Vernon Adams threw for two touchdowns but left his much-anticipated debut after a scary fourth-quarter hit, and No. 7 Oregon defeated his former team, Eastern Washington, 61-42 to open the season on Saturday night.
Royce Freeman ran for a career-high 180 yards and three scores for the Ducks, who didn't appear to have slipped much offensively without Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
Adams, who transferred to the Ducks for his final year of eligibility, was ushered to the locker room after he staggered getting up from a late hit by Eastern Washington's John Kreifels, who was ejected.
Adams, a repeat Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year, was replaced by Mariota's backup last season, Jeff Lockie. Adams' condition was not immediately known.
Jordan West, who took over as Eastern Washington's quarterback after Adams' departure, threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns. But West also left the game in the third quarter and was seen limping on the sideline.
Receiver Cooper Cupp caught 15 passes for 246 yards and three scores for the persistent Eagles, who were ranked No. 6 in the preseason FCS coaches poll.
Adams announced in February that he would transfer to Oregon, taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allowed him to join the Ducks without sitting out a season after he wrapped up his degree at Eastern Washington. He arrived at fall camp several days late because he had to take one last final exam.
In 37 career games with the Eagles, Adams passed for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns while rushing for 11 more.
He has a considerable challenge in replacing Mariota, arguably the best quarterback in Oregon's history. Now with the Tennessee Titans, Mariota led the Ducks to a 13-2 record last season and a spot in the championship game of college football's first playoffs.
Oregon's issues on Saturday appeared to be on defense and the inability to contain West, who started in four games as an injury replacement for Adams last season, and Cupp.
Adams was efficient from the start with each of Oregon's first four scoring drives taking less than three minutes.
He handed off to Kani Benoit for an 11-yard scoring run before hitting Bralon Addison with a 6-yard scoring pass to put the Ducks up 13-0. Addison, the teams' second-leading receiver in 2013, sat out last season while he recovered from knee surgery.
The Eagles answered with West's 12-yard touchdown pass to Shaq Hill and two Oregon scores later, West's 2-yard TD pass to Kendrick Bourne drew the Eagles within 27-14.
Freeman led the Ducks with 1,365 yards rushing last season — a Pac-12 true freshman record — and 18 touchdowns. He certainly showed no sign of slowing down on Saturday, extending Oregon's lead with his second short TD run of the game and Oregon led 37-21 at the half.
Freeman opened the second half with a one-yard TD dive but both teams continued to wrestle back and forth. Oregon's defense had trouble shutting down the Eagles, but the offense kept the Ducks well ahead.
Adams' 24-yard scoring pass to Byron Marshall pushed Oregon's lead to 51-28. It was Adams' 27th consecutive game with multiple touchdown passes. He completed 19 of 25 passes before he left the game.
With the victory, Oregon upped its record to 14-0-2 all-time against Big Sky opponents.
Oregon has thrown a touchdown pass in 69 consecutive games, matching the national record set by Texas Tech from Sept. 23, 2006, to Oct. 22, 2011.