Oregon running back CJ Verdell runs past Ohio State  safety Bryson Shaw (17) and cornerback Cameron Brown (26) for a 77-yard touchdown on Saturday. Verdell scored two touchdowns.

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No. 12 Oregon holds off No. 3 Ohio State 35-28

CJ Verdell scored three touchdowns and ran for 161 yards as No. 12 Oregon overcame No. 3 Ohio State 35-28 at Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

Quarterback Anthony Brown was 17 of 35 for 236 yards and two touchdowns for Oregon (2-0) while also running for 65 yards.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud passed for 484 yards and three TDs, but the Buckeyes (1-1) never led in the defeat.

Verdell opened the third quarter by racing through the line for a 77-yard TD on third-and-3 to extend the lead to 21-7.

Stroud cut the deficit in half at the 10:25 mark of the third with a 26-yard pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba before the Ducks went 75 yards in seven plays for a 28-14 advantage on a 5-yard run by Travis Dye.

Leading 28-21 in the fourth quarter, Brown threw a 14-yard touchdown to Moliki Matavao to go up 35-21 with 10:10 left.

Stroud, who was 35 for 54 in the air with an interception, hit Smith-Njigba for a 15-yard score to make it 35-28 with 7:55 remaining.

Smith-Njigba had seven catches for 145 yards and the two scores.

The Buckeyes had three chances to tie in the fourth quarter but punted on the first. Stroud was then intercepted by Verone McKinley III at the Oregon 35 with 2:50 remaining. Ohio State the ball at its 11 with 20 seconds left but Stroud was sacked to end the game.

Verdell had two 14-yard touchdowns, one running and one receiving, while Ohio State had four drives inside the Ducks’ 40 in the first half without scoring as Oregon led 14-7 at the break.

The Ducks went 99 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 14-yard run from Verdell for a 7-0 lead at 14:27 of the second quarter. Stroud responded with a 27-yard scoring strike to Garrett Wilson to make it 7-7.

Verdell regained the lead by taking an underhanded toss from Brown on fourth-and-1 and ran down the left side to the end zone.

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, a projected high first-round NFL draft pick, did not play because of a left ankle sprain.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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