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No. 15 Oregon rallies with big fourth quarter to win at Washington State

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix throws a first-half pass Sept. 24, 2022, at Washington State.
Bo Nix threw for 428 yards and three touchdowns, including a 50-yard, go-ahead pass to Troy Franklin with 1:21 left, as No. 15 Oregon won 44-41 at Washington State.
(Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was piling up the yardage, but the No. 15 Ducks were not getting into the end zone in the first half against Washington State.

That all changed with less than seven minutes left in the game, when Oregon scored three late touchdowns to come back for a 44-41 win over the Cougars on Saturday.

Nix threw touchdown passes to Cam McCormick and Troy Franklin, and Mase Funa returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown as Oregon (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12 Conference) erased a 34-22 deficit.

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“Today was not what I expected,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “But what I did expect and what I did see was toughness, resilience and a team of guys who won’t give up. And they did that, they showed up and gave their all when we needed it.”

Nix completed 33 of 44 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. The Ducks produced 624 yards of offense in winning their third consecutive game.

Oregon wide receiver Troy Franklin runs for a touchdown during the second half Sept. 24, 2022.
Ducks wide receiver Troy Franklin scores the go-ahead touchdown on a 50-yard catch with 1:21 left.
(Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Lanning said his team did not give up.

“Our locker room never wavered. They were composed and ready to get back out there and convert some of those red-zone chances,” Lanning said. “We knew a lot of those were self-inflicted wounds, and we felt we could fix that.

“I didn’t see any selfishness on our sideline. I don’t think anyone had a doubt in their mind about what we could accomplish if we started executing.”

DJ Uiagalelei, a former Bellflower St. John Bosco standout, threw for 375 yards and five touchdowns as No. 5 Clemson won 51-45 over No. 21 Wake Forest.

Washington State coach Jake Dickert pointed to Oregon’s offensive production.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games giving up 600 yards of offense,” Dickert said. “We’ve got a lot of kids disappointed in there.

“It was them out-executing us in the fourth quarter.”

Oregon’s only loss was at No. 1 Georgia in the season opener.

The Cougars scored on their first possession, as Ward capped a 75-yard drive by running the final five yards for a touchdown.

Washington State linebacker Francisco Mauigoa returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown and a 17-6 lead for the Cougars. They led 17-9 at halftime.

Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward throws a pass during the first half Sept. 24, 2022.
Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward passed for 375 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
(Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Oregon came out fast in the second half, with Nix throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mar’Keise Irving with less than a minute gone.

Nix threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Franklin with 1:21 left to give Oregon its first lead. Funa’s interception return for a touchdown provided the deciding points with a minute remaining.

“That was a great instinctual play by Mase,” Lanning said. “He got his hands up and anticipated that throw, and that was all him.”

Washington State’s Nakia Watson added a touchdown run in the closing seconds.

Zach Charbonnet rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns in just nine carries, and UCLA routed Colorado 45-17 to start 4-0 for the first time since 2015.

Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward completed 37 of 48 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.

“You saw the best of Cam Ward today,” Dickert said. “He has magic with the ball in his hands.”

Washington State was looking to knock off a ranked team for the second time this season, after winning at Wisconsin earlier. Oregon had scored 110 points in its previous two games, victories over Eastern Washington and No. 12 Brigham Young, and proved its offense was tough to contain.

Oregon hosts Stanford next Saturday, while Washington State hosts California in its third consecutive home game.


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