Herbert has 4 TDs, No. 23 Oregon beats Portland State 62-14
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Justin Herbert has thrown nine touchdown passes to six receivers through two games this season. The Oregon quarterback is just fine with spreading it around.
“I don’t think we need that one go-to guy,” Herbert. “I think we’ve got so many weapons that just getting them the ball in general is a bonus. My job is just to get them the ball and let them do the work.”
Herbert threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns before heading to the bench in the third quarter, and No. 23 Oregon routed Portland State 62-14 on Saturday.
It was the 22nd straight nonconference win for the Ducks (2-0). Herbert, who completed 20 of 26 passes against the Vikings, now has 10 total touchdowns — nine passing and one on the ground — so far in his junior season.
Portland State (0-2) has lost 15 consecutive games dating to 2016, including eight straight on the road. The FCS-level Vikings went 0-11 last season and have allowed 134 total points in their two games this year.
Portland State quarterback Jalani Eason threw for 111 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also sacked four times by Oregon’s defense. Charlie Taumoepeau caught five passes for 125 yards and both TDs for his second straight game with more than 100 yards receiving.
“We got Herbert-ed. Justin Herbert: Everything we thought he was and more. Honestly. He got them at every third down, he threw through windows this big,” said Portland State coach Bruce Barnum, making a square with his hands about the size of a football. “We knew that he was good.”
Tony Brooks-James ran for 107 yards and two scores, while freshman CJ Verdell ran for 106 yards and another TD against the Vikings.
Herbert also led the Ducks’ offense efficiently in a 58-24 victory over Bowling Green last week, passing for 281 yards and five touchdowns and running for 41 yards and another score.
All of Herbert’s touchdowns against Portland State came in the first half.
His first was an 18-yard strike to Jaylon Redd. He then added a 9-yard toss to Tabari Hines that capped an 8-play, 99-yard drive to make it 14-0 after the first quarter.
Kano Dillon caught a 20-yard scoring pass to stretch the Ducks’ lead. Eason connected with Taumoepeau on a 71-yard touchdown to narrow the gap.
Taumoepeau also scored in the Vikings’ opener on a pair of catches that covered 48 and 75 yards, for his second career game with 100-plus receiving yards.
Cyrus Habibi-Likio ran for a 1-yard score and Johnny Johnson III added an 11-yard TD catch to give the Ducks a 35-7 lead at the half .
Brooks-James had a 1-yard scoring run to open the second half for Oregon, before freshman Travis Dye’s long 42-yard TD dash . Dye is the younger brother of Oregon inside linebacker Troy Dye.
“I give all credit to the blocking,” the younger Dye said. “Because it was just ridiculous. Any one of us could have run through that hole.”
Backup quarterback Braxton Burmeister replaced Herbert for the final drive of the third quarter. Brooks-James added a second 1-yard TD dive with 5:16 left in the game before Verdell’s 2-yard run capped the scoring.
“I thought we did some really good things today,” Herbert said. “Definitely there are some things we need to clean up, but I thought overall we made a step forward from last week and we’ll look at film and we’ll get better. “
WHEN TO PULL THE QB
Coach Mario Cristobal pulled Herbert last week against Bowling Green, only to reinsert him when the Ducks couldn’t move the ball well. This week Cristobal waited until the end of the third quarter.
“When we feel we’ve accomplished what want to offensively, when we feel like we have the momentum of the game, we’ve seen enough of what we wanted to see,” Cristobal explained about his reasoning.
Oregon freshman Tyler Shough also saw a series on Saturday.
Portland State: The Vikings are opening the season with two FBS-level teams. Portland State is 4-37 against the top division, with two of those wins coming in 2015 against Washington State and North Texas under Barnum. … Portland State will make more than $500,000 for playing the Ducks, Barnum said this week.
Oregon: The Ducks blanked the Vikings 69-0 the last time the two teams met in 2010. Overall, Oregon now leads the series 5-0. … It’s the first time Oregon has had back-to-back 50-point games since 2014. … Oregon had 562 yards in total offense while holding the Vikings to 224 yards.
Portland State hosts the College of Idaho next week.
Oregon hosts San Jose State next week.