Troy Dye had the dance floor to himself between the third and fourth quarter on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.
Oregon’s star linebacker and his teammates had a lot to “Shout” about during the 77-6 obliteration of Nevada in the home opener.
The Ducks (1-1), a week after their somber plane ride home from Arlington, Texas, woke up Sunday with a leg up in the Pac-12 North Division race.
USC defeated Stanford (1-1, 0-1) 45-20 late Saturday and California stunned Washington (1-1, 0-1) 20-19 in the wee hours of a game delayed 2½ hours by severe weather.
“I’m not to sure if anything effects the locker room in the way that we're building or rebuilding the program,” coach Mario Cristobal said of his team’s impressive response to the last-second loss to Auburn at AT&T Stadium. “Everything we do is from the inside out. Everything we do is making sure we do it the right way to the best of our ability.
“So to me every opportunity is a beautiful situation and chance to get better. Our guys were just eager to get back on the football field and show that we can put together a complete game, and we did.”
For the first time in program history, Oregon had seven different players catch a touchdown pass in a game and 11 different players score a touchdown in a game.
Four tight ends, three wide receivers, three running backs and safety Brady Breeze scored.
Justin Herbert threw for 310 yards and five touchdowns and Tyler Shough added 92 yards and two touchdowns in a passing game missing injured wide receivers Juwan Johnson, Mycah Pittman and Brenden Schooler.
The Ducks rolled up 623 yards of total offense and tied the Autzen record for points.
But Cristobal said it was Andy Avalos’ defense, which forced four turnovers that resulted in 28 points, that set the tone.
“The most impressive part to me was the fact that the older guys held the younger guys accountable,” Cristobal said. “When the younger guys went in there from snap 40-whatever to the end, they made it known that they are held to the same expectation about keeping other people out of the end zone.
“So I give credit to the entire defensive staff, and most importantly the players. They certainly are coming on strong.”
Outside linebacker DJ Johnson, who did not play against Auburn, led the way with seven tackles and the forced fumble Breeze scooped and scored on.
Inside linebacker Sampson Niu had a forced fumble and an interception. Safety Steve Stephens, another backup, returned an interception 38 yards.
Oregon finished with 5.0 sacks and 13.0 tackles for losses totaling 55 yards. Nevada starter Carson Strong was 13-for-25 passing for 89 yards with two interceptions.
“It’s a trademark of the defense coach Avalos brought here,” Cristobal said. “The players have taken ownership in it. If you watch the way that they walk-through, the way that they meet, the way they practice, it’s very indicative of the progress that they are making.
“Their buying in and (having) belief in the scheme paid off, and we can still get a whole lot better.”
Before dissecting the film, Cristobal could only recall two glaring mistakes — Haki Woods allowing a punt to hit him while in coverage to give Nevada possession in the red zone and a late hit by Deommodore Lenoir — from the game.
Oregon finished with six penalties for 34 yards despite playing its first-, second- and third-string players.
The Ducks had seven penalties and a costly fumble in the red zone against Auburn.
“We pretty much played a complete football game in all phases,” Cristobal said. “Proud of our guys for their effort, and we look forward to getting better and moving on.”
Cristobal and Co. will have one final nonconference tuneup against Montana on Saturday at Autzen Stadium (7:45 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
Dye should be dancing again by the third quarter if the Ducks take care of business against the FCS program from the Big Sky.
Follow Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @RGDuckFootball and email podcast mailbag questions to email@example.com. For more Oregon sports coverage, visit DuckSports.com.