Players discussed finishing the season on a good note shortly after Oregon’s defeat to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship earlier this month.
Not only did the Ducks not conclude the season as they would have hoped, but the defeat to the Oklahoma Sooners seemed very similar to other losses this season.
In the Alamo Bowl, Oklahoma (11-2) beat Oregon (10-4) 47-32. The Ducks have lost three of their previous four games after being placed in the top three of the College Football Playoff in late November.
It did not, however, come without a fight from Oregon in the second half.
Oregon outscored Oklahoma 29-17 in the second half after trailing 30-3 at halftime. However, Oregon’s last possession began on the 6-yard line, and the Ducks went three-and-out before being forced to punt by the Sooners. Oklahoma then ran out the time.
Oregon interim coach Bryan McClendon lauded his team’s second-half surge.
The Ducks were unable to overcome the absence of key players
Oregon had a lot of obstacles heading into the bowl season. The Ducks had to contend with speculations and the ultimate departure of coach Mario Cristobal to Miami after losing to Utah in Las Vegas. Then more dominoes fell.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Mykael Wright, and Devon Williams all declared for the NFL draft in 2022. In addition, Jayson Jones and DJ James left the program.
The Ducks roster was ravaged by injuries, transfers, and opt-outs, as more than 30 players were unavailable for Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma. The absences were felt on both sides of the ball, especially on defense.
Oklahoma pounced on Oregon for 183 yards on the ground in the first half, including 127 yards by Kennedy Brooks and two touchdowns. As a result, the Sooners finished with 318 running yards.
The Oregon squad will look very different next year, starting with the new coach, Dan Lanning. There are other athletes that have yet to make a choice on their future in the program.