A win for the ages over then-No. 3 Ohio State has No. 4 Oregon flying high. Now the Ducks just need to avoid a major letdown in a game against FCS foe Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore.
Oregon (2-0) looks to stay undefeated heading into the Pac-12 season. The Ducks are in that position after their 35-28 upset of Ohio State in Columbus, where running back CJ Verdell ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and Anthony Brown had his best game as Oregon’s quarterback since last season’s Fiesta Bowl, when he replaced now-Texas Tech signal caller Tyler Shough.
Brown was steady and poised in completing 17 for 35 passes for 236 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 65 yards on 10 carries.
If all goes as expected for the Ducks on Saturday, Brown should not have to play the entire game.
“Just got to keep our foot on the gas, keep getting better, keep emphasizing the details to make us better. We have lots of improvement to make,” Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal said Wednesday. “(The Ohio State win) has to be put away 24 hours after. I think by the way you practice determines how or what you’re really infusing your locker room with. The way we practice has not changed from the way it was the previous week.”
Naturally, the media that cover the Oregon program wanted to know who will serve as backup quarterback to Brown. Cristobal wouldn’t say Wednesday, only that he will reveal his decision closer to game time.
Oregon has five quarterbacks on the roster. Four are freshmen and one is a sophomore.
The Ducks find themselves short-handed at linebacker, with Justin Flowe and Dru Mathis injured in the first game of the season, a 31-24 victory over Fresno State. Also, the status of star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was unclear as of midweek after he missed the Ohio State game with a sprained ankle, but his injury doesn’t appear to be a long-term one.
“He’s getting better and better,” Cristobal said.
The Seawolves (1-1) opened the season with a 27-21 home loss to New Hampshire. They followed that up with a 24-3 win at Colgate last Saturday.
Running back Ty Son Lawton rushed for a career-high-tying 134 yards and a touchdown vs. the Raiders. He surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for his career.
“We needed to establish the run to control the clock and keep the ball away from their offense,” Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore said. “I thought we did that successfully throughout the game. We had some penalties on some large gains in the run game that would have added to the statistics that we had, but overall, I thought we physically handled the line of scrimmage.”
The Saturday contest will be the first meeting between the schools. It’s the Seawolves’ 12th time in program history facing an FBS opponent. Most recently, Stony Brook lost 62-7 to Utah State on Sept. 7, 2019.