Cal hadn’t given up more than 31 points in a game yet this season. Oregon hadn’t been held under 40 points since its Week 1 loss to Georgia. With less than five minutes to play on Saturday against the Golden Bears, the Ducks were sitting at 35.

In control, sure, but under 40. For a team with College Football Playoff dreams, style points will matter down the stretch.

Patrick Herbert looked at Duck fans and said, “I got you.”

The sophomore tight end took a post from quarterback Bo Nix and raced 40 yards for the touchdown. The brother of a program great, Herbert put his mark on the latest Ducks win in a way that didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates. After his first-career score, he was swarmed by fellow Ducks on the sidelines.

Even after the initial celebration, Duck defenders like Noah Sewell and Brandon Dorlus were smacking his helmet and cheering for the fourth-year man.

A 6-foot-5 tight end, Herbert played once as a freshman in 2019, then missed all of 2020 and 2021 because of injuries. He had all of two career catches going into Saturday’s game against Cal.

Nix found him twice on the day for 46 yards.

Oregon would give up a touchdown to Cal in the game’s closing moments, but another brilliant second quarter helped propel the Ducks to a seventh consecutive victory. Oregon used a three-score frame just before halftime and then scored on a five-play, 75-yard possession to open the second half and jump out to a 28-10 lead.

Oregon won it, 42-24. That’ll be music to the ears of Duck fans, but it’s probably icing on the cake to know that a Herbert is once again scoring touchdowns in an Oregon uniform.