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Oregon Demolishes Undefeated Liberty 45-6 at Vrbo Fiesta Bowl

It went much like many expected as Bo Nix and the Oregon Ducks dominated a 13-0 Liberty team 45-6 in the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

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Bo Nix went 28/35 and threw for 363 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Ducks to victory. Top RB Bucky Irving rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown as well. On the wide receiver side, Tez Johnson led the Ducks with 11 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown. For Liberty, QB Kaidon Salter had 126 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Quinton Cooley had eight rushes for 79 yards, and CJ Daniels had eight catches for 79 yards.

First Quarter

The first quarter shocked a lot of people. Liberty flew down the field and scored on their opening drive when Kaidon Salter found Bentley Hanshaw for a 17-yard touchdown. Oregon would immediately match with a field goal on their next drive, but that was it.

No more points were scored in the first quarter, so Liberty had a 6-3 lead heading into the second. The issue is Oregon was driving.

Second Quarter

Oregon finished off their drive that started in the first with a Bo Nix touchdown pass to Gary Bryant for two yards. This would give Oregon the lead, and they were off to the races.

After forcing a three-and-out, Oregon would get the ball back and drive right down the field, and Nix would throw another touchdown pass. This time, it was to TE Terrance Ferguson for two yards, and Oregon would be up 17-6.

Oregon would force another three-and-out, and seven plays later, they were in the endzone again. Nix found TE Kenyon Sadiq for a three-yard touchdown. It was Sadiq’s fifth catch of the year and first touchdown. Oregon now led 24-6, but they weren’t done.

Liberty would actually go on a nice drive into Oregon territory, and it looked like they might close this lead heading into the break. However, Salter made his only mistake and threw an interception right to Steve Stephens IV on the Oregon 32 with 1:17 left.

Oregon would do exactly what they did versus ASU earlier this season and found a 40-yard pass to Tez Johnson to get them inside the Liberty red zone with 17 seconds remaining. One play later, Nix found Traeshon Holden for a 17-yard TD to turn what could’ve been an 11-point game into a 25-point game. Oregon went into the half with a 31-6 lead.

Third Quarter

Bo Nix would start the 3rd quarter and immediately lead the Ducks on a touchdown drive that ended in a Tez Johnson 24-yard TD. Oregon was now up 38-6

Liberty got one more chance in the third quarter to cut into the lead. Salter would lead the Flames on a long drive to the Oregon 17 before the drive would stall. They would go for it on 4th down and not get it.

Oregon got the ball with 6:40 left in the third and would hold it the rest of the way. They would run 11 plays down to the Liberty 5 before the time ran out in the quarter. So, Oregon would take a 38-6 lead into the final frame.

Fourth Quarter

Oregon would finish off the drive with a Bucky Irving one-yard rushing touchdown. It would give Oregon a 45-6 lead and also be the end of the night for Bo Nix. Oregon would put in their backup, Austin Novosad, to finish the game.

Liberty had a chance to get at least to double digits, but their drive stalled out at the Oregon 43, so they punted back to Oregon, who finally went nowhere with Novosad under center. Liberty would get one more chance. Salter would fumble early in the drive, and Oregon would get the ball to end it. They wasted the last 6:00 on the clock and kneeled down to end the Fiesta Bowl.

Oregon finished with 584 yards, while Liberty would only reach 294 yards. Each team had identical rushing stats, but the passing stats were a big difference.

The key to the game was that Oregon had almost all their seniors playing, including Nix and Tez Johnson. This was a huge advantage for Oregon because both players are expected to be high draft picks.

There is no reason that this should’ve been the matchup. Liberty had no chance in this game, and Oregon was a heavy favorite the entire way. It was honestly an embarrassing matchup from the time it was announced. Liberty had no business being put in this position, and it showed.

With the College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams, the Fiesta Bowl should be a CFP matchup next year, making it a much better matchup.

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