Despite bright spots in defense, Oregon unable to stop Cedrick Wilson

LAS VEGAS — Before Oregon and Boise State took the field in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, Broncos wide receiver Cedrick Wilson said that he was cautious of the Ducks’ secondary.

“We see they have a lot of speed and their secondary is probably one of the biggest we’ve played this year,” Wilson said at Friday’s press conference. “… I think it’s just going to come down to who’s going to make the most plays.”

Wilson was the one who made the biggest plays in Boise State’s 38-28 win over Oregon, earning him MVP honors for his 10-reception, 221-yard and one-touchdown performance. He whizzed by the Ducks’ secondary for four plays over 25 yards, including a 65-yard reception.

“He’s a good football player, a good athlete certainly,” Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal said. “He does a lot of things. Very dangerous and made some big plays today in critical situations, changed the game when we had opportunities to get off the field so he’s a really good football player.”

For an Oregon defense that came away with two interceptions — both inside the Ducks’ own end zone — and a fumble recovery inside the red zone, Wilson was its kryptonite.

Freshman Thomas Graham Jr. was tasked with defending Wilson, but the senior from Memphis, Tennessee, was too much for Graham Jr. to handle.

“I try to do the best that I can to let my teammates know where he was on the field but he’s one of those players where you can move him anywhere and they’re going to feed him the ball,” Oregon senior safety Tyree Robinson said. “He did a good job at attacking our weaknesses and we just gotta play better and play more tougher.”

One of Wilson’s big plays was late in the game when the Broncos were up 10 points on 3rd-and-7. The Ducks called a timeout and Boise State took a chance on a long ball.

“We were just talking in the huddle that we were going to take a shot and [I] don’t think they were expecting it,” Wilson said. “Brett [Rypien] threw almost a perfect ball. I couldn’t have asked for a better one and it was my job to catch it and that’s what happened.”

Wilson caught a 41-yard pass from Rypien and that sealed the win for the Broncos in what was a special night for Wilson, whose career began at a junior college before he made the transfer to Boise State.

“When I first went to JUCO I set out a goal for myself and it was to get here and perform on this stage,” Wilson said. “And that’s what I did.”

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow

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Shawn Medow

Shawn Medow

Shawn is an associate sports editor and reporter for the Emerald covering football, men's basketball, women's basketball, acrobatics and tumbling, track and field/cross-country and softball. He also hosts several podcasts, including a soccer podcast, on the Emerald Podcast Network. You can contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @ShawnMedow.