The 15th-ranked Oregon Ducks scored 29 points in the fourth quarter to storm back from a 12-point deficit and beat the Washington State Cougars 44-41 on Saturday afternoon in Pullman, Washington.
Bo Nix threw a 50-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass to Troy Franklin with 1:21 to play, and then Mase Funa returned an interception 27 yards for a TD to ice it for the Ducks, putting them up 44-34 with 1 :01 to go.
Washington State (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) narrowed it to 44-41 with two seconds left but could not recover the onside kick as it went out of bounds. Nix kneeled it and the Ducks (3-1, 1-0) escaped with the victory.
Oregon needed all 29 of its fourth-quarter points to open Pac-12 play with a win for a fourth consecutive season and also beat WSU for the fourth time in a row.
Nix overcame a pick-six in the second quarter to finish 33 of 44 for 428 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 30 yards.
Cameron Ward was also terrific at quarterback for Washington State, completing 37 of 48 passes for 375 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Cougars were denied their first 4-0 start since 2017.
Nix’s one-yard touchdown pass to Cam McCormick with 3:48 to play cut the Cougars’ lead to 34-29 and ignited a run of 22 consecutive points for Oregon. After forcing a quick three-and-out, the Ducks got it back less than a minute later and Nix went back to work. He found Franklin for the long TD pass to cap a five-play drive.
Then Funa came up with a huge play on WSU’s ensuing possession. He snagged Ward’s pass near the line of scrimmage and went untouched 27 yards for the score.
Suddenly trailing by 10 with 1:01 to go, the Cougars tacked on their late touchdown but didn’t have time to come back.
Here’s a recap of how the game unfolded:
FINAL: OREGON 44, WASHINGTON STATE 41
— Washington State’s onside kick goes out of bounds, so Oregon gets the ball with 2 seconds left. They kneel it, and the game is over. Oregon storms back to win it 44-41 in a thriller in Pullman.
— The Cougars have it back, down 10. Ward finds Watson for 10, then keeps it for 16 yards. WSU has just 24 seconds left, though. Ward’s pass is incomplete. On second and 10, he slips into the backfield and goes down. Timeout Cougars with 15 seconds left. Ward throws complete to Donovan Ollie for 60 yards, down to the 1. The Cougars punch it in on a one-yard plunge by Watson with 2 seconds left in the game. Oregon 44, Washington State, 41
— WSU starts from its 25. Watson runs for six. But on second down, Mase Funa intercepts Ward’s pass and runs it the other way for a 27-yard pick-six. The point after is good, and the Oregon Ducks now lead it 44-34 with 1:01 left. The Martin Stadium crowd is stunned. Oregon 44, Washington State 34
— Nix hands off to Irving, who spins his way forward for 8 yards. Irving runs it again and picks up the first down. Now Nix can’t find anyone open and throws it away with 1:56 left. Nix completes it to Franklin for 9 yards. On third and 1, Nix completes it to Franklin, who breaks a tackle and takes it to the end zone for a 50-yard TD. The Ducks go for two. Nix keeps it, runs left and is in for the 2-pointer. Oregon 37, Washington State 34 with 1:21 to play.
— The Ducks get a defensive stop and force a WSU punt. The fair catch is at the UO 32 after a 44-yard punt. Oregon has 2:36 left, down five points, with two timeouts.
— Ducks start at their 25. Nix throws complete to Cota for 18 yards. Nix throws complete to Matavao for 8 yards. Then it’s incomplete to Cota over the middle. On third and 2, incomplete to Hutson. Now fourth and 2 from the WSU 49. Nix throws complete to Irving, down to the 28. Nix to Cota for a gain of 5. Nix completes it to Hutson, down to the 17. Nix to Hutson again, down to the 11. Whittington runs up the middle, down to the 1. Nix sneaks it in for a 1-yard TD with 3:54 to go. But after review, it was determined that Nix was short by half a yard. So on second and goal, Nix throws to a wide-open Cam McCormick, and now it’s a Ducks TD. Washington State 34, Oregon 29 – 3:48
— Cameron Ward to De’Zhaun Stribling for 13. Ward to Nakia Watson for 25 yards, Ward basically flipped the ball while falling. Incomplete. Pass loses 1. Watson for 4. Ward to Watson for 12 after evading pressure. Ward sacked, DJ Johnson called for targeting which is confirmed. Jaylen Jenkins loses 3. False start. Incomplete. Washington State timeout – 8:16. Third-and-18, roughing the passer on Brandon Dorlus. Ball to UO 12. Watson loses 2. Ward runs for 13. Ward 2-yard touchdown pass to Robert Ferrell. Washington State 34, Oregon 22 – 6:42
— Bo Nix to Kris Hutson loses 2 yards. Incomplete, batted down. Third-and-12, Terrance Ferguson dropped. Delay of game. Ross James punt to the WSU 19.
