The no. 24 Oregon Ducks football team (2-0) jumped out to a 30-6 lead at halftime en route to a 44-26 victory over Virginia (0-2) on Saturday. Royce Freeman led the Ducks with 207 yards on 21 carries, while quarterback Dakota Prukop threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cavaliers had a chance to get on the board first, as they were deep in Oregon territory early in the first quarter. However, Coach Bronco Mendenhall opted for a fake field goal on 4th and 8 that was ultimately unsuccessful. Royce Freeman responded with his first touchdown of the contest to put Oregon up 6-0. On the ensuing Virginia drive, the Cavaliers responded with a touchdown run from senior Albert Reid, who had 126 yards on 15 carries. Dylan Sims missed the extra point, leaving the score knotted, 6-6.
From there, the game quickly got ugly, as Oregon rattled off 24 consecutive points to take a 30-6 lead into halftime.
A positive takeaway for the Cavaliers was their toughness and resiliency in the second half. Virginia went on the board first in the second half on a 4-yard run by Taquan Mizzell, bringing the score to 30-13. Minutes later, Dakota Prukop delivered a beautiful deep ball to Oregon wideout—and Olympic hurdler—Devon Allen for a 77-yard touchdown.
Oregon further showcased its quick strike ability with an 85 yard touchdown run from Royce Freeman three minutes later to put the Ducks up 44-13.
Virginia scored the game’s final 13 points with touchdown passes to Warren Craft and Keeon Johnson, respectively. The Ducks sealed the victory with a late interception and went on to win the game 44-26.
Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert was sacked six times and intercepted twice on Saturday, but also threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns. The Virginia running game showed marked improvement as the team recorded 193 yards on the ground. Albert Reid, Taquan Mizzell, and Jordan Ellis all had productive games rushing the ball. Doni Dowling led the team with 54 receiving yards.
The lethal trio of Dakota Prukop, Royce Freeman, and Devon Allen ultimately proved too difficult for the ‘Hoos to stop.
Next up for Virginia is another road contest at UConn. The Cavaliers will look to pick up their first win of the season. The Huskies (1-1) lost a close one, 28-24, to Navy this weekend in Annapolis.