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No. 8 Ducks Make It Eight Straight

Nov 5, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. — The Oregon football team extended its winning streak to eight games Saturday, and the Ducks had some fun doing it.

But in the race to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game, things are about to get serious.

Bo Nix accounted for five touchdowns — at least one each passing, rushing and receiving — and the Ducks also got touchdowns on offense from tackle Josh Conerly Jr. and linebacker Noah Sewell in a 49-10 victory Saturday over Colorado at Folsom Field. Oregon's first three touchdowns were a receiving score by Conerly on his birthday, a throwback pass from running back Bucky Irving to Nix, and a one-yard rushing TD by the linebacker Sewell.

"I thought we played a more complete game today," UO coach Dan Lanning said. "We talked about playing a four-quarter game, not just in the middle, and we started off pretty fast on offense. … This is a game we expected to do well, in dominant fashion, and I think for the most part we did that."

Colorado's only touchdown was an 81-yard explosion play in the second quarter, while UO defensive back Christian Gonzalez — a transfer who began his career with the Buffaloes — picked off two passes. The Ducks scored at least 40 points for the eighth straight game, the longest streak in the country this season.

No. 8 Oregon improved to 8-1 this season and 6-0 in Pac-12 play, remaining the only unbeaten team left in conference play. The Ducks now look ahead to home games against Washington and Utah followed by the regular-season finale at Oregon State, all of which have winning records.

"We're about to hit a stretch of some really tough games here," Lanning said. "And so, excited to see us hit the ground running for practice."

Nix burnished his burgeoning case for consideration among Heisman Trophy contenders with 20-of-24 passing for 274 yards and two scores, two more touchdowns on the ground and the one as a receiver. He became the third UO quarterback with touchdowns in the same game via pass, rush and reception, joining Joey Harrington and Marcus Mariota.

Irving rushed 11 times for 120 yards, his second 100-yard performance in three games, and Noah Whittington rushed for a touchdown while also catching a team-high five passes. Moliki Matavao caught the 11th touchdown of the season by a UO tight end, matching Utah's FBS-leading total entering the week.

"This is the first offense I've ever been with that creates so many plays out of whatever the imagination is," said Sewell, a two-way standout in high school who got in on the fun offensively Saturday. "It makes us have fun, which is good for the team. I just love it."

Oregon's offensive line didn't allow a sack for the eighth time in nine games, and cleared the way for 195 rushing yards. The Ducks played the second half without center Alex Forsyth, and also were without Chase Cota, DJ Johnson and Taki Taimani for the game.

The touchdowns by Conerly, Nix and Sewell made it 21-0 early in the second quarter. The Buffs answered with their only touchdown of the game, before Oregon continued its dominance of the "middle 8" portion of games this season by driving to Matavao's touchdown 53 seconds before halftime.

After a Colorado field goal early in the second half, the Ducks relied on their run game most of the final two quarters, getting two scoring runs from Nix and one by Whittington. That allowed the offense to move the ball despite winds that Lanning called the most significant he could recall for a game in his career.

Nix became just the second player in the nation since 1996 with at least two touchdowns passing and rushing and at least one receiving. He is up to 13 rushing touchdowns on the year, second in UO history behind Mariota's 15 in his Heisman season of 2014.

"Bo did what we expect him to do," Lanning said. "He's set a standard for himself now."