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Ducks get No. 25 Broncos in Vegas

The Oregon football team will meet the No. 25 Boise State Broncos in the 26th Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on December 16.

The game will be broadcast on ABC.

Oregon will make its 12th bowl appearance in the last 13 years, as well as its 19th appearance in the last 21 seasons. Overall, the Las Vegas Bowl will be the Ducks’ 30th appearance in a bowl game. Oregon is making its third appearance in the Vegas Bowl, after beating Air Force 41-13 in 1997 and losing to BYU 38-8 in 2006.

Oregon is 0-2 all-time against Boise State, losing 37-32 on Sept. 20, 2008, at Autzen Stadium and dropping a 19-8 decision in the 2009 season opener (Sept. 3) at Boise.

In head coach Willie Taggart’s first season, the Ducks went 7-5 during the regular season, including a pair of wins against Arizona and Oregon State to finish the season. Oregon ranked 19th in the country in scoring, averaging 36.7 points per game, while boasting the country’s eighth-best run offense with 268 yards per game.

Offensively, the Ducks are led by sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert and running back Royce Freeman. Herbert completed 113-of-170 passes (66.5 percent) for 1,750 yards, with 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Herbert got Oregon off to a 4-1 start before being sidelined by a collar bone injury. He returned to lead the Ducks to wins over Arizona and Oregon State to finish the season. In the seven games Herbert started, Oregon averaged 52.43 points per game. Freeman ranks sixth all-time in the NCAA in rushing after finishing his senior year with 1,475 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.

Defensively, Oregon is much improved from the 2016 season. The Ducks head to Las Vegas ranked 39th in total defense and 27th in rush defense a year after finishing 126th and 121st in those categories, respectively. Sophomore inside linebacker Troy Dye and junior defensive end Jalen Jelks lead the Ducks’ attack on defense. Dye finished the regular season with a team-high 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Jelks bested the team with 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks while finishing with 50 tackles.

BSU, of the Mountain West, finished 10-3. The Broncos are led by QB Brett Rypien, who racked up 2,515 yards passing with 14 TDs.

BSU avenged a loss to Fresno State the week before by beating the Bulldogs 17-14 in the conference title game.

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (10) and the Ducks rallied after Herbert's injury to land a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS] 1014169612 OR_Med_leftrail 1014169622 OR_Med_49ers San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo celebrates after the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Chicago. The 49ers won 15-14. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]