Football falls 41-20 at No. 25 Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. — A slow start and miscues on both offense and defense plagued No. 12 BYU football as it fell to No. 25 Oregon 41-20 at Autzen Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Ducks (2-1) scored on each of their first six drives as it took control of the game early and never really gave BYU (2-1) a chance to get back into the game.
Oregon outgained the Cougars 439 to 366 and held the Cougars to 61 yards on the ground. The Ducks had 212 yards rushing.
Both quarterbacks put together numbers all game, with Oregon's Bo Nix accounting for five total touchdowns, three on the ground and two in the air and BYU's Hall throwing for 305 yards and two scores.
Ten different receivers caught passes from Hall, with Kody Epps and Dallin Holker leading the crew at five receptions for 45 and 38 yards, respectively. Epps hauled-in his first career touchdown catch from Hall in the fourth quarter. Chase Roberts led the team in receiving yards for the second-straight week, this time with four grabs for 60 yards.
Linebacker Max Tooley led the BYU defense with eight tackles (two solo) and a pass break-up. Jakob Robinson and Ben Bywater both notched seven stops, with Robinson collecting 1.5 tackles for loss and Bywater snagged his first career interception to set up BYU's last score.
Fourth downs and penalties proved particularly costly for BYU on Saturday. Despite converting 8 of 15 third downs, the Cougars came up short on four fourth down attempts. The seven penalties levied against BYU came at a price of 64 yards, enabling Oregon to extend drives and win the field position battle as well.
Despite a 35-yard completion from Hall to Roberts on the first play of the game, BYU’s opening drive stalled on the Oregon 37-yard line when a pass to Epps came up short of the first down on 4th and 7.
Missed tackles from the Cougar defense helped the Ducks move quickly down the field for the game’s opening score. Oregon’s four-play, 64-yard drive concluded in a two-yard keeper from quarterback Nix. The Ducks took the 7-0 lead with 10:21 remaining in the first quarter.
While three BYU penalties aided Oregon’s next drive, the Cougar defense did succeed in holding the Ducks to a 28-yard field goal with 4:26 left in the quarter.
BYU responded with a scoring drive of its own beginning in the closing minutes of the first. Crucial carries from Lopini Katoa helped the Cougars move the chains on two third downs as BYU carved its way into Oregon territory.
BYU cut into the Oregon lead at 10-7 when Hall found Rex for the tight end’s first touchdown of the season with a 28-yard strike on the first play of the quarter.
Oregon quickly responded, chipping away at the BYU defense with its ground attack before unleashing a 50-yard pass completion from Nix to wide receiver Troy Franklin. Nix followed the completion with his second short scoring run of the game. The Ducks 17-7 lead came with 11:44 to go in the half.
Hall commanded the offense on another drive into plus territory with completions of nine, 17 and 12 yards to Cosper. On 3rd and 8 from the Ducks’ 21, a pass from Hall to Epps was broken up in the corner of the end zone, forcing BYU to attempt the field goal. Jake Olrdoyd’s 38-yard try went wide right, leaving the Cougars empty on the possession with 5:57 remaining in the half.
Oregon drained the remaining clock in the first half with a 13-play, 79-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nix to Terrance Ferguson.
Oregon scored on each of its first two drives to begin the second half. A nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive put Oregon up 31-7 with 11:54 left in the quarter. The drive ended with Nix finding the end zone on his third rushing score of the day, this one from six yards out.
Nix connected with Ferguson for a nine-yard touchdown reception, ending a four-play, 35-yard drive to follow it up for a 38-7 advantage.
Both scoring drives began on short fields following unsuccessful fourth-down tries for the BYU offense.
After the Cougar defense forced an Oregon punt, BYU took over from its 45-yard line late in the third quarter. Hall moved the ball efficiently down field with completions to Dallin Holker and Keanu Hill, prior to connecting with Epps for an 18-yard scoring strike. With 14:05 to go in the game, BYU cut into the Oregon lead at 38-14.
The Cougar offense didn’t have long on the sideline after Ben Bywater intercepted Oregon quarterback Ty Thompson at the Ducks’ own 30 yard-line. Moments later, Brooks found the end-zone on a two-yard scoring rush that trimmed BYU’s deficit to 38-20 with 10:39 left in the game.
Oregon finished the game’s scoring with a 25-yard field goal at 2:16 in the fourth
BYU (2-1) returns home to take-on Wyoming (3-1) on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2. Fans can listen to live play-by-play of the Cougars and Cowboys on BYU Radio SiriusXM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio App or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.