The No. 10 Oregon Ducks got a significant challenge on the road against the UCLA Bruins Saturday, but they managed to hang on for a 34-31 win. That was in question in the final minutes, with UCLA driving, and with backup quarterback Ethan Garbers (pressed into action following an injury to starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson) converting a fourth and eight. But on the subsequent set of downs, Garbers dropped back to pass with 54 seconds left on his own 39, and Oregon defensive back DJ James jumped the route and came up with a game-sealing pick (which he’s seen celebrating above):
OREGON SEALS THE GAME WITH AN INT pic.twitter.com/TkqOggew3Y
— ESPN (@espn) October 23, 2021
That led the Ducks survive, and it let them keep the Pac-12’s slim playoff hopes alive. On the day, Oregon had some issues; quarterback Anthony Brown completed 29 of 39 passes for 296 yards (plus ran six times for 85 yards and a touchdown), but didn’t throw a touchdown and tossed two interceptions. And the Ducks’ defense had its own issues at times; they held UCLA to 352 offensive yards (110 on the ground, 242 through the air), but still gave up 31 points. But they got big defensive plays in crucial moments, including this one from James.