Whatever chemistry Justin Herbert and Juwan Johnson developed during spring practice and fall camp will have to carry over into Pac-12 play.
No. 15 Oregon was without Johnson, the talented Penn State graduate transfer, once again during the nonconference finale against Montana on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
Johnson was a “game-time decision,” according to coach Mario Cristobal, but never dressed out for warmups.
The Ducks have also been without dynamic true freshman Mycah Pittman (shoulder) and senior Brenden Schooler (foot) due to injuries suffered during camp.
True freshman receiver Lance Wilhoite remains out indefinitely with a knee injury, and classmate JJ Waters is out for the season with a foot injury.
With the lack of depth at receiver, Herbert has been able to get some unexpected targets in the spotlight with touchdown passes this season to tight end turned slot receiver Spencer Webb, cornerback-returned-to-receiver Daewood Davis and offensive lineman turned tight end Brady Aiello.
Herbert extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 31 with a 5-yard scoring strike to tight end Jacob Breeland on the opening drive. The tandem hooked up again for a 17-yard touchdown later in the first quarter.
Tight end Ryan Bay dropped a pass on fourth-and-1 late in the second quarter, but Herbert responded with an 18-yard touchdown pass to receiver Johnny Johnson to stake Oregon to a 21-0 lead at the intermission.
Cam McCormick, who earned the starting tight end job to open the 2018 season before breaking his leg in the opener, has missed all three games this season.
Defensive line shorthanded
Oregon’s defense was without two starters, tackle Austin Faoliu and “stud” linebacker Bryson Young.
Senior Drayton Carlberg replaced Faoliu and true freshman Mase Funa replaced Young in the starting lineup.
Funa, who led the Pac-12 in tackles for loss entering the weekend, sacked Dalton Sneed to end Montana’s first drive of the game.
The Ducks improved to 8-0-1 all-time against Montana. All nine games have been contested in Eugene. Oregon won the previous meeting 47-14 in 2005 at Autzen Stadium. The tie was 14-14 in 1952 at Hayward Field.
• The Ducks extended their home winning streak against nonconference opponents to 25 with the 35-3 win over Montana.
• Oregon is 8-1 at home under Cristobal and 3-5 in games played outside of Eugene.
• NFL scouts representing the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins attended the game.
• The Oregon captains were tight end Breeland, right guard Dallas Warmack, inside linebacker Sampson Niu and safety Sean Killpatrick.
• Oregon men’s basketball standout Payton Pritchard introduced the starting lineups. Coach Dana Altman presented the returning players with their Pac-12 Tournament championship rings during a timeout in the first quarter.