EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Quarterback Bo Nix said the Ducks did what they needed to do in their home opener, even if it wasn’t much of a contest.
Nix threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns before heading for the bench early in the third quarter and No. 15 Oregon built a 43-point halftime lead en route to an 81-7 victory over Portland State on Saturday.
It was the most points for the Ducks in a game in the modern era, and a scoring record at Autzen Stadium.
“I thought we went out and executed what we were supposed to do, scored a lot of points, we were consistent. We didn’t make any mistakes, we didn’t beat ourselves,” Nix said. “I thought it was a very clean game.”
It was also Oregon’s 19th straight win in a home opener. The Ducks have won 31 straight non-conference games at Autzen Stadium, dating to 2008.
Bucky Irving ran for 119 yards and two scores, while Jordan James rushed for 86 and three more. Troy Franklin and Gary Bryant Jr. each caught a pair of TD passes.
Dante Chachere threw for 35 yards and the lone touchdown for Portland State, which plays in the Big Sky conference. Chachere also ran for 53 yards.
“Oregon’s opponents will have a hard time finding a weakness in that team,” Portland State coach Bruce Barnum said. “I just watched four quarters of it and they are pretty damn good. They are not just fast, they are a strong football team. … We were outmatched everywhere.”
Nix went into the season as the most experienced quarterback in the nation with 47 career starts. An early Heisman hopeful, he finished with 29 touchdown passes, 14 rushing scores and one TD catch in 13 games last season after transferring to Oregon from Auburn.
On Oregon’s opening drive, Nix tossed a 13-yard pass to Franklin, who shook off a defender and muscled his way into the endzone. The two-point conversion was good.
The Vikings answered on the next drive with Chachere’s 9-yard touchdown pass up the middle to Chance Miller. It would be their only points on the day.
Irving ran 52 yards for a score to put the Ducks up 15-7, and afterward did a weightlifter pose for the fans. Irving is the leading returning rusher in the Pac-12 after gaining 1,058 yards last season.
Franklin pulled down another Nix pass for a 32-yard touchdown before the end of the opening quarter.
James padded the lead with a pair of touchdown runs from nine and four yards out. He and Irving each ran for YDs to finish out the half and put Oregon up 50-7 at halftime.
Oregon, which had an average of more than 500 yards and 38.8 points per game last season, had 427 yards on offense in the first half alone. The Ducks finished with 744 total yards.
Nix added a 10-yard touchdown pass to Bryant to open the second half before he was replaced by backup Ty Thompson.
Thompson threw a 21-yard touchdown to Bryant on his opening series. Camden Lewis added a 41-yard field goal and Dante Dowdell and Jayden Limar each rushed for TDs to wrap up the scoring.
The Ducks, who will be departing the Pac-12 in 2024 and joining the Big Ten, went 10-3 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-12 last season. Oregon climbed to No. 6 in the AP Top 25, but a pair of late losses to Washington and Oregon State kept Oregon out of the playoff picture. The Ducks rallied in the fourth quarter to win the Holiday Bowl 28-27 over North Carolina.
The Vikings, embarking on their ninth season under coach Bruce Barnum, were 4-7 overall last season and 3-5 in the Big Sky.
“Overall we played very clean, we stopped them on defense, we did really good on special teams. I thought we handled field position really well, we controlled the ball on offense, we moved it, we had a lot of explosive plays, we didn’t have a lot of penalties” Nix summarized. “Overall we did what we were supposed to do. In a game like that, that’s what we wanted.”
The victory kicked off Oregon’s final season in the Pac-12. Next year the Ducks will play in the Big Ten. … Nix is the subject of a billboard campaign in New York City and Dallas that features his image and the word “Bodacious,” with an emphasis on Bo. … The Vikings were due to receive $575,000 for the playing the Ducks. … The 81 points were the most ever allowed by Portland State.
After every Oregon touchdown, the Duck mascot does pushups for every point scored. So at the end of the game, the Ducks had amassed 546 pushups.
“That’s a lot of pushups,” Nix said. “I wouldn’t be doing 500-and-something pushups. So props to him. I guess that’s the only a negative on a day like today.”
Portland State: Visits Wyoming on Saturday.
Oregon: Visits Texas Tech on Saturday.