Bo Nix threw for 428 yards and three touchdowns as No. 15 Oregon rallied for a 44-41 victory against host Washington State in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams Saturday afternoon in Pullman, Wash.
The Ducks (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) scored 29 fourth-quarter points — including 22 in a late span of 2:47 — to take their first lead.
Oregon trailed 34-22 when Nix, who finished 33-of-44 passing, threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cam McCormick with 3:48 left.
The Ducks’ defense held WSU (3-1, 0-1) to a three-and-out and Nix hit Troy Franklin on a 50-yard scoring strike with 1:21 left to give Oregon a 37-34 advantage.
The Ducks’ Mase Funa intercepted a Cameron Ward pass and returned it 27 yards for a score with 1:01 left to clinch the victory.
Ward was 37-of-48 passing for 375 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for a score. He threw a 15-yard TD pass to De’Zhaun Stribling and a 1-yarder to Robert Ferrel. The latter, with 6:42 left, gave WSU a 34-22 lead.
The Cougars’ Nakia Watson scored on a 1-yard run with one second left for the final margin.
Linebacker Francisco Mauigoa returned an interception 95 yards in the first half, giving the Cougars a 17-9 lead at the intermission.
Nix hit Kris Hutson for a 55-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage in the second half and two plays later threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Bucky Irving. A two-point conversion pass failed when Franklin was stopped just short of the goal line by Mauigoa, leaving the Cougars with a 17-15 lead.
Dean Janikowski kicked a 38-yard field goal and Ward hit Stribling with a 15-yard scoring strike later in the third to extend Wazzu’s lead to 27-15.
Oregon’s Jordan James scored on a 1-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter to pull the Ducks within 27-22.
The Ducks had a 624-416 edge in total yardage.
–Field Level Media