Tyler Shough already took a pretty big snap in front of a crowd of over 60,000 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
So Oregon’s backup quarterback, working with a comfortable lead against inferior opponent, was relaxed and ready for the moment when offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo finally dialed up the first pass plays of his collegiate career.
Shough replaced Justin Herbert in the middle of the third quarter and completed 8 of 9 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns during the 16th-ranked Ducks’ 77-6 demolition of Nevada on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
“I wasn’t really too nervous,” Shough said of getting extended playing time. “I felt confident in my abilities and our team. I knew the guys we had out there were going to make plays.
“It was just good to get my feet wet and play with our guys.”
During Oregon’s 27-21 loss to Auburn in the opener, Shough had to come in for a critical fourth-and-1 after Herbert received medical attention on the field.
CJ Verdell was stuffed short of the line to gain on the momentum-shifting play.
Shough, who did not attempt a pass in three appearances last season, throw a 7-yard touchdown to starting wide receiver Jaylon Redd and a 21-yard touchdown to reserve tight end Hunter Kampmoyer.
The Ducks are dealing with a cluster of injuries at wide receiver and were without Juwan Johnson, Brenden Schooler and Mycah Pittman again Saturday.
“It was great to get out there, especially in the third quarter when we got up big,” Shough said. “It was nice to get some reps with the ones, twos and threes. I felt good about it and I was happy with the outcome.”
Cristobal said defensive end Austin Faoliu was injured during the game but it is not thought to be serious. Wide receiver Johnny Johnson was shaken up on a vicious hit but returned to the game.
Fourteen true freshmen played in the game, including tight end Patrick Herbert, the younger brother of Justin Herbert.
The other members of the 2019 recruiting class who saw action were: wide receiver Josh Delgado, running back Sean Dollars, defensive tackle Brandon Dorlus, inside linebacker Ge’Mon Eaford, outside linebacker Mase Funa, safety Jamal Hill, cornerback DJ James, placekicker Camden Lewis, defensive tackle Sua’ava Poti, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, defensive tackle Keyon Ware-Hudson, defensive tackle Kristian Williams and cornerback Mykael Wright.
• Oregon extended its winning streak in home openers to 15 dating back to a 30-24 loss to Indiana in 2004 and its home nonconference winning streak to 24 games dating back to a 37-32 loss to Boise State in 2008.
• The Ducks, who have averaged 58.5 points over the last 15 home openers, matched the scoring record at Autzen set with a 77-21 win over Southern Utah in the 2017 opener.
• Oregon improved to 81-0 when scoring 50 points, including 46-0 at Autzen.
• The Ducks had seven different receivers score a touchdown in a game for the first time in school history and had 11 different players score a touchdown for the first time in school history.
• Herbert’s 66-yard scoring strike to tight end Jacob Breeland in the first quarter extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 30, the longest active streak in the nation.
• Oregon now leads the all-time series with Nevada 7-1. The Wolf Pack won the first meeting 13-6 on Oct. 4, 1947, in Eugene.
• Keanon Lowe, who heroically tackled an armed man at Parkrose High in Portland last spring, announced the Ducks’ starting lineups. The former Oregon wide receiver was given a standing ovation between the first and second quarters.
“We did our jobs tonight. Celebration for the tight ends, even Brady (Aiello) who was considered a tight end,” said Ryan Bay, one of four tight ends who caught a touchdown pass against Nevada. “It’s all about the culture, it’s all about coming together. You could see on the sideline everyone was happy for each other.”