Rich Kolbell

Oregon improves to 2-0 after the win over the ACC foe.

EUGENE, ORE.  – The Oregon Ducks improved to 2-0 for the season with a 44-26 win over Virginia (0-2) and racked up 632 yards of total offense in the process. The Ducks were led by quarterback Dakota Prukop’s 21-of-31 passing for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Royce Freeman rushed for 207 yards and two TDs.

Oregon seemed to score at will, particularly in the second half and was highlighted by two spectacular plays; the first when Prukop hit Devon Allen for a 77-yard strike in the third quarter. Allen finished with a career high 141 yards of receiving on four catches. The second explosion play occurred a couple of plays later when Freeman took the hand off from Prukop and streaked around the left side and went down the sideline for an 85-yard scoring run. The rush was the longest from the line of scrimmage for Freeman in his career.

Prukop had a good night spreading the ball around. Pharaoh Brown had five receptions for 55 yards and a TD, his first after missing all of last year as he recuperated for a severe leg injury. Darren Carrington pulled down for balls for 59 yards with a long of 32. Dwayne Stanford finished with three catches and a touchdown.

Following the long run his night was over as Oregon was ahead 44-13 and Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich decided it was time to play lots of reserves on both offense and defense.

While the decision will likely pay results down the road, the respite from the Oregon starters game Virginia to score two touchdowns, one with only :07 left in the third quarter and one more in the fourth.

While the Cavaliers scored a total of three TDs in the second half, the Duck defense had kept Virginia from scoring.

Virginia had rolled up six points and 177 yards of total offense and in the second half the Cavaliers produced 211 more yards. One area of obvious concern for the Ducks is that Virginia had a total gross of 245 yards of rushing, 127 yards of that was gained by Albert Reid.

However, it was too little too late. Oregon’s offense was too much for the Cavaliers to deal with.

Defensively, Tyree Robinson was the leading tackler with seven tackles, all unassisted. Robinson also had a pass break up. Jalen Jelks had two sacks among his six tackles and A.J. Hotchkins had four tackles (three solos) before leaving the game with an injury to his right leg. Hotchkins was taken to the locker room on a cart and there has been no update to his condition or status for next week.

The Ducks recorded a total of six sacks, two by Jelks and one each by Jonah Moi, Austin Maloata, Gus Cumberlander and Drayton Carlberg.  Rex Manu also had a tackle for loss.

There were two interceptions for the Ducks; one by freshman Brenden Schooler and the other by Khalil Oliver. Arrion Springs nearly had a pick-six interception but couldn’t hold onto the ball, but was given credit for three pass break-ups.

Oregon had a total of 632 yards of offense, 301 from rushing and 331 from passing. Virginia ended up with 388 total yards of offense, 193 net rushing and 195 yards of passing.

The Ducks also had a 20-yard field goal by Aiden Schneider in the closing seconds for the first half.

Kurt Benkert threw for 193 yards on 20-of-39 passing with two touchdowns to Keeon Johnson, who was the leading receiver with six catches for 40 yards. Warren Craft had the other TD reception and had a total of two catches for 23 yards.

The other Virginia touchdown was scored by Taquan Mizzell who finished with 48 yards and a TD.

Next week Oregon goes on the road for the toughest test of the young season when it travels to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on Mike Riley and the Cornhuskers. Nebraska improved to 2-0 on Saturday with a 52-17 win over Wyoming.

Notes (from

  • Royce Freeman broke the 200-yard rushing mark for the second time, finishing with 207 yards on 21 carries. Freeman's 85-yard touchdown run was a career-best and tied him for the seventh-longest in school history with four others (most recently by Josh Huff vs. Arizona in 2010).

Freeman (207 rushing, 29 receiving) moved into the UO career top 10 for all-purpose yards with 4,035, passing Ahmad Rashad (Bobby Moore) for 10th. Rashad had 3,898 from 1969-71. He also moved up one spot to third in career rushing at UO with 3,495, passing Derek Loville (3,296, 1986-89).

  • The game also marked Freeman's 18th 100-yard rushing effort and tenth in his last 11 games.
  • Devon Allen recorded the third 100-yard receiving game of his career, highlighted by a 77-yard touchdown. Allen finished with 4 catches for 141 yards.
  • Dakota Prukop passed for over 300 yards for the first time in an Oregon uniform and seventh time in his career. He finished 21-of-31 for 331 yards and 3 TDs. His trio of touchdown passes went to three different players. On the season, six different receivers have caught his six scoring throws.
  • True freshman Brenden Schooler saw time at safety and made his first career interception.
  • Defensive tackle Wayne Tei-Kirby became the seventh true freshman to play this season for the Ducks.
  • Sophomore DE Jalen Jelks had two of the Ducks' six sacks in the game, tying a career-high. His six tackles were a new personal best.
  • Redshirt freshmen Drayton Carlberg and Gus Cumberlander each recorded their first career sacks.
  • Sophomore safety Khalil Oliver had the second interception of his career.
  • The Ducks have outscored their first two opponents 34-0 in the 2nd quarter this season.

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