No. 24 Oregon beats Bowling Green 58-24 to begin 2018 season

Justin Herbert throws for five scores as Ducks overcome early deficit

It wasn't the start Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal was hoping for.

In his inaugural season as taking over the Ducks, Cristobal found his team lifeless and in a 10-0 hole late in the first quarter. But he didn't panic; he didn't plead; he just trusted his team and star quarterback Justin Herbert.

Herbert connected with sophomore Jaylon Redd on fourth down for a 33-yard touchdown to put the Ducks on the board with 3:18 left in the first quarter. From there, the offensive floodgates opened and No. 24 Oregon (1-0) cruised to a 58-24 victory over visiting Bowling Green (0-1).

However, the game was far from perfect.

The Ducks turned the ball over three times, two coming off interceptions thrown by Herbert. He finished the game going 10-of-21 for 281 yards and five touchdowns. Four different receivers caught touchdown passes but it was the play of Redd who really stood out. He caught two passes for 81 yards with both catches going for touchdowns.

Receiver Taj Griffin turned his one catch into an 83-yard touchdown while Dillon Mitchell and Johnny Johnson III caught the other scores. Four of Herbert's five scores came of passes 33 yards or longer, showing that the big-play threat is still very much a staple of Oregon's offense.

The defense struggled, giving up a 100-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher to a Falcons offense that struggled mightily last year.

Oregon had no answer for Bowling Green wide receiver Scott Miller. Working primarily out of the slot, Miller often took advantage of mismatches with his quickness and strength. He finished the game with 13 catches for 166 yards and two scores.

Bowling Green running back Andrew Clair was equally as effective, rushing 25 times for 113 yards and one touchdown reception. Falcons quarterback Jarret Doege finished 22-of-38 for 253 yards and three scores with two interceptions.

The Ducks did well forcing Doege into mistakes.

He threw two interceptions but none were bigger than the one he threw to begin the second half. Oregon safety Ugochukwu Amadi picked off Doege early in the third quarter and took it back 38 yards for the score, making it 44-17 and clinching the game.

After taking the early 10-0 deficit, the Ducks rallied off 37 straight points before Clair's receiving score made it 37-17 entering halftime. After the break, Oregon's defense stiffened, only giving up a score towards the end of the third quarter.

The Ducks return to action Saturday, September 8 when they host Portland State (0-1). Kickoff is set for 11a.m. at Autzen Stadium.