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Oregon Defensive Players of the Game vs. UCLA

The Ducks defense forced two turnovers against UCLA, their first turnovers since their game against Arizona.

The Oregon defense came up clutch again on Saturday as the Ducks held on late to secure a 34-31 victory, their sixth of the season. After having to make another late game stand in a conference game, here are the players of the game from the big win.

Kayvon Thibodeaux-Defensive End

Kayvon Thibodeaux slams into UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to record a strip sack against the Bruins.

Kayvon Thibodeaux slams into UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to record a strip sack against the Bruins.

We wanted to see what Thibodeaux could do if he was able to play an entire game, and we finally got it. Thibodeaux was all over the field for the Ducks and wreaked havoc on the UCLA offensive line. Dorian Thompson-Robinson spent a large portion of the second half facing pressure from Oregon, and Thibodeaux’s ability to power through the offense led to another explosive game.

At times, it seemed the only way UCLA could stop him was to just tackle him and take the ten-yard holding penalty.

The projected top NFL draft pick had a career high nine tackles (8 solo), with 4.5 tackles for loss. He had two sacks, one of which stopped UCLA from scoring a touchdown to close out the first half. He also forced a fumble as well. Whenever Oregon needed someone to make a big play, Thibodeaux was there. 

DJ James-Cornerback

DJ James celebrates with his teammates with the ball he intercepted after defeating UCLA. 

DJ James celebrates with his teammates with the ball he intercepted after defeating UCLA. 

James was instrumental in getting the Oregon defense off the field against the Bruins. He had his first two career interceptions against Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the first of which came in the first half to keep the Ducks from falling behind by allowing 14 points off UCLA’s two drives.

Most importantly though was the second interception. With UCLA driving down the field with under a minute to go in the game, the Ducks needed to make a play to prevent another disastrous collapse that mirrored that of Stanford. As UCLA backup Ethan Garbers tried to find Kam Brown, James stepped in front of Brown to make the game-sealing interception.

On top of these crucial interceptions, James added a career high eight tackles with six of them being solo. 

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Noah Sewell-Linebacker

Noah Sewell celebrates during Oregon vs. UCLA.

Noah Sewell celebrates during Oregon vs. UCLA.

Sewell continues to be one of, if not the best young linebacker in all of college football. His versatility has been huge for the Ducks. He had nine total tackles, with one of them being for a loss. He also was able to leap up to bat down a pass to force a three-and-out for UCLA.

Throughout the game, Sewell also helped make Thompson-Robinson’s day as miserable as he could. Sewell made his presence felt even when he was unable to register a sack. He put a couple big hits on DTR that would contribute to the Oregon pressure that was the best we've seen all year.

Sewell has 63 total tackles throughout this season, which is 20 more tackles than Mykael Wright who is in second place with 43 tackles. Sewell’s ability to be all over the field will continue to be paramount to the Ducks' defense for the rest of the season.

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