Most people knew the result before the game was played, but Oregon still needed to go out and dominate the game in order to feel good about the result.
The No. 23-ranked Oregon football team defeated Portland State 62-14 Saturday, improving to 2-0 on the season.
“I thought we did some really good things today,” quarterback Justin Herbert said. “Just like last week, there was some things we needed to clean up. I thought overall we made a big step forward from last week. “
Herbert followed up last week’s record-breaking performance with another quality game, throwing four touchdowns with 250 yards.
Jaylon Redd, Tabari Hines, Kano Dillon and Johnny Johnson III caught touchdowns from Herbert.
“I don’t think we need that one go-to guy,” Herbert said. “I think we have so many weapons that just getting them the ball in general is a bonus. My job is to just get them the ball and let them do the work.”
The story offensively, however, was the reawakening of the running game.
Two Ducks had over 100 rushing yards and four Ducks scored a rushing touchdown. Senior Tony Brooks-James rushed the ball 21 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns and redshirt freshman CJ Verdell had 11 rushes for 106 yards and a touchdown.
“It definitely feels good to get back in and carry the load, but I’m just glad we got to spread the ball around and see what all our backs can do,” Brooks-James said.
The defense, sans the injured La’Mar Winston, swarmed quarterback Jalani Eason. Edge rusher Justin Hollins took advantage of the Vikings’ offensive line, recording two tackles-for-loss, one of which was a sack.
“I felt like our defense came out and attacked very well,” Hollins said. “We came out fast and played hard. We didn’t settle for nothing but out best.”
True freshman linebacker Adrian Jackson filled in for Winston recording a tackle-for-loss and multiple quarterback hurries.
“I feel like as a true-freshman you just don’t want to let your team down,” Jackson said. “That was my number one goal.”
Although it was very one-sided, the defense did allow Portland State’s tight end Charlie Taumoepeau to get 125 yards and two touchdowns. Taumoepeau had the Vikings’ two longest plays, one of which was on wide receiver Beau Kelly’s 47-yard trick-play pass.
“They still got us on the trick play,” Cristobal said. “We like to say, ‘Keep your eyes on your luggage,’ when you’re playing man. Well we didn’t keep our eyes on our luggage and they got behind us.”
The Ducks have yet to play a team that challenges them, which is different than their first three Pac-12 opponents (Stanford, Cal and Washington). The Ducks will likely continue their dominant start to the season, playing San Jose State next week, forcing them to continue to go hard in practice in order to get ready for conference play.
“Our tests have to come everyday in practice,” head coach Mario Cristobal said. “We have a test this week coming up as well in San Jose. We need to test ourselves every day, and we do.”
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack