Huff comes up big in final home game

EUGENE — Josh Huff was not about to come out on the losing end of his last game at Autzen Stadium.

With his team trailing by five points in the final minute of the game, Huff caught the go-ahead and what would prove game-clinching touchdown reception in the center of the end zone with 29 seconds remaining in the game.

"It was something that I dreamed of as a little kid," he said following Oregon's 36-35 win over Oregon State. "All my teammates were pushing me on and they told me to dig deep. They needed me and Marcus was able to find me in the end zone."

The touchdown was the senior from Houston's third of the game and second of the fourth quarter.

Huff has undertaken the role of go-to wide receiver this season, and shined once again in the game's biggest moments Friday.

Trailing 29-24, Huff converted a crucial third-and-8, turning a deep post route into a 38 yard run-and-catch. Huff later cashed in the drive with a fourth-and-11 touchdown reception just behind the right pylon.

"All week I have been talking to Marcus about looking for me in big plays," Huff said. "I told him I would do anything to get open. On that fourth-and-11 play, I was able to get open and make the catch."

Huff finished with career-highs in receptions (nine), yards (186) and touchdowns (three).

"I have no idea how I feel," he said. "I am happy, I can tell you that. It is surreal. I didn't imagine my last game would come down like that. It is everything I dreamed of as a little kid. My dream finally came true. To leave on that note is pretty amazing."


GIVEN THE RUNAROUND: While Oregon spent the week preparing for the nation's top passing offense, the Ducks probably thought it unlikely they'd be bitten by a Beaver rushing attack that was 11th in the conference.

But the OSU running game, which was without a 100-yard rusher entering the game, posted a season-best 231 yards rushing, most of it on the stout legs of Terron Ward.

"They ran the ball really well, maybe that's something that's my fault as a leader," said senior defensive tackle Taylor Hart, who had eight tackles. "We kind of focused on the passing game, and the running game kind of screwed us up."

Ward had just 322 yards rushing all season, before running for 145 yards against a Duck defense that ranked near the top of the conference. Oregon State more than tripled its normal rushing output — the Beavers average 72.8 per game and finished with 231.

But defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti put it into perspective.

"I'm not happy about that," he said. "But, I'll let them have all of those yards, if we can have that one more point."


LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD: Of all the Ducks playing in their first Civil War, none were more familiar with the rivalry than freshman running back Thomas Tyner.

Tyner, an Aloha High graduate, had seen plenty of it growing up, so it might have been fitting that the former blue-chip recruit would get the spot start at running back with Byron Marshall held out with an ankle injury.

"I grew up watching that game, so actually playing in it was exciting throughout the whole game," he said following the win.

Tyner made the most of it, finishing as Oregon's leading rusher, and surpassing the 100-yard mark for the first time in his collegiate career. He finished with 140 yards on 22 carries and a first quarter touchdown.

The 5-foot-11, 201-pound runner set the tone on Oregon's first play from scrimmage, bursting off the left tackle for 40 yards. The run set up the Ducks' first score.

Tyner scored his ninth rushing touchdown of the season on UO's second drive of the game, scampering in from 13 yards out.


WHAT'S WITH NO. 8? After setting the Pac-12 record in most consecutive pass attempts without an interception, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota threw his third and fourth interceptions of the season in the first half of Friday's game.

Mariota was picked off by defensive backs Steven Nelson and Rashaad Reynolds in the game's second quarter. Both interceptions happened in Oregon territory and the Reynolds interception led to a game-equalizing OSU touchdown just before the half.

Dating back to the Arizona game, Mariota had four interceptions in 51 pass attempts after having thrown none in 353 leading into the game with the Wildcats.

Mariota threw 22 passes without an interception in the second half.


EXTRA POINTS: The win marks the sixth consecutive Oregon season with at least 10 wins. Oregon and Alabama are tied for longest active streaks"¦ Oregon improved to 7-0 at Autzen Stadium this season, marking the first perfect home campaign since the 2010 season"¦ Twenty seniors made their final appearances at Autzen Stadium"¦ Mariota's 285 yards passing move him to second most for a single season with 3,412 yards. Akili Smith holds the record with 3763 yards in 1998"¦ Huff moved to eighth in school history with career receptions (139) and yards (2,262).

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