Nov 20, 2021; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back B.J. Baylor (4) runs with the ball against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the second half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

No. 11 Oregon, Oregon State battle for spot in Pac-12 title game

A loss at Utah put a major dent in Oregon’s hopes to be among the four teams in the College Football Playoff, but there’s still plenty for which to play as the No. 11 Ducks renew their in-state rivalry with Oregon State on Saturday in Eugene.

The Ducks (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) can lock up the Pac-12 North Division title and a place in the conference championship game next week with a win over the Beavers (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12). Oregon is the favorite, but with the Ducks’ loss to Utah and wins for Oregon State and Washington State last weekend, the Beavers or Cougars could steal what seemed to be a given for Oregon not too long ago.

Oregon State can win the North if Washington defeats Washington State in the annual Apple Cup on Friday night and the Beavers upset the Ducks on Saturday. Washington State can overtake the Oregon schools for the title if it defeats Washington and Oregon State takes out Oregon.

Oregon is the only team that controls its own destiny. Win, and the Ducks get a rematch with Utah in Las Vegas on Dec. 3 in what would be their third straight Pac-12 championship game.

Oregon can reach 10 wins for the 12th time in program history and second time under fourth-year head coach Mario Cristobal. The Ducks are 6-0 at home this season, seeking their third straight undefeated season at home, and another win would be 19 in a row at Autzen Stadium.

Oregon has won 11 of the last 13 meetings — six straight at home — and leads the all-time series with a 66-48-10 record. The Ducks haven’t lost to the Beavers at home since 2007.

Cristobal said the 38-7 loss to Utah was not the program’s standard.

“Learn from it and go forward and attack it,” Cristobal said. “And you’re very real. That’s always been the only way around here. And so it was a good start (Sunday in practice) to get in on things because we have been playing some really good football and in fact, because we played good football up until that point, we presented ourselves with a great opportunity this Saturday. So we have to do the things that we do well, to the best of our ability.”

The Beavers are seeking a winning streak in the series. They stunned Oregon 41-38 in Corvallis, Ore, last season.

Running back B.J. Baylor has 1,200 rushing yards this season and Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in rushing offense at 229.5 yards per game. Baylor is the conference’s leading rusher.

Head coach Jonathan Smith was 2-2 against Oregon as the Beavers’ quarterback in his playing days. He and the Beavers were victorious in 1998 and 2000, both games in Corvallis.

The Oregon State defense has improved under new coordinator Trent Bray, who replaced Tim Tibesar earlier this month.

“We wanted to play well and play our best at the end of the year,” Smith said this week. “We want to be playing in meaningful games, and we’ve set the stage for that.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas (9) runs for a first quarter touchdown against the Oregon Ducks at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Utah drubs No. 3 Oregon, denting CFP hopes

Cameron Rising passed for 178 yards and ran for a touchdown, and Britain Covey returned a punt for a score as No. 23 Utah steamrolled No. 3 Oregon 38-7 on Saturday in Pac-12 Conference play in Salt Lake City.

With the win, Utah (8-3, 7-1 Pac-12) earned the Pac-12 South Division title and a spot in the conference championship game on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas. Utes coach Kyle Whittingham became the all-time wins leader at the school with 142.

Tavion Thomas rushed for 94 yards and three TDs for Utah, which has won four straight games overall and 18 of its past 19 contests at home. Brant Kuithe caught five passes for 118 yards for the Utes.

Anthony Brown led Oregon with 231 yards passing and a touchdown but the Ducks were limited to just 294 total yards, only 63 of which came on the ground.

The Ducks (9-2, 6-2) had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Oregon is still in the driver’s seat for the Pac-12 North Division title and a spot in the conference championship game. However, the Ducks will fall out of the top four of the College Football Playoff with their second loss.

The Utes grabbed the lead on a 10-yard TD run by Thomas with 4:40 to play in the first quarter that capped a 13-play, 63-yard march. Later, Rising scooted around left end for a 1-yard scoring run with 5:08 remaining in the second quarter to finish off an 80-yard, 9-play drive and give Utah a 14-0 lead.

Thomas added his second TD – going untouched on a 4-yard run – and pushed the Utes’ lead to 21-0 with just 27 seconds remaining in the half.

Oregon tried to get something out of the time left before halftime but ended up punting on the final play of the half, with Covey ripping off a 78-yard return for a touchdown.

Utah outgained the Ducks 242-122 in the first half, running 40 plays to Oregon’s 26.

Oregon finally responded, driving 75 yards in nine plays with Brown’s 36-yard TD pass to Devon Williams to open the third quarter. But the Utes answered, powering down the field to Thomas’ third touchdown run, this one from 5 yards out with 3:56 to play in the third, to regain their 28-point lead.

