Nix leads No. 15 Oregon over Washington State 44-41

Washington State head coach Jake Dickert watches the first half of an NCAA college football game against <a class=Oregon, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Pullman, Washington. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)” title=”Washington State head coach Jake Dickert watches the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Pullman, Washington. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)” loading=”lazy”/>

Washington State head coach Jake Dickert watches the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Pullman, Washington. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

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Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was racking up the yardage, but the No. 15 Ducks didn’t enter the end zone in the first half against Washington State.

That all changed with less than seven minutes left in the game, when Oregon scored three late touchdowns to come back for a 44-41 win over the Cougars on Saturday.

Nix threw touchdown passes to Cam McCormick and Troy Franklin, and Mase Funa returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown as Oregon (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) erased a 34-yard deficit -22.

“Today was not what I expected,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. stood up and gave their all when we needed it.

Nix completed 33 of 44 passes for 428 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. The Ducks produced 624 yards in winning their third straight game.

Lanning said his team didn’t give up.

“Our locker room has never weakened. They were calm and ready to come back and convert some of those red-zone chances,” Lanning said. “We knew a lot of those injuries were self-inflicted, and we thought we could fix that.”

“I didn’t see any selfishness on our side. I don’t think anyone doubted what we could accomplish if we started performing,” Lanning said.

Washington State coach Jake Dickert pointed to Oregon’s offensive production.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games by giving up 600 yards of offense,” Dickert said. “We have a lot of disappointed kids in there.

“They were the ones who got past us in the fourth quarter.”

Oregon’s only loss was to No. 1 Georgia in the season opener.

The Cougars scored on their first possession, as Ward capped a 75-yard drive by going the final five yards for a touchdown.

Washington State linebacker Francisco Mauigoa returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown and a 17-6 lead for the Cougars. They were leading 17-9 at halftime.

Oregon came out fast in the second half, Nix throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mar’Keise Irving with less than a minute left.

Nix threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Franklin with 1:21 left to give Oregon its first lead. Funa’s interception return for a touchdown provided the deciding points with one minute remaining.

“It was a great instinctive play from Mase, he put his hands up and anticipated that shot and that was it for him,” Lanning said.

Nakia Watson of Washington State added a touchdown in the final seconds.

WASHINGTON STATE OFFENSE

Washington State QB Cameron Ward completed 37 of 48 passes for 375 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Cougars produced 416 yards in the game. “You saw the best of Cam Ward today,” Dickert said. “He has magic with the ball in his hands.”

TRIBUTE TO WEBB

The six Pac-12 schools hosting conference games on Saturday paid tribute to Spencer Webb, an Oregon football team tight end who died in a cliff jumping accident this summer. Washington State, Oregon State, Colorado, California, Washington State, and Arizona State all painted the 4-meter line strip yellow, instead of white , in honor of Webb.

TAKE AWAY

Washington State was looking to eliminate a ranked team for the second time this season, after winning at Wisconsin earlier. Oregon had scored 110 points in its previous two games, wins over FCS Eastern Washington and No. 12 BYU, and proved its offense hard to contain.

NEXT

Oregon hosts Stanford next Saturday.

Washington State hosts California next Saturday for the third consecutive home game.

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This story was originally published September 24, 2022 6:08 p.m.

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