By Anne M. Peterson – AP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Bo Nix threw for 277 yards and five touchdowns and Oregon rebounded from its season-opening loss to Georgia with a 70-14 rout of Eastern Washington on Saturday night.
It was Oregon’s 20th straight win at Autzen Stadium and its 18th straight victory in a home opener. Troy Franklin caught 10 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown while Byron Cardwell caught a scoring pass and ran for another TD.
Oregon was coming off a disheartening season-opening 49-3 loss to the No. 2 Bulldogs that dropped the Ducks out of the AP Top 25. Nix struggled, throwing for 173 yards with two interceptions.
Eastern Washington won its season opener 36-29 over Tennessee State. Quarterback Gunner Talkington threw for 348 yards and five touchdowns, and was named the Big Sky’s offensive Player of the Week.
“We said we want to do simple better, right? This week was all about doing simple better, it was about fundamentals and technique,” Oregon first-year coach Dan Lanning said. “I think you saw a lot of that show up in the game.”
Talkington threw for 87 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles, who managed just 187 yards in total offense. The Ducks had 607.
Oregon scored on its first dive of the game when Nix hit Terrance Ferguson with a 13-yard TD pass. Noah Whittington’s 5-yard dash down the middle doubled Oregon’s lead and Ferguson caught a 19-yards touchdown pass from Nix to give the Ducks a 21-0 lead. Mar’Keise Irving added a 1-yard scoring run.
Eastern Washington scored with six minutes left in the first half on Talkington’s 7-yard scoring pass to Jett Carpenter.
Oregon added two more touchdowns before halftime. Nix hit Cardwell with a 13-yard scoring pass before a 7-yard pass to Franklin.
Nix stayed in the game to start the second half and threw a 2-yard pass to Cam McCormick. Oregon’s Trikweze Bridges fumbled at Eastern Washington 3 after an interception and it was recovered by Casey Rogers in the end zone for a TD that made it 56-7.
Nix’s backup Ty Thompson took over with 8:48 left in the third quarter. Cardwell ran for a 10-yard touchdown before Freddie Roberson caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Talkington to close the margin to 63-14 for the Eagles.
Kilohana Haasenritter scored on a 6-yard run for the Ducks in the final quarter.
The Eagles are now 2-12 over Pac-12 foes, with the only two victories coming against Oregon State in 2013 and Washington State in 2016.
“There are a ton of things to work on. I thought that the defense was out there too long, we couldn’t get the run game going, and the pass game wasn’t in sync,” Eagles coach Aaron Best said. “There were too many miscues against a good ball club. They were angry, and we weren’t angry.”
Eastern Washington: The Eagles face two FBS teams this season. In addition to the Ducks, Eastern Washington visits Florida on Oct. 1 for a game that was rescheduled from 2020. … Eastern Washington is 11-28 overall against FBS opponents.
Oregon: Nix completed his first 10 passes of the game. … Oregon won the only previous meeting with Eagles 61-42 at Autzen Stadium in 2015. … The game was played in smoky conditions caused by wildfires in the state. The Ducks host No. 21 BYU next Saturday.