TUCSON, Ariz. — No. 19 Oregon had some new faces on defense subbing against Arizona on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
And it showed early on.
Gary Baker started for Austin Faoliu at defensive end, Sampson Niu started for Kaulana Apelu at inside linebacker and true freshman Adrian Jackson started for La’Mar Winston at outside linebacker.
Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate took advantage of some confusion by Jim Leavitt’s players and connected with uncovered wide receiver Shawn Poindexter for a 22-yard touchdown to cap a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive to open the game.
Three injured players — Faoliu (lower leg), backup inside linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia (shoulder) and tight end Kano Dillon (undisclosed) — did not make the trip.
Faoliu’s younger brother, true freshman defensive lineman Andrew Faoliu, made his Oregon debut in the second quarter.
Apelu did not practice due to injury after leading the team with 14 tackles at Washington State. Winston was in uniform but did not play in the first half.
CJ Verdell, who suffered a hip flexor injury in Pullman, began the game on the bench with senior Tony Brooks-James getting the start at running back.
After Brooks-James fumbled a kickoff return, which Oregon recovered, and true freshman Travis Dye fumbled on his first carry, Verdell entered the game.
Herbert’s streak ends
Justin Herbert’s streak of consecutive passes in Pac-12 road games without an interception ended at 215 when sophomore free safety Scottie Young picked off Oregon’s quarterback late in the first quarter.
The Wildcats, who were already leading 10-0, took possession at their own 49-yard line but settled for a field goal.
Later in the second quarter, Herbert extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 23 by connecting with Dillon Mitchell for a 29-yard score.
Offensive line rotation
Starting right guard Dallas Warmack was shaken up in the second quarter and escorted off the field by trainers.
Jacob Capra filled in on the next series before Warmack returned for the final Oregon drive of the first half.
The Ducks started the same unit as the previous week with Calvin Throckmorton at left guard for an injured Penei Sewell and Brady Aiello at right tackle.
Austin Faoliu was originally committed to Arizona and then-coach Rich Rodriguez before being flipped by former Oregon coach Willie Taggart during the 2017 recruiting cycle, along with quarterback Braxton Burmeister, offensive lineman Cody Shear and wide receiver Darrian McNeal.
Burmeister was the only member of the quartet who traveled with the Ducks to Tucson. Shear, a former Sheldon High standout, is buried on the depth chart, and McNeal left the Oregon program last spring.
NFL scouts representing the Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers were credentialed for Saturday’s game. … Oregon’s captains for the game were Herbert, Jake Hanson, Jalen Jelks and Troy Dye.