— Squib kick out of bounds. Cameron Ward pass to Robert Ferrell for 4. Ward to Donovan Ollie for 9. Ward to Leyton Smithson, Trikweze Bridges wrestles it away for an interception. Play stands upon review.
— Jordan James 1-yard touchdown run. Washington State 27 Oregon 22 – 2:56 p.m
End 3RD QUARTER: WASHINGTON STATE 27, OREGON 15
— Seven McGee returns the kickoff 15 yards. Bo Nix runs for 3. Nix to Terrance Ferguson for 23. Nix to Chase Cota for 4. Noah Whittington for 4 and 6. Nix to Troy Franklin for 27. Nix to Irving for 1. Nix to Franklin for 13. Irving for 3. End of quarter.
— Incomplete, personal foul on DJ Johnson. Double reverse pass to Robert Ferrell for 16. Ward pass for 4, 3 and 5 with a stiff arm and conversion for Renard Bell. Pass to Donovan Ollie for 3. Ward 15-yard touchdown to De’Zhaun Stribling. Washington State 27, Oregon 15 – 4:16
— Touchback. Bucky Irving for 5. Bo Nix scrambles for 12. Nix throws it away. Noah Whittington runs for 3. Third-and-seven, Nix hit as he throws incomplete. Punt, fair catch interference on Khamari Terrell puts the ball at the WSU 38.
— Touchback. Nakia Watson for 9 and 2. DJ Johnson sack of Cameron Ward. Ward to Laylen Smithson for 12. Ward to Robert Ferrell for 12 on third-and-nine. Ward to Tsion Nunnally for 2. Bennett Williams PBU on long ball. Ward 49-yard touchdown to De’Zhaun Stribling, overturned on review as Stribling stepped out at the UO 11. Watson runs for 5. Ward scrambles and loses 2. Ward pass knocked back to him and loses 13 yards. Brandon Dorlus down but gets up OK. Dean Janikowski 38-yard field goal. Washington State 20, Oregon 15 – 8:50 p.m
— Touchback. Bo Nix 55-yard bomb to Kris Hutson that should’ve been a touchdown but Hutson tumbles. Nix to Chase Cota for 8. Nix 12-yard touchdown pass to Bucky Irving. 2-point pass to Troy Franklin stopped short. Washington State 17, Oregon 15 – 14:11
HALFTIME: WASHINGTON STATE 17, OREGON 9
— Bo Nix scrambles for 6. Incomplete. Nix to Seven McGee for 15. Halftime.
— Touchback. Cameron Ward quick screen for 12 to Robert Ferrell but offensive pass interference wipes it out. Ward to Ferrell for short gain. Oregon timeout – 1:18. Jaylen Jenkins runs for 4. Oregon timeout – 1:13. Third-and-16, Jenkins runs for 12. False start. False start. Punt to UO 39.
