Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert — whom the Giants have scouted as a possible successor to Eli Manning — left the game with a first-half injury, but the Ducks didn’t need him to beat up on in-state rival Oregon State on Friday night in Corvallis, Ore.
Redshirt freshman running back CJ Verdell ran for 187 yards and four touchdowns and also caught a scoring pass as Oregon prevailed 55-15 in a “Civil War” victory that was marred by Herbert’s injury.
Herbert threw for 102 yards and a touchdown before appearing to injure his shoulder or upper arm on a sack. He left the field on a cart. The Ducks (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12) now await bowl selection, having already been eliminated from contention for a berth in the conference championship game.
Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said afterward he would not have an update on Herbert’s condition until the junior QB got back to Eugene for additional tests.
“He took a shot on the sack,” Cristobal told the Oregonian. “We won’t know until we get back (to Eugene) and run some tests on him. It doesn’t seem like too big of a shot, but enough where we had to keep him out and check on him a little bit more extensively.”
Earlier this season, Giants brass, including general manager Dave Gettleman, were in attendance in Salt Lake City to watch Herbert play Utah on Nov. 10.
Verdell’s five touchdowns were the most for a Duck since 2012. Travis Dye ran for 199 yards and two additional touchdowns for Oregon.
“He just keeps on getting better and better,” Cristobal said about Verdell.
The loss ended the season for the Beavers (2-10, 1-8) in coach Jonathan Smith’s first year as coach.
It may have been the final Civil War for Herbert, who could forgo his senior year to declare for the NFL draft. He is widely considered one of the top prospects at the position, but could opt to stay at Oregon for the chance to play with his younger brother Patrick, a four-star tight end who has committed to the Ducks.
Herbert was replaced by backup Braxton Burmeister for the second half.
Ducks running back Tony Brooks-James was also injured on the opening kickoff of the second half and returned to the sidelines on crutches with what looked to be a left knee injury.
— with AP