By Anne M. Peterson

The Associated Press

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Oregon at No. 12 Washington

Date: Nov. 4 TV/Time: TBA

EUGENE — Oregon senior receiver Charles Nelson told coach Willie Taggart this week that the one thing he always wanted to do was throw a touchdown pass.

Nelson got his wish on Saturday. Oh, and it was his birthday, too.

Tripped up on a reverse, Nelson regained his footing to throw a 22-yard touchdown to Jacob Breeland, and Oregon went on to beat Utah 41-20 to snap a three-game losing streak.

Nelson was congratulated on the sideline by injured Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert following the play, which put the Ducks (5-4 overall, 2-4 Pac-12) ahead 27-13 late in the third quarter.

“I just told myself, ‘Be a ballplayer,’” Nelson said about the play.

Utah (4-4, 1-4) could not catch up in its fourth straight loss. Former Oregon receiver Darren Carrington caught nine passes for 130 yards for the Utes.

Oregon’s Tony Brooks-James rushed for 105 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The win got the Ducks closer to bowl eligibility for coach Willie Taggart’s first season. Oregon’s three-game slide coincided with the loss of Herbert, who fractured his collarbone against California on Sept. 30.

“The guys decided to stop feeling sorry for themselves and go out and play football like they’re capable of,” Taggart said.

True freshman Braxton Burmeister, who had been expected to redshirt, made his fourth start of the season against the Utes and passed for 47 yards and a score.

Carrington was making his first appearance at Autzen Stadium since he was dismissed from the Ducks this past summer following his arrest on a misdemeanor DUII charge. He was repeatedly booed Saturday by the Autzen Stadium crowd.

Burmeister hit Cam McCormick, a graduate of Bend’s Summit High, with a 5-yard touchdown pass on the Ducks’ opening series. It was the first touchdown and fourth catch of the season for McCormick, a redshirt freshman.

In the second quarter, Ugochukwu Amadi scooped up Carrington’s fumble and ran it back 47 yards for a touchdown to put the Ducks up 17-3.

Aidan Schneider added a 38-yard field goal for Oregon in the third quarter to give the Ducks their first second-half points since Sept. 30, a streak of three games.

In the third quarter, Brooks-James’ 52-yard run led to Nelson’s scoring pass to Breeland. Nelson took a reverse and barely escaped a tackle before finding Breeland in triple coverage.

The coaches drew up the play for Nelson after he told Taggart his wish, and the team practiced it once this week.

“Might have been my best touchdown here yet,” Nelson smiled afterward.

Brooks-James and Kani Benoit added touchdown runs in the fourth quarter.

Royce Freeman rushed for 139 yards but for the fifth straight game did not score. The Ducks’ career rushing leader needs one more touchdown to surpass leader LaMichael James on the school’s career list.

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