Freeman, Herbert, defense lead Oregon to win over Wyoming

Oregon was up 42-10 at the half

Oregon running back Royce Freeman (21) places the ball in the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Shannon Broderick)
Oregon running back Royce Freeman (21) places the ball in the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Shannon Broderick)

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) – Royce Freeman ran for three touchdowns in the first half and Oregon roughed up Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen in a 49-13 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday night.

Allen drew representatives from 16 NFL teams to War Memorial Stadium, but it was the Ducks (3-0) who impressed. Freeman ran for 157 yards on 30 carries and turned a screen pass into a 50-yard gain. Justin Herbert passed for 251 yards and a score, and added a touchdown run.

As for Allen, in what could be his last game against Power Five competition, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior was 9 for 24 for 64 yards – his second-lowest total as a starter – and a 10-yard touchdown run. He fumbled late in the second quarter running a draw and Oregon’s Tyree Robinson returned the ball to the Cowboys 4. Kani Benoit scored on the next play to make it 42-10 at half.

Oregon wide receiver Johnny Johnson III trips over runs past an attempted tackle from Wyoming linebacker Adam Pilapil in Laramie, Wyo., Saturday, Sept.16, 2017. (AP Photo/Shannon Broderick)

THE TAKEAWAY

Oregon: Considering how bad the Ducks’ defense played last season, they have to feel good about how much they harassed Allen, led by Justin Hollins and Troy Dye.

Wyoming: The scouts’ eyes were locked on Allen well before kickoff. They moved like a herd from the sideline to watch him warm up in a T-shirt and headphones a couple of hours before the game to behind the end zone after he and his teammates came out in pads.

But for the second time this season he failed to deliver against a marquee team. Wyoming lost 20-3 at Iowa to open the season. At home against an inexperienced Oregon defense seemed like a good setup for Allen to put up big numbers. Instead, he was even worse. To be fair he did not get much help. He was on the run a lot and took some big hits. One shot to his throwing arm as he released in the second quarter left him shaken up. His receivers did not get much separation.

The bottom line: The last two seasons against Nebraska, Iowa and Oregon, Allen was 48 for 96 for 427 yards, with two TD passes and eight interceptions.

UP NEXT

Oregon: The Ducks are 3-0 for the first time since 2014 and start conference play next Saturday at Arizona State.

Wyoming: The Cowboys play the second of three straight home games and start Mountain West Conference play Saturday against Hawaii.