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No. 24 Oregon Takes Care Of Week One Opponent

Johnathan Glissmeyer
Staff Writer 750/102.9 The Game
Photo via Bennet Dewan
Follow JGliss on Twitter: @jglissripcity

View Picture gallery of the game here.

The Ducks 2016 season got off to a slow start Saturday at Autzen. UC Davis got on the board early, while Oregon went three and out on the first two offensive possessions. Oregon would finally get on the board late in the first quarter with a 6 yard touchdown run from Royce Freeman. Freeman set the tone in the running game racking up 87 yards, which included a 49 yard run later in the game.
Oregon still looked sluggish until a Jalen Jelks interception in the second quarter that gave the Ducks the boost they were looking for. From there first year Quarterback Dakota Prukop got the offense rolling as he connected with Johnny Mundt on a 10 yard touchdown pass.
Prukop had an impressive debut in a Duck uniform, completing 21 of his 30 passes for 271 yards. He also threw 2 touchdowns and one keeper, which was snaked from Royce Freeman, after officials ruled him down at the goal line.
Although a lot of the hype coming in centered around the Ducks new quarterback, the real difference maker came in special teams play. Junior wide receiver Charles Nelson was electric with a 48 yard punt return, and a 62 yard kickoff return.
Nelson also successfully completed a pair of two point conversions for the Ducks looking close to unstoppable leading to Oregon trying the exact same play a third straight time.  That time it was stopped. When it was all said and done Nelson would net 288 all purpose yards. There were several plays in which Nelson looked like he couldn’t be touched. He also secured 4 catches for 30 yards as a receiver, but special teams are where he stood out.
While Nelson and Prukop led the way for Oregon, Darren Carrington also contributed in the passing game with 117 yards, and a long 55 yard touchdown.
The Ducks had some positives coming out of their season opener. Next week Virginia comes to town for a night cap, and the Ducks will need to build off of what they accomplished Saturday.
Be sure to tune into 750/102.9 The Game for all the action next Saturday, with our coverage starting at 7am.  You can also get hyped for the game all throughout the week on The Game and 750thegame.com.

Quotes from UC Davis Head Coach Ron Gould

Opening statement…
“I first want to say that I’m extremely proud of our team fighting for four quarters. One of the things that we talk about a lot is about redefining our best and I asked the guys to come out and play four quarters and they did an unbelievable job of coming out and they never laid down. We talk about Aggie pride and you saw the grit, the determination and the passion that these kids showed. They never said die. I told the guys that we don’t like consolation, so finishing second is never good. But, I told the guys that we have something that we can build off of and for us to understand that there is a lot of mistakes that were made out there and that’s okay, because it gives us an opportunity to learn and gives us an opportunity to take another step forward. That in itself is something that I’m very proud of. We’re a different Aggie team. This is only game number one. We did not finish our goal, which is to win the game. From that standpoint, we didn’t accomplish that, but there is a lot to build off of, there is a lot for us to take into the next game and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can build this program.”

On coming out to Oregon and seeing all the facilities and history the program has had and not getting intimidated…
“We brought the guys out here on Friday and it was good to have an opportunity to run the guys around and see the stadium. We have a model up in our locker room that says, ‘it’s not who we play, but how we play.’ It really doesn’t matter who our opponent is. We talk about redefining our program and our best, because we’re the only ones who can control us. That’s where the emphasis is and that’s where it’s always going to be. We can’t look outside of ourselves to determine who and what we’re going to become. Our team was ready, we had a great fall camp and we’re ready to take it to the next step. Our guys weren’t intimidated. We had a lot of young guys playing today and they embraced the moment, knew it was going to be a challenge and they went out and put their hearts out there.”

On starting out with a turnover and opening touchdown of the game…
“It was great to see our guys go out there and force a turnover. That’s one of the things that we’ve been talking a lot about. Just to see it come to fruition was pretty electric. To look up into the stands and see our Aggie fans screaming and yelling warmed my heart.

On the offensive line’s efforts to wear down Oregon…
We talk about that we want to be able to run the football and those guys did a very good job up front. We knew that the holes were going to be tight. I talked to the backs and told them that 18 inches is daylight and that’s all they were going to get here. Getting used to running tight was a priority. Hats off to the offensive line. Those guys were very physical and today we knew we were going to play a really good team in Oregon. We have something that we can grow from and something that we can build upon, so we’re looking forward that.”

On playing Dakota Prukop and what differences he saw in him today from playing against him previously…
“He’s a special young man. I told him after the game that I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. He’s a lot bigger than he was, but he’s just as fast and just as athletic. He’s starting to come into his own and I think our defense did a really good job of disguising coverages, so that kind of threw him off a little bit. He got into his groove, he’s a special player. He’s going to be just fine.”

On what it meant to be back in Oregon and in Autzen Stadium…
“It got a little nostalgic walking into the stadium on Friday, because I reminisced about the plays that I made and the plays that I didn’t make. It was good to be here. Coming in here, I wanted the guys to have something that they can be proud of and see it and this trip and game was for them. I told the media early, ‘what happened to all these facilities when I played here?’ We were in the dungeon back in the day.”

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