STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Justin Herbert threw two of his three touchdown passes to Jacob Breeland and No. 16 Oregon won its Pac-12 opener for the first time since 2014 by beating Stanford 21-6 on Saturday.
The Ducks (3-1, 1-0) used an efficient day from Herbert and another smothering defensive performance to end a three-game losing streak to the Cardinal (1-3, 0-2). Stanford has lost three games in a row for the first time since 2008.
Herbert finished 19 for 24 for 259 yards. He connected with Jaylon Redd and Breeland on scoring strikes in the first half and put the game away with a 24-yard pass to Breeland that made it 21-3 five plays after K.J. Costello was intercepted by Jevon Holland.
Oregon has gone three straight games without allowing a touchdown but doing it against Stanford was far more impressive than against Nevada and Montana.
Costello completed 16 of 30 passes for 120 yards with an interception.
Stanford started the game well, holding the ball for more than six minutes before settling for a field goal on the opening drive. But two straight three-and-outs and two more drives that failed to get inside the Oregon 40 followed and Oregon’s big-play offense led by Herbert took control.
A two-play, 55-yard drive gave the Ducks the lead when Herbert found Redd alone in the middle of the field for a 36-yard catch and run. The Ducks added a 10-play drive in the second quarter that featured two conversions on third and long and a perfectly executed back-shoulder throw to Breeland for a 16-yard TD that made it 14-3.
Oregon: The Ducks ended a four-game losing streak in Pac-12 openers with the last win coming in 2014 when Marcus Mariota led the team to the playoff. Doing it on the road was even more meaningful. Oregon had lost 15 of its past 20 games away from Autzen Stadium and will need to reverse that trend this year if the Ducks want to contend in the Pac-12 North, especially with upcoming trips to No. 22 Washington, No. 24 Arizona State and Southern California.
Stanford: The Cardinal are off to their worst start since coach Jim Harbaugh’s first season on The Farm in 2007. Since then Stanford has been one of the most consistent programs on the West Coast. But the ingredients that led to that success – a dominant offensive line and strong defense – have been lacking of late and the offense lacks the playmakers to make up for those deficiencies. The Cardinal have scored two offensive TDs in their past 10 quarters.