NEVADA-UO GAME TRACK
EUGENE - Sunny and warm weather greeted the Oregon Ducks as they took the Autzen Stadium field Saturday, hoping to get their first win of the season against Nevada.
And, there were many personnel changes, including some new starters and the return of suspended linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Cliff Harris, who did not start. News of Harris' reinstatement broke before the game.
The new starters: right guard Nick Cody (ahead of Ramsen Golpashin), receiver Rahsaan Vaughn (ahead of Josh Huff), defensive tackle Isaac Remington (ahead of Ricky Heimuli).
Here's a quarter-by-quarter game track:
The Ducks found success on their first drive to go up 6-0, failing on a conversion run by Dion Jordan.
LaMichael James ripped off a 19-yard run on his first carry. The Ducks caught a break when Nevada got called for illegal substitution on fourth down.
On a fourth-and-5 at the Nevada 30, QB Darron Thomas tucked the ball on a quarterback draw and ran to the 4. James scored on a 4-yard TD run, but the Ducks messed up the conversion attempt.
Nevada had a penalty and a three-and-out on its first possession.
James got stuffed twice and Thomas threw long on UO's next possession.
The Wolf Pack moved the ball, with QB Tyler Lantrip hitting on a couple passes. On third down at the UO 20, Lantrip threw incomplete. On the field goal attempt, John Boyett blocked Anthony Martinez attempt.
De'Anthony Thomas thrilled the crowd in his first game at Autzen, taking a handoff and running 62 yards up the right sideline to the Nevada 3. Thomas threw a 3-yard TD pass to Lavasier Tuinei, and it was 13-0 after Alejandro Maldonado's extra point (no Rob Beard kicking?; apparently he wasn't suited up for the game).
Mike Bell ran for 24 yards as Nevada was moving the ball as the first quarter ended.
The Wolf Pack got to the UO 25, and the next sequence showed you something about the game. After the quarter break, Nevada took a time out, obviously setting stuff up to try to score. Lantrip rolled out looking for top receiver Rishard Matthews, and Troy Hill picked off the pass and ran back to the Nevada 44.
On the first play, Thomas threw 44 yards for a touchdown to James, and it was 20-0.
Again, Nevada made some yards, but punted on fourth-and-1 at their own 40, down by 20 points.
The Ducks scored again, but receiver Justin Hoffman got hurt. Will Murphy drew a pass interference penalty on Nevada, and Thomas threw a 25-yard TD pass to Vaughn. The Ducks led 27-0.
Nevada punted again, although this time on fourth-and-9 at about midfield.
Thomas threw 51 yards to Daryle Hawkins to the Nevada 20, and then threw his fourth touchdown pass, to Colt Lyerla. Maldonado's conversion kick made it 34-0.
Nevada moved into scoring position again, as Lantrip and Matthews hooked up. Lantrip ran for 22 yards. Later, he found Matthews for 11 yards on fourth down at the UO 16. Lantrip threw a 5-yard TD pass to Mike Ball, and the Ducks had lost their shutout. The drive: 11 plays, 80 yards. The score: 34-7, UO.
Thomas' hot passing continued, and he threw his fifth TD pass, 24 yards to De'Anthony Thomas with 13 seconds left in the first half, making it 41-7.
It was an impressive first-half show against Nevada, which clearly lost much of its team with the departure of QB Colin Kaepernick and other key players from last year when the Wolf Pack went 13-1.
Thomas' five TD passes in the first half was an Oregon record. The record for total TD passes is six, twice by Joey Harrington, once by Danny O'Neil.
The Ducks stopped Nevada, and James scored on a 58-yard punt return, making it 48-7.
The Wolf Pack scored a touchdown, despite recovering its own fumble at the UO 1. Stefphon Jefferson scored from a yard out, and UO led 48-13 after the missed extra-point kick.
Darron Thomas tied the UO record for touchdown passes in a game, as De'Anthony Thomas took his pass and scored on a 69-yard touchdown play to make it 55-13.
Nevada moved to the Oregon red zone and, after a Michael Clay tackle-for-loss, Lantrip threw incomplete on fourth down. And, Bryan Bennett made his debut as Oregon QB.