— Touchback. Noah Whittington runs for 1. Whittington hits a crease for 17. Bo Nix to Chase Cota for 4. Nix 42 yards to Dont’e Thornton for 42 yards. Bucky Irving for 2. Nix quick shovel to Terrance Ferguson for 1. Washington State timeout – 1:43. Third-and-seven, Nix to Sean Dollars loses 3. Camden Lewis 29-yard field goal. Washington State 17, Oregon 9 – 1:33
— Bucky Irving for 19, 5 and 13. Bo Nix throws one away. Noah Whittington runs for 3. Nix scrambles for 12 and a first down. Double pass from Nix to Irving to Nix for 18. Irving gains 2. Whittington for 2. End around for Seven McGee goes for 3. Fourth-and-three, Ducks in 14 Josh package but call timeout – 5:08. Nix pass to Sean Dollars for 5 and first down. Nix intercepted and Francisco Mauigoa returned it 95 yards for a touchdown. Washington State 17, Oregon 6 – 4:36
— Touchback. Brandon Dorlus misses a tackle but Bennett Williams with a huge hit on Jaylen Jenkins. Cameron Ward to Renard Bell for 12. Ward to De’Zhaun Stribling for 1, to Jenkins for 4 and Ward scrambles for 6. Pass to Nakia Watson loses 1. Quick pass to Bell for 12. Ward avoids pressure and throws it away but it’s intentional grounding. Watson tackled by Mase Funa. Punt for 42 yards to UO 6. Review corrects a missed down for WSU from intentional grounding that shouldn’t have been missed. Watson runs for 6. Punt to UO 12 so UO gains 6 after the officiating debacle.
— Camden Lewis 28-yard field goal. Washington State 10, Oregon 6 – 2:56 p.m
End 1st QUARTER: WASHINGTON STATE 10, OREGON 3
— Touchback. Bo Nix to Chase Cota for 22. Noah Whittington for 6. Whittington dropped by Daiyan Henley for loss of 1. Third-and-five, Nix to Kris Hutson for 7. Incomplete throw away. Nix to Cota for 21. Whittington for 18. Nix loses a yard on a sneak. Nix to Terrance Ferguson loses 2. Bucky Irving stopped for loss.
— Touchback. Cameron Ward 17 yards to De’Zhaun Stribling. Ward to Robert Ferrell for 7 and 9, huge hit by Bryan Addison. Ward to Renard Bell for 15. Incomplete. Nakia Watson runs for 6. Incomplete. Dean Janikowski 38-yard field goal. Washington State 10, Oregon 3 – 4:31
— Touchback. Bo Nix swing pass to Bucky Irving for 2. Irving runs for 13. Nix 38-yard pass to Troy Franklin. Irving runs for 17, great patience. False start. Nix to Cam McCormick in 13 personnel for 5 yards. Jordan James no gain in 14 Josh package. Pitch to James is also stopped. Camden Lewis 24-yard field goal. Washington State 7, Oregon 3 – 7:36
— Andrew Boyle kickoff for touchback. Cameron Ward 24-yard pass off flea flicker to Renard Bell. Ward to Nakia Watson for 9. Ward 15 yards to Bell. Watson runs for 1. Pass to Watson for 8. Justin Flowe takes the field on the opening drive. Incomplete. Watson runs for 5 on fourth-and-one, penalty for illegal substitution on Ducks. Ward to Donovan Ollie for 8. Ward 5-yard touchdown run. 8 plays, 75 yards in 3:04 Washington State 7, Oregon 0 – 11:41
— Oregon wins toss and defers
— Brandon Buckner, Avante Dickerson and Terrell Tilmon are the only healthy non-freshman not on the travel roster
— Players not here: Anthony Jones, Terrell Tilmon, Justius Lowe, Kyler Kasper, Jalil Tucker, Trejon Williams, Jonathan Flowe, Avante Dickerson, Harrison Taggart, Sir Mells, Brandon Buckner, Bram Walden, Steven jones, Michael Wooten, Sua’ Ava Poti and Macael Afaese
— Justin Flowe is in pads for warmups
— Specialists other than Alex Bales and Lachlan Bruce are here
— Scouts from the Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers (x2) and Detroit Lions (x2) in attendance
HOW TO WATCH
TV Channel: FOX
On air: Radio on 1080 “The Fan” in Portland, KUGN-AM 590 in Eugene
How to watch live stream online: You can watch this game live for FREE with DirecTV Stream (free trial) or with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on Sling TV (promotional offers) if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer those platforms and their pricing plans. You can also watch this game live on FOX Sports Live with your cable or satellite provider login information.
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