Instant reaction: Missed opportunities almost cost Ducks big in Pullman

Oregon scored three times in the last three minutes and avoided a near disaster in the Palouse.

For most of the game, the Ducks were plagued by several missed opportunities in the red zone. Oregon kicked three field goals instead of scoring touchdowns, and that nearly cost it dearly.

In the end it didn’t matter thanks to a game-winning touchdown by Troy Franklin that gave the Ducks a 37-34 lead with less than two minutes remaining. Linebacker Mase Funa put the game on ice with a pick six. Washington State scored a touchdown with a second left to account for the 44-41 final score.

But the Ducks could have easily come home with a big fat loss, one that would have haunted them for an entire season.

Oregon was hurt by a questionable targeting call on DJ Johnson and a questionable personal foul call on Brandon Dorlus in the fourth quarter. Those two plays set Oregon behind the eight ball.

When the Ducks look back at the game film, offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham is going to find his play-calling in the red zone could have been more aggressive. Oregon found itself inside the Cougar 10 on four occasions. At the very least, the Ducks should have found the end zone twice.

Instead, they kicked three field goals and threw a pick six. It’s good to have a reliable kicker such as Camden Lewis, and he’ll most likely get an A on the report card Sunday. But on these occasions, Oregon’s offense floundered.

Dillingham’s scheme is dynamic and that showed time after time between the 20s. But for some reason, when Oregon got into the red zone, the play-calling became ultra-conservative and it’s baffling. The Ducks didn’t throw the ball into the end zone once on any of those four chances.

Thankfully for the Ducks, it’s a lesson they can learn without suffering a devastating loss in the process.


Social media reacts to Oregon's insane 44-41 comeback win vs. Washington State

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire