Dillon Mitchell entered the conversation for greatest game by a wide receiver in Oregon history.
The junior had 14 catches for 239 yards in Saturday’s 38-31 overtime loss to Stanford. Both of those numbers rank second in single-game school history for the Ducks.
“I’m glad he had a great game and we’ll try and get a win out of it next time,” UO quarterback Justin Herbert said.
Mitchell ranks behind only Samie Parker, who had 16 catches in the 2003 Sun Bowl loss to Minnesota, for receptions in a single game. Tony Hartley is the only receiver with more yards when he had 242 during a 27-22 win over Washington on Nov. 7, 1998.
“I definitely know I can do that, it is something I can do on an everyday basis,” Mitchell said. “It is just coming out and proving it to everyone. I feel like I can be one of the best receivers in the country. I am not satisfied with my play, but I will look to come back harder.”
Mitchell finished last season with the first two 100-yard games of his career when he had six catches for 119 against Oregon State and nine receptions for 143 yards against Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
He was tied for the team lead with six catches for 98 yards in three lopsided nonconference wins over Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State.
“I definitely knew coach (Mario) Cristobal and the coordinators were looking for me more during conference play, especially with the first three games we had,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell matched his season total with six catches in the first half for 126 yards as Oregon built a 24-7 lead.
“We played three weeks of football leading up to this and did some things and held some things back,” Cristobal said. “The things we did tonight, not only were they good schematically against the team we played, but also more part of our playbook and what we do. It was good to see Dillon get loose like he did. He played hard and made good plays for us.”
Mitchell caught an 8-yard pass from Herbert on Oregon’s first offensive play and then caught a 53-yard pass later on the drive that set up the first touchdown for the Ducks. Mitchell caught a 28-yard pass on Oregon’s second drive as Oregon went ahead 14-0.
“Dillon did a great job getting open today,” Herbert said. “He’s a guy we trust and we have complete confidence in him. He was able to make a bunch of plays today.”
Mitchell had four catches for 50 yards in the third quarter and four more catches in the fourth quarter for 63 yards. He was targeted three times in overtime by Herbert, but each pass was incomplete.
Mitchell caught more than half of Herbert’s 26 completions against the Cardinal.
“He’s a guy that has been solid since the day he showed up,” Herbert said. “It is not a surprise to me to see the numbers he puts up. The guy makes plays in practice and it translates well in games.”
Mitchell averaged 17.1 yards on his catches against the Cardinal.
“He proved tonight how dynamic he can be especially when teams are playing with a lot of man coverage on him,” Cristobal said. “There was some zone stuff too where he did a nice job and found some soft spots in coverage. We always felt he could be that guy. We expect that to continue and improve.”