Utah added a 26-yard field goal by Jadon Redding halfway through the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal speaks with his players during a second quarter timeout against the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Top 4 unchanged, Oregon jumps to No. 5 in AP Top 25

Georgia remained a unanimous No. 1 for the fifth straight week, No. 3 Alabama gained ground on No. 2 Cincinnati and No. 5 Oregon leapfrogged Ohio State in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday.

The Bulldogs (9-0) captured all 63 first-place votes following Saturday’s 43-6 thumping of Missouri.

The Bearcats (9-0) received 1,440 points from the media panel after their 28-20 win against Tulsa, just four points ahead of the Crimson Tide (8-1) following their 20-14 defeat of LSU.

Oklahoma (9-0) held onto the No. 4 slot after an idle weekend and the Ducks (8-1) rose two spots after beating Washington 26-16. Oregon jumped over No. 6 Ohio State (8-1) and Michigan State (8-1), as the Spartans fell from No. 5 to No. 8 after a 40-29 loss to Purdue.

No. 7 Notre Dame (8-1), No. 9 Michigan (8-1) and No. 10 Oklahoma State (8-1) round out the Top 10.

Seven ranked teams lost over the weekend.

After making its first-ever appearance in the Top 10 last week, Wake Forest (8-1) dropped three places to No. 13 after a 58-55 shootout loss at North Carolina.

No. 11 Texas A&M (7-2), No. 12 Ole Miss (7-2) and No. 14 BYU (8-2) are the highest-ranked teams with two losses.

Unbeaten UTSA (9-0) climbed a spot to No. 15 after a 44-23 victory against UTEP.

No. 20 Wisconsin (6-3), No. 21 North Carolina State (7-2) and No. 25 Pittsburgh (7-2) returned to the Top 25, while Kentucky, SMU and Fresno State dropped out.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) rushes against the Washington Huskies during the second quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Dye’s career day fuels No. 4 Oregon

Travis Dye rushed for a career-high 211 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries to help No. 4 Oregon better its chances of qualifying for the College Football Playoff with a 26-16 win against Washington on Saturday evening in a Pac-12 game in Seattle.

Anthony Brown passed for one touchdown and ran for another for the Ducks (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12), who were ranked fourth in the initial College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night.

The Ducks should move up after No. 3 Michigan State lost to Purdue 40-29 on Saturday.

Washington (4-5, 3-3) took an early 9-3 lead and only trailed by a point at halftime, but ultimately was held to 166 total yards on the day and finished 3-for-12 on third down.

Dye carried the ball five straight times for 68 yards on Oregon’s first drive of the second half, and Brown capped it with a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 17-9 with 9:38 left in the third quarter.

Dye scored on a 19-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 24-9.

Washington running back Sean McGrew scored his second rushing touchdown of the game from 2 yards out to cut it to 24-16 with 11:13 left.

The Ducks reached the Washington 5-yard line with about three minutes left, but penalties backed the Ducks out of field-goal range, and the Huskies got the ball back at their 10 with 2:14 remaining.

After three straight incompletions, Washington opted to punt the ball away with 1:59 left, but the ball was snapped out of the end zone for a safety to increase the lead to 26-16.

McGrew scored on a 1-yard run to give Washington a 7-0 lead with 12:14 left in the first quarter.

The Ducks answered with a 46-yard field goal by Camden Lewis on their second drive to make it 7-3.

Dye was tackled in the end zone for a safety to make it 9-3 with 7:01 left in the opening quarter. However, Brown found Devon Williams in the back of the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown pass to move the Ducks ahead 10-9 with 5:08 left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Oregon kicks it into high gear, tops Colorado

No. 7 Oregon reached a season high in points while unleashing in a 52-29 romp over visiting Colorado on Saturday at Eugene, Ore.

The Ducks gained 568 yards of total offense as they rolled to a stress-free Pac-12 victory for the first time since an easy win over Arizona in September.

Quarterback Anthony Brown completed 25 of 31 passes for 307 yards with three touchdowns and was taken out early in the fourth quarter with the Ducks comfortably ahead. He also had a touchdown run called back on a penalty against teammate Devon Williams, but threw a touchdown pass to Williams on the next play.

Colorado scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it 45-29 with just over six minutes to play, so Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal put Brown back in the game. Brown then engineered a five-minute that ended in Seven McGee’s short touchdown run with 50 seconds to play.

Travis Dye had two rushing touchdowns and a touchdown catch to give him seven TDs in the past two games, while freshman Byron Cardwell ran for 127 yards on only seven carries as Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) took a 44-14 lead into the final quarter.

