It may not have been a dominant performance for the Oregon Ducks on the scoreboard Saturday night, but it was undoubtedly one of the more dominant performances on the ground, as they pulled out a 37-35 victory over the Washington State Cougars.
In the win, Oregon's rushing attack was prolific, gaining 306 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, all of which were scored by running back CJ Verdell, who ran for a career-high 257 yards in the victory. The stats were boosted by an impressive 89-yard TD run in the first half, but the entire night was spent running up the left side of the line, and putting Verdell behind Oregon's two top linemen, Penei Sewell and Shane Lemieux.
After the game, while the thrill of a last-second victory thanks to a 26-yard FG from freshman kicker Camden Lewis started to settle, Oregon's beefy front was showered with accolades, and several of the guys who played a major role in the Ducks' success were showered with accolades.
Verdell was obviously named to the Pro Football Focus Eckrick Team of the Week after his performance, but the left side of Oregon's line was given the nod as well, with Jake Hanson, Lemieux and Sewell all being named to the list.
When talking to the media after the victory, Verdell expressed complete and utter joy when discussing what it was like to run behind such a dominant offensive front, likening the holes to Moses parting the Red Seas back in biblical times. Though he was snubbed for the starting spot before the game, Verdell did everything in his power to regain the 'hot hand' label in the Oregon offense, and he did so with the help of his boys upfront. Going forward, expect to see a lot of the same from the Ducks' offense.