EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Bo 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 scoring era, and a scoring record at Autzen Stadium.
It was also Oregon’s 19th straight win in a home opener. The Ducks have won 30 straight non-conference games at Autzen Stadium, dating back 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 TDs.
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.
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.
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 9-yard touchdown run. Bryce Boettcher recovered a muffed Portland State kickoff return and James went on to add another touchdown run to make it 36-7.
James and Irving each added scoring runs and Oregon led 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 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. They were picked to finish ninth this season in the conference’s preseason media poll.
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.
Portland State: Visits Wyoming on Saturday.
Oregon: Visits Texas Tech on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll