Justin Herbert threw for three touchdowns Saturday while the Oregon defense shut down Stanford, and the No. 16 Ducks grinded out a 21-6 win at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.
Herbert completed 19 of 24 passes for 259 yards in an efficient performance as the Ducks (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) won their conference opener while sending the reeling Cardinal (1-3, 0-2) to their third straight loss. Oregon played a near-flawless game, committing no turnovers and only two penalties for 30 yards.
Stanford managed just 234 total yards and 13 first downs against a defense which has ceded only 15 points over the last three games. Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, who injured his right thumb in the first half, stayed in the game but completed only 16 of 30 passes for 120 yards with an interception.
The Cardinal kept the ball for more than six minutes on the game’s first possession, cashing in with Jet Toner’s 32-yard field goal. But their lead lasted only 4 1/2 minutes, Herbert connecting with Jaylon Reed for a 36-yard scoring strike with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
The Ducks upped their lead to 14-3 at the 5:58 mark of the second quarter when Herbert found Jacob Breeland for a 16-yard touchdown pass, completing a 10-play, 80-yard drive that lasted more than four minutes.
Herbert and Breeland took advantage of a short field for their second scoring connection with 10:40 left in the game. Breeland got open down the numbers on the left side and Herbert hit him in stride for a 24-yard touchdown and a 21-3 cushion.
Toner hit from 38 yards out with 7:32 remaining to draw Stanford within two scores, but its next possession ended on downs on its own 41 with 4:21 left.
Herbert has 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions for the season, and has thrown 174 straight passes without a pick dating back to last season. He also has tossed at least one touchdown pass in 32 consecutive games.
—Field Level Media