Oregon lit up the Buffaloes (2-6, 1-4) in the first half with 344 yards of total offense, their most in any half this season, and Brown completing 19 of 24 passes for 201 yards with two touchdowns.

The Ducks got a 27-yard field goal from Camden Lewis as the first half clock expired to take a 31-14 lead into halftime.

Cardwell — who is seeing more of an opportunity with running back CJ Verdell out long term due to an injury – showed his ability in the first quarter with a 34-yard run up the middle for a touchdown.

Colorado’s Brendon Lewis passed for 224 yards with three scores. completing 25 of 33 passes. Brenden Rice caught five of those passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Alex Fontenot had a rushing and receiving touchdown for Colorado.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2021; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of an Oregon Ducks helmet during the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Top 2021 Oregon recruit Kingsley Suamataia enters transfer portal

Oregon Ducks freshman offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia entered his name in the transfer portal, according to multiple reports.

Suamataia was regarded as the Ducks’ top recruit for 2021, but he appeared in just one game. Suimataia played only 11 snaps against FCS program Stony Brook.

A five-star prospect and the No. 32 overall recruit in 247Sports rankings for 2021, the 6-foot-6 Utah native is now free to be contacted by any schools interested in signing him. BYU is expected to be a strong candidate in the pursuit of the tackle, per 247Sports.

As a first-time entrant in the transfer portal, Suamataia would be eligible to play immediately for a new team next season.

The No. 7 Ducks (6-1) currently have senior George Moore starting at left tackle.

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Brittain Brown (28) carries the ball against the Oregon Ducks in the first half at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Dye scores 4 TDs, No. 10 Oregon holds on at UCLA

Travis Dye scored four rushing touchdowns despite running for only 35 yards on 14 carries, and No. 10 Oregon rallied from a 14-point deficit for a 34-31 win over UCLA Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Dye, at one point in the game, had all four touchdown runs on four consecutive carries. Quarterback Anthony Brown completed 29 of 39 passes for 296 yards, but two fourth-quarter interceptions gave the Bruins a chance to come back.

UCLA had the ball in Oregon territory with a minute to play, but backup quarterback Ethan Garbers was picked off by Oregon’s D.J. James to seal the Ducks’ win. Garbers had to come in when starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson had to exit during the drive after a hard hit.

The Ducks (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) scored three second-half touchdowns, two in the third quarter for Dye and a 43-yard run up the middle for a touchdown for Brown. The Ducks also blocked a punt in the third quarter, which set up a score, and star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was a disruptor with two sacks, numerous pressures and hits and a team-high eight solo tackles.

But the Bruins rallied from a 34-17 deficit with two touchdowns, their last with 6:34 to play in the game on Brittain Brown’s one-yard touchdown run after Brown was intercepted.

UCLA (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) got 216 passing yards from Thompson-Robinson, who also ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

UCLA scored on its opening drive, then added a short touchdown pass from Thompson-Robinson to Kazmeir Allen for a 14-0 first quarter lead.

After Dye had a touchdown called back for being down at the 1-yard line, Brown’s pass was tipped and intercepted. But UCLA was offside, and Dye punched it in on the next play.

The Ducks had never trailed by more than 10 points at any point in a game this season, but they tied the score after a missed field goal. A 12-play, 80-yard drive ended with Dye running four yards to tie the score with 2:49 to play in the half.

The Bruins drove for a field goal to take a 17-14 lead into halftime. They held a rushing offense averaging 210 yards per game to 35 in the first half and 121 for the game.

Oregon has won the last nine meetings. All three of UCLA’s losses this year have come at home.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) fights for extra yards against California Golden Bears linebacker Marqez Bimage (46) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 Oregon rallies past Cal, then holds on for win

In need of a defensive stand in the closing seconds, No. 9 Oregon held firm and kept California out of the end zone to secure a 24-17 win on Friday in Eugene, Ore.

The Golden Bears got the ball to the Oregon 2-yard line and faced fourth-and-goal with five seconds to play. The Ducks blitzed Cal quarterback Chase Garbers and forced an incomplete pass for a turnover on downs, sealing the win.

Quarterback Anthony Brown, booed at home when Oregon’s offense sputtered for the better part of three quarters, led a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives, the last one putting the Ducks on top when he ran 11 yards for a score with 4:50 to play.

Travis Dye carried 19 times for 145 yards and a touchdown, and he added 73 yards on seven receptions. Brown finished 20 of 28 for 244 yards and a score as Oregon (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) rallied from a 17-10 fourth-quarter deficit to win.

Cal (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) still has not beaten a Top 10 AP team on the road since a 17-14 victory at No. 10 Indiana in 1969. The Bears are winless at Autzen Stadium since 2007.

