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Five Takeaways from Oregon’ Thrilling 34-31 Victory Over UCLA

What stood out after Oregon survived the Bruins' late surge in Pasadena.

What a game it was at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Oregon went down 14 early, came back to take a 17-point lead, and then held on to win 34-31 to move to 6-1 on the year. 

Here are some takeaways from this week's game.

1. Anthony Brown continues to have highs and lows

Anthony Brown “set the tone” today in the passing game, according to Mario Cristobal, and he’s exactly right. Brown threw the ball really well — there was a lot of zip on his passes and it ended with him having his best overall game this season, throwing for 296 yards. However, Brown also had two costly interceptions that could have lost Oregon the game if the defense didn’t come up with some big plays. I would say this is definitely progress for Brown, but there are still some consistency issues that need to improve in the future.

2. Oregon’s defense is good when healthy

In the third quarter, the Oregon defense only allowed seven total yards. The Ducks were in the backfield all the time (especially Kayvon Thibodeaux) and the hits on UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson kept on coming to the point where he had to leave the game on the last drive. 

While the points added up toward the end, the Ducks held strong and that’s what they hang their hat on. In the past three weeks, the defense won or lost the game in the last minute, and the last two games they came up with big stops.

3. Penalties continue to be an issue

The Ducks had nine more penalties for 57 yards against the Bruins, and many of those penalties showed up in similar spots. Whether it was a defensive holding or on a key fourth down that got UCLA get closer to a first down, they continued to show up. Oregon must get better at this or else, much like the Stanford game, these penalties will come back to bite them in the end.

4. Oregon plays its best on the biggest stages

Many people were worried, and rightfully that after games vs. Arizona, Stanford, and Cal, the Ducks were not the same team that they were when they beat the Ohio State. Well, on Saturday the team from Columbus showed up. 

Was it perfect? Far from it. But it was good enough to beat a very good team on the road in a tough environment. When the lights were brightest with College GameDay there and the whole country watching, the Ducks continued to play their best football.


Brandon Dorlus Oregon State

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5. Travis Dye is an incredible playmaker

According to Cristobal's postgame press conference, Travis Dye was questionable coming into this game with a migraine. For him to play as well as he did while battling a migraine is a testament to his toughness and how much he cares about this team. 

If Dye is unable to go, there are three freshmen behind him who have barely been backups before, let alone starters. That would have completely changed the game plan. Dye ended with four touchdowns and made big plays when they mattered most.

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No. 10 Oregon Defeats UCLA 34-31 in Thriller

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