but 23 yards. Nix was sacked just one time (in the third quarter of a 42-0 game).
The super-senior missed two of his first three passes. Then he hit 12 straight. There was a 23-yard touchdown and a 49-yard touchdown to Patrick Herbert. Then there was a 16-yard touchdown and a 45-yard touchdown to Troy Franklin. Then there was a 71-yard touchdown to Gary Bryant Jr. Then there was a 16-yard touchdown to Tez Johnson a minute before halftime.
Nix hit deep. Nix hit short. He made plays for his receivers. He let his receivers make plays out in open field.
There is not a better player in college football this season. There is a quarterback for LSU putting up outstanding numbers, but his team has three losses and won’t play for any titles. Nix is putting his Ducks in a position to play for conference and national titles.
Nix deserves the Heisman Trophy.
Nothing more to debate.
Arizona State got tricky, Oregon stayed sound
Cam Skattebo had a 31-yard pass to Jalin Conyers in the first quarter. Conyers had a pair of 12-yard runs in the second quarter. Outside of that, little worked for Arizona State.
The Sun Devils have been forced to play somewhat gimmicky football because of all the injuries to the offense. Tailback playing quarterback. The swinging gate. They threw the book at Oregon’s defense.
ASU had just 147 yards of offense from its 32 first-half plays. The Ducks held the Sun Devils to just 4.6 yards a play and forced a turnover.
Oregon had 19 explosives and a 28% explosive play rate. Arizona State had nine at a 14% rate.
Dan Lanning talks often about how important that battle is. Oregon won it emphatically.
Troy Franklin makes his mark
Is there an argument to be made that Franklin is the best receiver in program history?
The junior receiver for the Ducks ended his day with eight catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns. He brought in seven of those passes in the first half to take over three different single-season program records and tie a career record.
Franklin has 1,221 yards this season — a school record for yardage in a single year.
He has 13 touchdown receptions — another single-season record.
And he had his seventh 100-yard game — breaking a tie to stand alone atop the single-season leaderboard.
Franklin’s 24 career touchdowns are also tied for the program record.
He was fantastic.
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) November 18, 2023