Oregon couldn’t get out of its own way in the opening quarter and early in the second, putting together lengthy drives but producing only three points. After getting into the red zone, penalties and a fumble resulted in a field goal on their first possession and a turnover on their third, and in between that, a turnover on downs inside Cal territory.

The Ducks had a chance for points late in the first half, but Brown was sacked and fumbled the ball away with 16 seconds left.

Star Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux had to sit in the first half after a targeting call against him in the team’s previous game, but he returned to action for the second half against Cal.

Thibodeaux made an impact with his pass rush, but Cal tied the game at 10 on a Dario Longhetto field goal with 8:34 left in the third quarter. Still, Thibodeaux was a factor late in the game, forcing hurried throws.

Garbers went 24 of 42 passing with two touchdowns. He completed scoring passes to Jake Tonges for 9 yards in the first quarter and Gavin Reinwald for 4 yards early in the fourth quarter.

Oregon has won 11 of the teams’ past 13 meetings.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Stanford, California, USA;  Oregon Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown (13) prepares to throw the football during the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 Oregon expected to stick with QB Anthony Brown against Cal

The Oregon Ducks had a full weekend off to rest up, heal up and try to get beyond a disappointing upset loss to Stanford on Oct. 2. That loss, coupled with results of a wild weekend in college football, sent the Ducks down to a No. 9 national ranking.

They’ll get back on the field Friday night at home against Pac-12 North rival California at Autzen Stadium, but without two key players. Leading rusher CJ Verdell is out for the season after suffering an apparent leg injury against Stanford, and defensive back Bennett Williams will also miss the rest of the season after surgery for a broken fibula.

Travis Dye looks likely to step in as the lead back with Verdell out.

Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) will also be without star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux for the first half of Friday’s game, after he was ejected for targeting late in the Stanford game, a 31-24 overtime defeat.

Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead was not calling plays against Stanford as he was in a hospital for a non-COVID-related procedure. If he is not ready to resume duties, running backs coach Jim Mastro will do so for another game.

After the Stanford loss in which he did not throw a touchdown and was intercepted once, there had been talk of turning from starter Anthony Brown to freshman Ty Thompson going forward. But Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal didn’t seem ready to make the switch.

“(Brown) certainly gives us the best chance to win,” Cristobal told USA Today. “He’s done enough in practice, he’s done enough in games. I think a lot of times when you have a game like this and things don’t go well, it pours on people. … Anthony has shown a lot, and he’s done a lot of good things in a lot of different ways. He’s going to improve and get better.”

Brown threw his first interception of the season, but Cal’s Chase Garbers has five and is facing a ball-hawking Oregon secondary. The Golden Bears (1-4, 0-2) also had a bye last week, but lost two straight prior to that.

Still, Cal stunned the Ducks in Berkeley last season 21-17 with Garbers running the offense, and the Pac-12 has already seen its share of surprising game results in 2021.

The win over Oregon last December was the last time the Golden Bears won a conference game.

“Last year was last year, and we’re focused on playing better as a team,” Cal head coach Justin Wilcox told Sports Illustrated. “That’s what we need to do. I don’t feel like the guys are lacking confidence. We just haven’t finished games.”

Garbers has 1,245 passing yards and seven touchdown passes on the season, but the Cal defense is allowing 281.4 passing yards per game and has given up 12 passing touchdowns.

Damien Moore’s 313 yards and five touchdowns lead the rushing attack.

The Bears are 42-39-2 all-time against Oregon, but since 2009, the Ducks have dominated the rivalry. Oregon has won 10 of the last 12 meetings.

–Field Level Media

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux, center, jokes with teammates during the Oregon Spring Football game at Autzen Stadium.

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Oregon star Kayvon Thibodeaux launches his own cryptocurrency

Oregon star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, considered among the top prospects for next year’s NFL draft, is getting in on the name, image and likeness party in a unique way: establishing his own cryptocurrency.

Thibodeaux told ESPN that his new crypto coin, $JREAM, will benefit in part the athlete’s Jream Foundation, which serves underprivileged youth.

“I feel like crypto is such a new space and having an athlete involved in it kind of changes the dynamic of how athletes are viewed,” Thibodeaux said. “I started looking at crypto in high school and seeing the future in crypto and how far it can go. This was the next step in starting my future.”

The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder hasn’t played since leaving the Ducks’ season opener against Fresno State with an ankle injury in the first half. He had two tackles and a sack before exiting. Oregon is now up to No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

In 21 collegiate games, Thibodeaux has amassed 79 total tackles, including 24.5 for loss, and 13 sacks.

Thibodeaux isn’t even the first college athlete to release his own cryptocurrency. Jaylen Clark, a reserve for UCLA basketball, announced he was doing the same earlier this month.

–Field Level Media