Young Oregon defense to challenge Huskers

10 September, 2017, 12:50 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Associated Press

The Oregon Ducks are hosting the Nebraska Cornhuskers in college football action on Saturday afternoon.

The Huskers trailed 42-14 at the half, having given up 409 yards of offense and six scores.

Nebraska's defense held OR scoreless on seven straight possessions in the second half to spur a furious rally, but the Ducks forced four turnovers, including a clinching interception in the final 2 minutes, and held on for a 42-35 victory Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.

Nebraska has a couple of key players injured coming into Saturday's game.

OR running back Royce Freeman rushed for 153 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns.

Seeing red: Of an estimated 15,000 Huskers fans in attendance Saturday, the majority took over Autzen Stadium's west end zone, surrounding the OR band and turning the entire end of the stadium red. There were obvious breakdowns in allowing the rally, but the unit came up big when it mattered.

"They're young guys, they know how to play football", Taggart said.

"I'm not going to use that as a cop out you know I think that's just an excuse", Weber said.

It was the fourth interception of the game for Lee, who was 19-for-41 for 252 yards and three touchdowns.

"As disappointing as a lot of that was, we'll have a hard time watching film", Riley said. "Getting the ball back, we had plenty of time and then that happened", Nebraska coach Mike Riley said.

OR responded with 75-yard touchdown drive that Freeman finished with a 2-yard touchdown run to end the first quarter with the Ducks ahead 21-7.

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Riley grew up in Corvallis, some 50 miles north of Eugene, and played quarterback for Corvallis High School.

The last time Riley visited Autzen for the 2013 regular-season finale, Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown pass with 26 seconds left to deliver a 36-35 Civil War win. The only win was in 2007 when the Beavers beat the Ducks 38-31 in double overtime. "I think you guys have heard me say it before, but enthusiasm is contagious". It was Oregon's most points in a single game since 1916. It's pretty neat. I embrace these moments personally.

Nebraska (1-1) scored 14 quick points to open the half and then added a fourth quarter touchdown to pull within a score.

Five plays later, Herbert hit Nelson for an eight-yard touchdown.

Nebraska carries one of best offensive line in the nation as they posted 463 yards of offense (225 on the ground and 238 through the air) in the opener.

OR looked like the Ducks of old times last week, posting 77 points against Southern Utah.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers' (1-1) first trip to OR since 1952 consisted of a first-half melee and a second-half clash.

-Tyler Hoppes' 35-yard reception in the second quarter was the longest catch of his career.

Freshman Thomas Graham Jr. finished with two interceptions for the Ducks.

The second half Saturday felt like a crossroads for the Ducks, and they did just enough to stay on the right path.

"I do like revisiting that history because I appreciated it so much".

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