The Oregon Ducks flew high over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a thrilling 38-30 victory on Saturday night at Jones AT&T Stadium. The Ducks, ranked No. 13 in the nation, improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Red Raiders fell to 0-2.
The game was a tale of two halves, as the Ducks trailed 17-10 at halftime, but exploded for 28 points in the second half to take the lead and hold off the Red Raiders. The Ducks were led by quarterback Bo Nix, who passed for 359 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 46 yards. Nix connected with Troy Franklin for a 72-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
The Red Raiders were not without their own offensive fireworks, as quarterback Tyler Shough, a transfer from Oregon, threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for 101 yards and a score. Shough had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but his pass was intercepted by Oregon’s Jamal Hill in the end zone.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with six lead changes and four ties. The Ducks scored first on a 38-yard touchdown run by Bucky Irving in the first quarter, but the Red Raiders answered with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Shough to Myles Price. The Red Raiders took a 10-7 lead on a 42-yard field goal by Jonathan Garibay in the second quarter, but the Ducks tied it with a 27-yard field goal by Camden Lewis. The Red Raiders regained the lead with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Shough to Mason Tharp, making it 17-10 at halftime.
The Ducks came out strong in the third quarter, scoring on their first two possessions. Nix found Tez Johnson for a 37-yard touchdown pass, and then hit Franklin for the long score. The Red Raiders responded with a 6-yard touchdown run by Shough, tying the game at 24-24. The Ducks took the lead again with a 1-yard touchdown run by Nix, but the Red Raiders tied it once more with a 83-yard touchdown pass from Shough to Jerand Bradley.
The Ducks finally pulled away in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run by Noah Whittington, and then stopping the Red Raiders on their final drive. The Ducks celebrated their first road win of the season, while the Red Raiders lamented their second consecutive close loss.
The turning point of the game came when Jeffrey Bassa intercepted Shough’s pass and returned it for a touchdown with 35 seconds left, giving the Ducks a 38-30 lead. Bassa stepped over Shough and ran free to the end zone, sealing the win for Oregon. Shough tried to answer with one last drive, but his desperation throw to the end zone was intercepted by Bryan Addison. Bassa’s pick-six was his first career interception and touchdown.
The game was an exciting showcase of two high-powered offenses and two former teammates turned rivals. Nix and Shough exchanged hugs and words of respect after the game, as both quarterbacks put up impressive numbers and made big plays. The Ducks proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 conference, while the Red Raiders showed that they can compete with anyone in the Big 12 conference.
The game was also a humorous display of some questionable decisions and mistakes by both teams. The Ducks had two touchdowns called back due to penalties, one for holding and one for an illegal forward pass. The Red Raiders had two turnovers that led to points for the Ducks, one on a fumble by Tahj Brooks and one on an interception by Shough. The Ducks also had some trouble with their uniforms, as several players had their jersey numbers peeled off during the game. The Red Raiders had some trouble with their fans, as some of them threw objects onto the field after a controversial call in the fourth quarter.