Game balls for Oregon's 31-24 win over Fresno State

Ashley Conklin
Justin Flowe and Mase Funa celebrate Funa's first-quarter fumble recovery that led to an Oregon touchdown during Saturday's 31-24 win over Fresno State.

Justin Flowe

The heralded freshman linebacker saw his first playing time as a Duck and showed why he was so highly ranked coming out of high school. Flowe had a game-high 14 tackles, including five solo stops, and was all over the field for the Ducks. Flowe and middle linebacker Noah Sewell were a big reason why the Bulldogs were held to 75 rushing yards and minus-10 yards rushing in the first half. Flowe played most of the second half after Dru Mathis, the starting weakside linebacker, was injured early on and spent the second half on crutches.

Travis Dye scores on a 4-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of Oregon's 31-24 win over Fresno State on Saturday.

CJ Verdell and Travis Dye

It was a slow start for Oregon's two running backs despite both rushing for first-quarter touchdowns on short drives after Oregon forced a pair of Fresno State fumbles. Dye had 18 yards rushing at halftime and Verdell had 10. When Oregon needed them though, the two running backs dominated the fourth quarter as the Ducks outgained Fresno State 120 yards to 38 and had 84 fourth-quarter rushing yards to 15 for the Bulldogs, allowing the Ducks to control the clock for almost 10 1/2 minutes of possession time. Verdell finished with a game-high 74 yards on 18 carries and Dye added 64 yards on 13 carries.

Fresno State's Jake Haener, right, runs into the end zone untouched for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Jake Haener

The Fresno State quarterback did all he could to get the Bulldogs the upset road win by completing 30-of-43 passes for 298 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. Haener, who backed up Jake Browning at Washington before transferring to Fresno State, was especially impressive early on as he was the entire Bulldogs offense in the first half with 220 yards on 20-of-29 passing. Beginning late in the first quarter, the Bulldogs scored on four straight drives to force a 21-21 tie in the third quarter. Haener was especially sharp on the final drive of the first half when he took the Bulldogs 75 yards in 1:09 and threw his only TD pass of the game with seven seconds left to pull Fresno State within 21-13. He also scored on a 2-yard TD run and hit tight end Juan Rodriguez on the 2-point conversion for a 21-21 tie with 6:45 left in the third quarter.