Darron Thomas threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns before he left with a left leg injury and ninth-ranked Oregon survived his absence with a 41-27 victory over No. 18 Arizona State on Saturday night in Eugene, Ore.
It was the second straight game that the Ducks have lost a key player to injury. Running back LaMichael James dislocated his elbow in Oregon’s last outing, a 43-15 win over California.
Kenjon Barner, who started in place of James, ran for 171 yards and a touchdown, while freshman De’Anthony Thomas ran for 73 yards and two scores for Oregon.
Brock Osweiler threw for 291 yards and two scores for the Sun Devils, who have lost seven straight to the Ducks.
It was Oregon’s 20th straight victory at Autzen Stadium, as well as the Ducks’ 15th straight victory over a conference foe.
Without James, Oregon had a tough time getting its vaunted running game going against the Sun Devils in the first half, but the Ducks would end up with 327 rushing yards – 269 in the second half.
Arizona State retook the lead – 24-21 – early in the second half on Cameron Marshall’s 4-yard scoring run. But just a few plays later, Sun Devils linebacker Colin Parker fell on Thomas’ legs, and the Oregon QB did not get up.
Thomas grimaced as he was attended to by team trainers, but he got up and jogged off the field before limping to the locker room.
He was replaced by backup Bryan Bennett, who led the Ducks on a scoring drive that ended with De’Anthony Thomas’ 3-yard touchdown run. The Ducks never trailed again.
BYU 38, Oregon State 28: Riley Nelson threw for 217 yards and three TDs and rushed for 87 yards to lead the Cougars over the Beavers in Corvallis, Ore.
Cody Hoffman had nine receptions for 162 yards and a TD for the Cougars (5-2).
Sean Mannion was 27 of 43 passing for 306 yards for Oregon State (1-5) but was intercepted twice, bringing his season total to nine.
Utah 26, Pittsburgh 14: John White ran for 171 yards and Coleman Petersen kicked four field goals in the tricky Heinz Field winds to lead the Utes by the reeling Panthers (3-4) in Pittsburgh.
Utah improved to 9-0 against Big East teams.