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Grading Oregon's Win Over BYU Cougars

Has Oregon proved the Ducks are for real after their first win over a ranked opponent in 2022?
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In week three Oregon handled its business in a surprising way against the BYU Cougars, extending their home win streak to 21 games en route to a 41-20 win. 

Here are my grades for Oregon's week three performance. 

Quarterback: A-

Another game, another five-touchdown performance for Bo Nix. Was his game perfect and without mistakes? No, but he did a great job of doing simple better, took care of the ball, distributed the ball to multiple players, and put the ball in a place for his receivers to make a play. There's not a whole lot more you could ask Nix to do since turning the page from Georgia.

Running back: A-

Oregon's running backs are for real. That's for sure and I'm confident saying that through three weeks. The rotation continues to feature numerous backs, but Mar'Keise Irving and Noah Whittington have established themselves as the go-to backs. Both backs seldom go down on first contact and Jordan James looks like he's going to burn his red shirt after playing in each of three games. 

Offensive Line: A

This is a position group I haven't been giving enough credit so far this season. They're one of only three FBS teams that have yet to allow a sack and they're a huge reason the backs had been as successful as they have been so far. Against BYU, the left side of the O-line had created an absolute wall, allowing Nix to step up and unload the play of the game to Troy Franklin. Despite being without Steven Jones they didn't miss a beat. Gotta give a shoutout to Marcus Harper II, who got his first start as a Duck. 

Wide receivers: A-

It must be nice to finally be utilized huh? Franklin has been the talk of the group through three weeks and understandably so. But the other players in this room have done a great job complementing each other. Hutson showed how explosive he can be with his 26-yard gain early. Cota came up with his share of impressive plays against the Cougars.

Tight ends: B+

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The tight end has been a huge weapon for the Ducks so far this year. Terrance Ferguson continued to impress, recording another two touchdowns. Moliki Matavao had some great blocks on Saturday and both Cam McCormick and Patrick Herbert saw the field to keep defenses honest.

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Defensive line: B+

When you hold an offense to just 61 yards, you're going to get some praise. Despite being without Popo Aumavae, this group has excelled defending the run, with Nebraska transfers Jordon Riley and Casey Rogers being heavily involved. Brandon Dorlus continues to shine and earned Pac-12 defensive lineman of the week honors. The criticism is once again the lack of pressure they're generating, and opponents extending plays could be dangerous in conference play.

Linebackers: B+

The Ducks were without Justin Flowe, but it didn't make much of a difference in this one. Noah Sewell and Jeffrey Bassa had solid games and look really comfortable together. Jackson LaDuke and Keith Brown also played bigger roles this past week. DJ Johnson looks like he's finding his stride, recording six tackles against BYU. The ding here again comes on the pass rush. 

Secondary: B

This group is a bit tough to evaluate, because a lot of how they look has to do with how the front seven can pressure the quarterback. Because the pressure hasn't been there through three weeks, the DB's have had to cover for longer periods of time. The big takeaway for me is that Trikweze Bridges continues to be targeted and the Ducks seem to be favoring Dontae Manning or even true freshman Jahlil Florence as their CB2 opposite Christian Gonzalez, who is the most consistent cornerback. Bennett Williams had another good game and sealed the edge in run support like a veteran should.

READ MORE: 4-star LB Blake Nichelson recaps Oregon visit, previews commitment

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