Juwan Johnson is "50-50" to play, Adam Stack is transferring and Zach Emerson was arrested
No, 15 Oregon’s quarterbacks combined for seven touchdown passes during the 77-6 victory over Nevada.
More help could be on the way when the Ducks wrap up nonconference play against Montana on Saturday at Autzen Stadium (7:45 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
Coach Mario Cristobal said there is a “50-50” chance wide receiver Juwan Johnson, the talented 6-foot-4, 231-pound graduate transfer, will make his Oregon debut against the Griz (2-0).
During three seasons at Penn State, Johnson had 81 receptions for 1,123 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s a soft tissue thing,” Cristobal said of Johnson’s injury, which threw a wrench in the Auburn game plan. “We expect progress, and it’s going to be close. I think now we’re kind of coming towards this thing could actually be a go.”
Mycah Pittman, who suffered a shoulder injury while making a diving catch during a scrimmage in fall camp, hinted on social media that he might be “two weeks” away from joining the lineup. The dynamic true freshman is also expected to play a significant role in the offense this season.
“I know everyone’s excited about Mycah’s tweet,” Cristobal said. “Mycah, he’s pretty ambitious. He’s still got to wait a little bit, but he is getting better. We hope to have him with us in a few weeks practicing again.”
Justin Herbert was 19-for-26 passing for 310 yards and five touchdowns, including three to tight ends (Jacob Breeland, Ryan Bay and Brady Aiello), against the Wolf Pack.
Backup Tyler Shough was 8-for-9 passing for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including a 21-yard touchdown to tight end Hunter Kampmoyer.
Yet another tight end, Cam McCormick, remains “day-to-day” with an ankle injury.
Despite missing Johnson, Pittman, McCormick and senior receiver Brenden Schooler for the first two games, the Ducks (1-1) are 21st nationally in passing offense (322.0 ypg) and 14th in scoring offense (49.0 ppg).
Attrition at kicker
Oregon’s three-man competition at placekicker is suddenly a one-man show.
Junior Adam Stack, who was listed on the depth chart as the co-starter with freshman Camden Lewis for the Nevada game, is entering the NCAA transfer portal.
Zach Emerson is currently not with the team after being arrested Sept. 2. The senior from Bend, who played in all 13 games last season handling kickoffs, is facing charges of criminal mischief in the second degree and criminal trespass in the first degree, both Class A misdemeanors in the state of Oregon.
Emerson, whose arrest was first reported by 247Sports, is still on Oregon’s official roster.
“Adam Stack will transfer from the program to find an opportunity, a better opportunity for himself, somewhere else,” Cristobal said. “We certainly respect that and will help him in any way that we can.”
Stack made the final six extra points after Lewis handled the first five during Oregon’s 11-touchdown blitzkrieg against the Wolf Pack.
Stack, a backup punter behind Blake Maimone, also punted once, a 35-yard effort that was placed inside the Nevada 20-yard line.
Lewis executed all 12 kickoffs in the home opener and attempted the only field goal of the season, the missed 20-yard try in the 27-21 loss to Auburn at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Shough shows out
Oregon’s 2017 season was derailed by Herbert’s fractured clavicle, and the coaching staff only allowed Braxton Burmeister to throw two passes in the victory at Oregon State last season after Herbert left with a shoulder injury in the second quarter.
Shough, a 6-5 redshirt freshman, finally provided a glimmer of hope for the post-Herbert era at quarterback with a solid performance against Nevada.
“We felt that since spring his progress has been great,” Cristobal said. “We trust him to go in there and make plays. It’s good to see him play. I know he wanted to get in there and he deserved to, so I’m glad to see him do well.”
Kayvon Thibodeaux, the five-star recruit that was ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting class by ESPN, is off to a quite start statistically for the Ducks.
The 6-5, 242-pound defensive end has two tackles, including the take-down of Nevada punter Quinton Conaway for an 11-yard loss after a low snap.
“He’s handling it like he has to handle it. The bottom line is he knows that, like everyone on the team, he has to work and get better,” Cristobal said. “From a technical and fundamental standpoint, you’ve got to keep improving and you’ve got to be completely tied in to the scheme and get better and improve.
“I think you’re going to see some really good production out of him. He takes a lot of pride in what he does.”
Stanford kickoff time
Oregon’s Pac-12 opener at Stanford on Sept. 21 will kickoff at 4 p.m. on ESPN. The Cardinal (1-1) is coming off a 45-20 loss at USC.
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