No. 19 Oregon’s stagnant offense and costly turnovers lead to 44-15 blow out loss at Arizona

One week after a disappointing first half against Washington State led to an insurmountable deficit, the No. 19 Oregon Ducks lost their second straight game in which they were overmatched, this time to unranked Arizona 44-15.

Arizona played one of its most complete games of the season, but the Ducks also did not do themselves any favors. Outside of the seven three-and-outs (including its first three possessions), Oregon turned it over on downs and committed four turnovers, two on special teams, which gave the Wildcats great field position.

Overall, the Wildcats outgained the Ducks by 195 yards thanks to the 276 Arizona rushing yards. The Wildcats were also 6-for-6 in the red zone while the Ducks only managed two red zone trips in the game.

Although the defense was not perfect, the offense failed to move the ball at all. Nine Oregon drives ended with a punt. The previous season high was five against Bowling Green and San José State.

Quarterback Justin Herbert completed just 50 percent of his passes. He finished 24-for-48 with 186 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Wide receiver Dillon Mitchell led the Oregon with 69 yards on six receptions and one touchdown, but left the game with an injury. Second in receiving was Jaylon Redd, who a career high six receptions, but for just 33 yards.

Travis Dye’s fumble with five minutes left in the first quarter, which Arizona recovered on the Oregon 21-yard line, and a blocked Tom Snee punt returned to the six yard line with 12 minutes left in the second, put the Ducks defense in tough positions, but they were able to hold the Wildcats to field goals on both drives.

When the game was leaning toward a blowout with six minutes left in the third quarter, Arizona got another turnover when punter Dylan Klumph’s punt hit Oregon defensive back Charles Sudduth and the Wildcats recovered it.

The Ducks were able to make it a one score game with nine minutes left in the first half. Quarterback Justin Herbert hit a wide open Dillon Mitchell, who shook a defender and followed a block for a 29-yard touchdown.

The other Oregon touchdown came late in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Brenden Schooler caught a seven-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone to make it 37-15 with 9:17 left in the game.

Defensively, the Ducks could not stop Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate or running back JJ Taylor. Tate went 19-for-33 for 189 yards, three touchdowns and an interception while Taylor rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Shun Brown (10 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown) and Shawn Poindexter (two receptions for 30 yards and two touchdowns) also caused problems in the secondary.

Oregon’s next game will be Saturday, Nov. 3, at 4:30 p.m. against Chip Kelly and UCLA.

Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack

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