Tanner Lee: "I'll continue to work and try to get better".

The final whistle sounded.

Mike Riley is coming home to OR but this is just a business trip. Luke Gifford had nine tackles, but overall 497 yards is way too much to give up against Arkansas State.

Nebraska got the ball back again with a fourth-down stop, but Lee game it right back when he was picked off for the third time by Thomas Graham in the early minutes of the fourth quarter.

Nebraska's defense held OR scoreless on seven straight possessions in the second half to spur a furious rally, but the Ducks forced four turnovers, including a clinching interception in the final 2 minutes, and held on for a 42-35 victory Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.

"As bad as it was, we had a shot". Saturday was his first trip back to the state for a game since he took over as head coach of Nebraska two seasons ago. The ninth-year senior went 19-of-35 for 183 yards, no touchdowns and an interception, with a chunk of the positive stats coming in garbage time when the game was completely out of reach.

Meanwhile, Nebraska gets the Northern Illinois Huskies in Week 3. Herbert threw a pass toward Jacob Breeland who missed the ball, but it was deflected to Charles Nelson to put OR inside the five yard line. If we don't get them, it's hard to win a ballgame. "And then, just really, really let it get out of hand". The Ducks did not score a single point in the second half. As has happened so often to Riley against the Ducks, though, OR put down the hammer, closing out the half with three consecutive touchdowns.

Taggart's latest attack is built around senior Royce Freeman, who Riley joked Monday, "has to be a 10-year player in that program from what I remember".

Maligned last season, Oregon's defense thwarted Nebraska's comeback.

"In the first half, we did a really good job of moving the ball". He's trying to do just that using a bunch of young players.

The Nebraska offense cooled off after their second scoring drive of the half however, and failed to score on their next four possessions. Life was seen not only in the crowd, but on the sideline as well.

On the verge of getting embarrassed by the Ducks, Riley did not give an impassioned halftime speech to his troops. The Blackshirts also forced a turnover on downs in the second half.

"Tough today, for sure, without Knevel", Riley said. "That's all I mentioned to them". "We've got to be better". "They made some plays; we had maybe some opportunities to make a play right off the bat and did not. Sometimes it's just a little bit better position that all of a sudden doesn't make that throw so easy".

SMOKY SKIES: There are so many large wildfires burning in OR that there was some concern about the air quality for Saturday's game. The Ducks honored Stomping Out Cancer in the pregame ceremony with their first themed game of the season. Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said the Huskers should be ready. "They have a group that flies around". They can run, they can protect, they can catch. "We were impressed with what they did". "They do play some four-down looks and change it up nicely".

"I'm very proud of the defense". "Angular, tall, good-looking guys. They looked real good".

Mike Riley's head coaching career has included several unpleasant memories inside Autzen Stadium.

The Ducks, like the Huskers, have gone to a 3-4 defense this year.

"You know what, I consider it a privilege to coach football, to coach college football", Riley said. "I loved all my time at Oregon State coaching". The game Saturday will be the first time in the past six meetings that neither team is nationally ranked.

Maybe Saturday's scare will teach OR not to let up next time even when they're up big. "I embrace these moments personally. A lot of my football life was around here".

"Without making it", Riley paused and smiled, "I am making a big deal by talking about it".

  • Rosalie Stanley