It was still a successful business trip for Bruce Barnum.
And another productive day at the office for Justin Herbert and the Ducks.
No. 23 Oregon improved to 2-0 with a 62-14 romp over Portland State on a fall Saturday at Autzen Stadium that had more of a spring game feel.
The announced crowd of 47,210 was the lowest attendance for a home game since Autzen expanded.
The Ducks have now won 22 consecutive home nonconference games and improved to 5-0 all-time against Portland State.
Mario Cristobal said he believes his first Oregon team is strong, especially along the offensive and defensive lines, but acknowledges the Ducks won’t have to do any heavy lifting until Stanford comes to town for the Pac-12 opener Sept. 22.
“Look, I get it, we had the personnel advantage,” said Cristobal, whose team has outscored the opposition 120-38 this season with San Jose State up next. “I feel like we know who we are. We just haven’t been tested.”
The Vikings (0-2), coming off a 72-19 loss at Nevada, lost their 15th consecutive game dating back to Nov. 5, 2016.
Barnum, who was the FCS national coach of the year in 2015 but 3-21 since, noted earlier in the week that the Portland State athletic department already posted a financial win with a $550,000 guarantee from Oregon.
"We got Herbert-ed,” Barnum said after Oregon’s star quarterback shredded the Vikings for three quarters before watching the rest of the game safely from the sideline. “Justin Herbert: Everything we thought he was and more. Honestly.”
Herbert finished 20-for-26 passing for 250 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Eleven different Ducks caught at least one pass with four different targets on the touchdown throws.
“I don’t think we need that one go-to guy,” Herbert said. “We’ve got so many weapons that just getting them the ball in general is a bonus. My job is just to get them the ball and let them do the work.”
Tony Brooks-James rushed for 107 yards and a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in the second half. CJ Verdell added 106 yards on 11 carries (9.6 yards per attempt) and a 2-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Oregon’s balanced offensive attack yielded 296 rushing yards and 266 passing yards.
“It definitely feels good to get back in and carry the load,” said Brooks-James, who had only five carries for 27 yards during the 58-24 win over Bowling Green.
Travis Dye, the younger brother of standout linebacker Troy Dye, burst through the line of scrimmage for a 49-yard touchdown run to make the score 49-7 with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter.
“I give all credit to the blocking because the hole is just ridiculous,” Dye said. “Any one of us running backs could have ran through that hole, and I was just fortunate to be in there that time. I just hit the hole as hard as I could.”
Jim Leavitt’s defense smothered Portland State, save for tight end Charlie Taumoepeau, who had five receptions for 125 yards and both of the visitors’ touchdowns.
Portland State, which started backup quarterback Jalani Eason, finished with only 158 passing yards and averaged 1.6 yards per rushing attempt.
“I feel like we played really well today,” defensive end Jalen Jelks said after racking up six total tackles and a sack. “Their tight end was very good. We knew that from watching film and everything. We knew (Taumoepeau) was pretty much ready for the league (NFL). Coach harped all week how good of a tight end he was so we had to keep pressure on him, but they did slip out on a few plays.”
Oregon led 35-7 at the intermission after piling up 336 yards while averaging 8.6 yards per play. Herbert was 18-for-24 passing for 237 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions before the break.
After two more dropped passes by receivers on the opening drive, Herbert connected with Brenden Schooler for 25 yards to convert a third-and-10 and found Jaylon Redd in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown to open the scoring.
Ben Neisner pinned Oregon back at its own 1-yard line with a 56-yard punt. The Ducks calmly marched on an eight-play, 99-yard scoring drive that included a 29-yard run by Verdell, a 20-yard catch by tight end Kano Dillon on third-and-9 and a 9-yard touchdown pass by Herbert to wide receiver Tabari Hines.
The first-team offense scored seven touchdowns on its nine drives before backup quarterbacks Braxton Burmeister and Tyler Shough shared mop-up duty.
“Overall, just a good job of knocking back the line of scrimmage, which is going to be at the forefront of everything we do,” Cristobal said.