Nix shines and No. 10 Oregon defeats No. 9 UCLA 45-30

Oct 22, 2022, 4:22 AM | Updated: 6:16 pm
Oregon's Bo Nix throws down field against UCLA during the first half in an NCAA college football ga...

Oregon's Bo Nix throws down field against UCLA during the first half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

(AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

              Oregon's Troy Franklin, right, pulls down a pass against UCLA's Jaylin Davies during the first half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
            
              Oregon's Seven McGee, center, returns the first kickoff of the game against UCLA during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
            
              Oregon's Bo Nix, left, throws down field ahead UCLA's Darius Muawai during the first half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
            
              UCLA's Keegan Jones, left, runs for a touchdown ahead of a diving Oregon's Justin Flowe during the first half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
            
              Oregon's Terrance Ferguson scores against UCLA during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
            
              Oregon's Bo Nix throws down field against UCLA during the first half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Bo Nix made Oregon’s win over UCLA look nearly effortless. He said it felt that way, too.

Nix threw for 283 yards and five touchdowns and No. 10 Oregon handed No. 9 UCLA its first loss of the season with a 45-30 victory Saturday in a highly anticipated showdown for the top of the Pac-12 standings.

“To be honest, when I’m out there it feels like I’m not doing a whole lot because I don’t have to,” Nix said. “I just have to get the ball to the playmakers around me.”

The win extended Oregon’s winning streak at Autzen Stadium to 23 games, matching a school record. It is the third-best active home streak in the nation. The Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) have won six straight since a season-opening loss to Georgia and are the lone remaining undefeated team in Pac-12 conference play.

The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Bruins, who have not won in Eugene since 2004. UCLA (6-1, 3-1) hasn’t defeated the Ducks since 2017.

Nix, a transfer from Auburn, is a mobile threat who has thrown for 17 touchdowns and rushed for eight this season. He completed 21 of 28 passes against the Bruins. His favorite target on Saturday was Troy Franklin, who had eight catches for 132 yards and two scores.

“He’s making great decisions with the ball, he’s not putting the ball in jeopardy,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said about Nix. “He’s playing really smart football, unselfish football. That’s going to lead to opportunities for us to win. If he continues to do that, I think we’ll continue to see success.”

UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who was completing nearly 75% of his passes going into the game, threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. Zach Charbonnet rushed for 151 yards and a score.

Oregon slowed UCLA’s ground game, allowing 186 rushing yards. The Bruins were ranked second in the Pac-12 with an average of 211.5 yards. In contrast, the Ducks piled up 262 rushing yards.

“I came back with expectations being very high for myself as well as this team,” Thompson-Robinson said. “When you don’t meet those expectations, obviously it hurts. I think it will fuel us stronger than ever.”

The Ducks went up 10-3 early in the second quarter on Nix’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Ferguson. UCLA answered with Thompson-Robinson’s 36-yard scoring pass to Keegan Jones.

Franklin caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Nix to put the Ducks back in front. Oregon recovered an onside kick and went on to extend its lead with Jordan James’ 2-yard touchdown carry.

After Nicholas Barr-Mira kicked a 44 yard field goal for the Bruins, the Ducks’ final drive before halftime was pushed back by a pair of penalties but Franklin caught a 2-yard touchdown pass for a 31-13 lead at the break.

The Ducks padded their lead with Nix’s 17-yard scoring pass to tight end Cam McCormick. Charbonnet rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to open the final quarter but the Nix found Bucky Irving with a 37-yard touchdown catch. Irving finished with 19 carries for 108 yards.

Nix became the third Oregon quarterback since at least 1996 with multiple games of five or more touchdowns in a season. He joins Justin Herbert (2019) and Marcus Mariota (2014).

UCLA added a late touchdown on Thompson-Robinson’s 22-yard pass to Jake Bobo, who finished with eight catches for 101 yards.

“It was just a complete team win, as we’ve been doing,” Nix said. “I thought offensively we were just great on all cylinders, running, throwing. Everything was just kind of working for us today. When you can stay balanced like that, usually you put a lot of points up. “

IN THE TOP 10

The last time a UCLA team ranked in the top 10 played a top-10 opponent was on Oct. 13, 2001, when the No. 7 Bruins beat No. 10 Washington 35-13 in Pasadena, California.

It was the first meeting between two top-10 teams at Autzen since No. 3 Oregon beat No. 7 Michigan State in 2014. The last matchup between two Pac-12 teams in the top 10 was No. 4 Oregon’s victory over No. 9 Stanford in 2010.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

UCLA, which rose in the polls to No. 13 last season, had not been ranked in the top 10 since 2015 before this past week. Oregon opened the season ranked No. 11, but the loss to Georgia dropped them out of the poll. The Ducks were ranked as high as No. 3 last season.

THE TAKEAWAY

UCLA: Coach Chip Kelly returned to Eugene, where he coached from 2009-2012. During his tenure, the Ducks were known for their speedy “blur” spread offense, which took them to the national championship game following an undefeated 2010 season. Kelly is 0-4 against Oregon since taking over at UCLA in late 2017. … The Bruins’ six wins to start the season were the program’s most since 2005. … UCLA was coming off a bye.

Oregon: The Ducks were also coming off a bye week. … ESPN’s “College GameDay” was broadcast from Eugene for the first time since 2018. … Former Oregon women’s basketball star Sabrina Ionescu was at the game. … Oregon is 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 2019. … The game attracted 59,962, fourth-largest crowd ever at Autzen and biggest since 2011.

UP NEXT

UCLA: The Bruins host Stanford next weekend.

Oregon: The Ducks visit California on Saturday.

___

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Nix shines and No. 10 Oregon defeats No. 9 UCLA 45-30