Verdell finished with 111 yards but none were sweeter for the Ducks than the final 6, when he sprinted nearly untouched on third-and-goal and set off a wild celebration in the east end zone of Autzen Stadium.
“It worked out well for us. The game went into overtime and this time we finished the job,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said.
The Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) were fortunate to reach overtime after Washington kicker Peyton Henry missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of regulation. Henry’s kick was wide right.
“I feel bad for Peyton. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone, let alone a young guy,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “I wish they didn’t have that many timeouts. But Peyton’s a hard-working guy and he’s made a lot of field goals for us in his short career, and he will be back and he will be better.”
Washington (5-2, 3-1) took possession first in overtime but had to settle for Henry’s 22-yard kick after stalling inside the 10. The Huskies had a chance to force a long field goal as Oregon faced third-and-11 after a holding call. But Justin Herbert threw a strike to Dillon Mitchell for 17 yards and the Ducks had first-and-goal. Three plays later, Verdell sprinted into the end zone and soon after the field of Autzen Stadium was a sea of green and yellow celebration a rivalry victory and redemption after losing at home to Stanford last month.
Two years ago, the Huskies snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Ducks with a 70-21 thumping of Oregon at Autzen. Last year it was a 38-3 rout in Seattle, two straight seasons of the Ducks being humbled by their neighbors to the north after a decade of dominance by Oregon.
Herbert didn’t have his best day, playing in front of a large gathering of NFL executives that included Denver Broncos GM John Elway. Herbert was 18 of 32 for 202 yards and two touchdowns — a 12-yardser to Mitchell and a key 9-yard strike to Jaylon Redd late in the first half that pulled the Ducks even at 17-all at halftime.
Washington’s Jake Browning threw for 243 yards and threw a 43-yard touchdown to Ty Jones in the third quarter. The Huskies played parts of the second half without their top two running backs after Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed both left with injuries and played sparingly in the closing minutes.
“I thought he played well. That kid’s a tough kid. He’s not going to back down ever,” Petersen said. “He threw some tough, pin-point balls in there and he stood up in the second half.”
Washington also will regret playing for the field goal at the end of regulation. Henry hit from 41 yards earlier in the game, but on the final play of regulation was wide right. Oregon spent two timeouts trying to ice Henry and he kicked both times after the timeouts were called, missing one and making one. But when it counted, Henry pulled his kick slightly and Oregon was given another chance in overtime.