NCAA Football

Oregon defeats Wyoming 49-13 with strong rushing attack, stout defense

September 16, 2017

The elevation didn’t slow down Oregon in Laramie, Wyoming, as the Ducks trounced the Cowboys 49-13 to improve their record to 3-0.

Oregon scored 42 points in the first half for the third game straight, but the Ducks only managed seven points in the second half while limiting Wyoming to only three points. The Ducks once again dominated in the running game, scoring six of their seven touchdowns on the ground.

The Ducks’ offense flew to two quick touchdowns in the first quarter, both punched in by Royce Freeman for a 14-0 lead. Through those first two touchdowns, Justin Herbert was 7-for-7 for 84 yards.

Oregon’s defense halted Wyoming’s offense, but Charles Nelson muffed a punt with 5:19 left in the first quarter and the Cowboys recovered on the Ducks’ 25-yard line.

Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen rushed a 10-yard touchdown for Wyoming with 3:48 to play in the first, cutting Oregon’s lead to 14-7.

Justin Herbert fumbled on third down and the Cowboys recovered the ball. Wyoming got the all on Oregon’s 21. Wyoming was forced to kick a field goal, shortening the Ducks’ lead to 14-10.

Later in the quarter, Freeman converted a 4th-and-1 early in the second to get the Ducks into Wyoming’s red zone. To finish the drive, Herbert rushed for a 10-yard touchdown to give the Ducks a 21-10 lead.

On 3rd-and-10, Herbert threw to Freeman for a 50-yard gain to Wyoming’s 33. Herbert then threw to Taj Griffin for a 20-yard touchdown. It was Griffin’s first touchdown reception of the season.

Freeman rushed for his third touchdown, and ninth of the season, to give Oregon a 35-10 lead with one-minute left in the half.

So, with under a minute to play in the first half, Allen fumbled the ball and Tyree Robinson recovered for the Ducks, bringing the ball inside Wyoming’s five-yard line. Kani Benoit punched in the touchdown to give Oregon a 42-10 lead at halftime.

At halftime, Herbert was 13-of-21 for 195 yards with the Ducks defense keeping Allen 3-of-14 for only 13 yards.

In the third quarter, after Oregon drove down the field, Herbert fired inside Wyoming’s half and his throw deflected off Tony Brooks-James’ hands into the air for an interception.

Wyoming capitalized when they added a field goal to try work back into Oregon’s 42-13 lead, which proved to be the final score of a lackluster third quarter.

Oregon had 80 yards on 17 plays in the third but had no points to show for its efforts.

On the first play of the second half, Oregon’s A.J. Hotchkins intercepted Allen on a deflected pass, giving the Ducks possession in Wyoming territory.

Then, Benoit scored on a rushing touchdown, his second of the game, to give Oregon a 49-13 lead.

Oregon killed the clock for the remainder of the game, winning the game 49-13.

Oregon’s defense shut down Allen. He finished the game 9-of-24 for 64 yards and one interception. Herbert finished 18-of-29 for 251 yards with one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown and one interception. Taylor Alie replaced him.

The Ducks will again play on the road when the travel to Tempe, Arizona, to take on Arizona State on Saturday.

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow

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