HALFTIME: Cougs staying afloat in Duck pond

IT MAY NOT HAVE been pretty, but it was certainly entertaining. After watching Oregon score on its first three possessions, the Cougars showed some signs of life midway through the second quarter at Autzen Stadium to close the deficit to 34-24 going into halftime despite being overmatched and outgained.

The Cougars' first touchdown of the half came on an 11-yard pass from Connor Halliday to Dom Williams in the left corner of the end zone with 6:36 left in the first quarter. Isiah Myers took a short pass over the middle for 39 yards to the Oregon 22, and two plays later, Halliday was hit out of bounds on a scramble to draw a personal foul that gave the Cougars a first-and-goal opportunity.

Oregon responded quickly, though, with a 26-yard touchdown run by Byron Marshall, with 5:47 remaining in the opening period. Marshall also scored on a 1-yard run with 8:43 left in the first quarter.

Freshman wide receiver River Cracraft caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Halliday with 6:10 left in the second quarter.

Just 35 seconds later, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked by Darryl Monroe and defensive end Xavier Cooper recovered the fumble for a 41-yard touchdown run.

Andrew Furney drilled a 49-yard field goal as time was expiring to bring the score to 34-24.

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