New players shine for Ducks
EUGENE — Some new players shined in Oregon's spring football game, which was won by Thunder (the offense) against Lightning (the defense), 59-34 win the modified scoring system (and 41-7 in normal football scoring) Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
Redshirt freshman running back C.J. Verdell ran for two short touchdowns, redshirt freshman receiver Daewood Davis caught two TD passes and true freshman QB Tyler Shough threw two scoring passes.
In addition, Central Catholic grad and walk-on receiver Jack Vecchi had a TD reception (25 yards) and redshirt freshman running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio caught a 29-yard TD pass.
The offense had 503 yards in the game, which consisted of 12-minute quarters in the first half and a running clock in the second half.
Shough, who left high school in Arizona early to enroll at Oregon to compete to be backup quarterback, went 5 of 8 for 103 yards passing and the two TDs, 36 yards to Davis in the first half and 29 yards to Habibi-Likio in the second half.
Another backup QB contender, Braxton Burmeister, threw a 25-yard TD pass to Vecchi as part of his 7-of-12 passing for 64 yards.
Starter Justin Herbert was 12 of 21 for 126 yards and a TD strike of 28 yards to Davis.
The defensive highlight was linebacker Kaulana Apelu picking off Herbert, snagging the ball after it bounced off a receiver in the end zone, and going 100 yards on the interception return for a touchdown.
The Ducks were 7 of 19 on third-down conversions and 5 of 7 on fourth down. The offense had only four penalties and the defense five. The running game produced 196 yards on 51 carries (3.8 per). The defense had six "sacks," although defenders were not allowed to tackle quarterbacks.
Announced attendance was 27,317, and the Ducks again saluted the military and active service members as part of the day's activities.
The Ducks are coming off a 7-6 season after a Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State. Mario Cristobal took over as coach before the Vegas Bowl and has helped land two good recruiting classes and put the Ducks through their paces in spring ball. He has talked much about how the offseason training has become better.
The Ducks will work out through the spring and summer to prepare for training camp, likely in early August.