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No. 16 Oregon looks to get on track against Nevada

September 5, 2019
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (10) looks to throw against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (10) looks to throw against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Nevada (1-0) at No. 16 Oregon (0-1), Saturday at 7:45 p.m. EDT (ESPN).

Line: Oregon by 24 ½.

Series record: Oregon leads 6-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Oregon looks to get the season back on track after its loss to Auburn in the opener. Had the Ducks won, it could have created a path to the College Football Playoff if everything broke Oregon’s way. Those chances took a big hit with the loss. But things are not all gloomy, as Oregon is still the favorite to win the Pac-12 North. Nevada is coming off a come-from-behind victory over Purdue in its opener.

KEY MATCHUP

Nevada quarterback Carson Strong against the Oregon defense. Strong, who redshirted last year, is the first freshman quarterback for Nevada since 1996. He fared well in the opener against Purdue, throwing for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Oregon is still breaking in a new defense under Andy Avalos, who joined the Ducks in the offseason after seven seasons at Boise State. The Broncos beat the Wolf Pack in each of the last two seasons.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nevada: Kicker Brandon Talton. The true freshman hit a 56-yard field goal in the final minute to give the Wolf Pack its 34-31 victory over Purdue. It was the third-longest kick in Nevada history. Talton, who had just learned the day before that he had secured the job as the team’s kicker, was given a scholarship following the victory.

Oregon: Quarterback Justin Herbert. The senior is still the dean of quarterbacks in the Pac-12 despite the loss to Auburn. Hampered in the opener by the absence of expected starting receiver Juwan Johnson, Herbert threw for 242 yards and a touchdown.

FACTS & FIGURES

Nevada’s only win in the series came in the first meeting in 1947. ... The game will feature brothers on opposite sides: Nevada senior linebacker Gabriel Sewell is big brother to Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell, a sophomore. And they’re not the only Sewells who play: Brother Nephi is a defensive back at Utah. ... Oregon has won 24 straight games against nonconference opponents at Autzen Stadium. ... Nevada third-year coach Jay Norvell is 1-1 against the Pac-12: The Wolf Pack lost to Washington State in 2017 but beat Oregon State in 2018. ... Nevada running back Toa Taua, last year’s Mountain West Freshman of the Year, ran for 56 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown against Purdue.

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