Oregon’s deepest position passed its most difficult test of the season.
The 17th-ranked Ducks, despite losing right guard Dallas Warmack and left tackle Penei Sewell to injuries during the game, defeated No. 7 Washington 30-27 in overtime on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
Coach Mario Cristobal’s reshuffled offensive line opened up a big hole for CJ Verdell’s 6-yard touchdown run to win the game.
Starting right tackle Calvin Throckmorton moved to left tackle, Jacob Capra filled in at right guard and Brady Aiello came in at right tackle.
“We’ve got eight or nine guys that we have complete trust in,” said quarterback Justin Herbert, who was only officially sacked once. “We put Brady and Jacob Capra in and those guys didn’t miss a beat.”
Oregon finished with 177 yards rushing and 202 yards passing against a Washington defense that entered the game ranked third nationally in scoring defense (13.7 ppg) and 13th in total defense (304.5 ypg).
“Those guys do a really good job, Brady and Capra, of getting ready the week before, no matter if they’re going to start or not,” left guard Shane Lemieux said. “It’s big-time for them that we can deal with that kind of adversity and still have enough depth to beat Washington.”
Herbert and counterpart Jake Browning each took a shot to the head, which resulting in the ejections of defensive linemen Drayton Carlberg (Oregon) and Jaylen Johnson (Washington) for targeting.
“Browning is a great player. Carlberg’s ejection, that was a tough one to swallow,” Cristobal said of having an eight-yard sack turn into a 15-yard penalty after the officials reviewed the play before calling targeting. “Right away that thing hit in a hurry and caught everybody off-guard. But nobody flinched and credit to all those guys who popped in there.”
Defensive end Austin Faoliu returned to the starting lineup after missing the California game with an ankle injury. The sophomore finished with four tackles and a shared sack with Kaulana Apelu to thwart the Husky drive after Carlberg headed for the locker room.
Johnson’s helmet hit Herbert’s facemark after Oregon’s star was spun into him.
“It’s a tough one,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “He’s coming off the edge, and the guy turns right back into him. It is what it is, and those are the rules.”
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott came under fire after a Yahoo! report uncovered that the conference’s general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs, Woodie Dixon, interfered with a targeting review during the USC-Washington State game in September.
Jaylon Redd’s toe was in bounds by about the width of a credit card for his spectacular 9-yard touchdown catch, which tied the score 17-17 with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“I understood Herb needed an outlet. I seen him scrambling,” Redd said of the ESPN "SportsCenter" top play candidate. “It happened so fast when I got my foot down I didn’t know if I was in or out.”
Redd nearly scored what would have been a back-breaking touchdown to put Oregon up 31-7 against Stanford, but his foot hit the pylon before he crossed the goal line. Stanford then returned a bad snap for a touchdown and capitalized on Verdell’s late fumble to complete a 38-31 overtime comeback.
“I couldn’t be more happy for my man,” Redd said of Verdell’s redemption with his overtime game-winner Saturday.
The Ducks have won back-to-back games against ranked opponents for the first time since 2014 when they beat Arizona in the Pac-12 championship and then Florida State in the Rose Bowl. … Oregon has won 11 of its last 15 games against top-10 opponents at Autzen and 24 of its last 27 games when nationally ranked. … There were 13 scouts representing 10 different teams in attendance Saturday. John Elway was among the four members of the Denver Broncos delegation in the press box. … Oregon softball coach Melissa Lombardi introduced the Ducks’ starting lineups.
“This was, for our fan base, for the future of the program, for this season, for the Pac-12 race, it was immense,” Cristobal said. “And it’s only Week 6. And last I checked we’re out of bye weeks. We’re going to make sure they see their families, go to the Pancake House in the morning, get here in time for lifting, running and film work, clean it up, hand out our players oo the game and move on to Washington State.”