By Rob Moseley
Four true freshmen saw the field in Oregon’s 66-3 win over Nicholls on Saturday in Autzen Stadium, along with sophomore JC transfer Joe Walker.
Placekicker Matt Wogan and outside linebacker Torrodney Prevot were the first of the freshman quartet to play for the Ducks, on the kickoff following Oregon’s first touchdown of the afternoon. Tight end Johnny Mundt played extensively on offense behind Colt Lyerla, and offensive lineman Cameron Hunt also saw the field.
Wogan had an up-and-down day. He drew cheers from the Autzen crowd when one of his kickoffs went for a touchback, but also groans when two other kickoffs went out of bounds.
“I obviously wanted a better outcome (on those two kicks),” Wogan said. “But I’m a freshman, and I’m going to learn. (Special teams coordinator Tom) Osborne came up to me and said, ‘You having fun?’ I said, ‘I am.’ He said, ‘That’s all that matters.’”
UO coach Mark Helfrich joked of the touchback that “we had to maybe explain that rule for a couple people,” after recent years in which Oregon’s kickers rarely got that kind of distance on kickoffs.
Prevot filled up the stat sheet, getting in on tackles on the Ducks’ first two kickoffs, making five total on the day including his first career sack, and forcing a fumble.
“I felt like I did some good things here and there, but I think I could have done better,” Prevot said. “It was just a learning experience. I’m learning, getting the speed of the game down, and I’ll be better next week.”
Walker, the JC transfer at linebacker, played on the Ducks’ kickoff, kickoff return and punt return teams as well as defense, and finished with three tackles.