Run Onterrio Run

What do you do when you face the best run defense in the Pac-10? Run the ball. Run the ball and run the ball some more. Onterrio Smith rushed for 285 yards and rewrote the Oregon rushing records as the Ducks beat Washington State 24-17 at Pullman. Smith and Maurice Morris combined for 446 yards rushing in a game that came down to the last second as Cougar quarterback Jason Gesser's pass fell incomplete in the end zone. The loss knocked Washington State out of the ranks of the undefeated.

The loss knocked Washington State out of the ranks of the undefeated. Oregon' s record now is 6-1 and 4-1 in the Pac-10 race.

Oregon was a 3-point underdog going into the Washington State contest after last week's disappointing loss to Stanford at Autzen Stadium. Before kickoff the Washington State game appeared to be a shootout, but given a misty, rainy night the team that could run the ball would have the advantage.

"There wasn't too much talking in the huddle, just taking care of business," Smith told the Oregon Sports Network after the game. "I don't know what those guys (offensive line) ate this morning,"

Both Smith and Morris found plenty of space to run. Morris was Mister Outside and Smith was Mister Inside. Morris left the game in the fourth quarter from what appeared to be a cramp. His status will be known later next week. Morris ended up with 138 yards.

Smith also scored all three Oregon touchdowns.

Any thought that the Ducks would be out of business after last week's game was quickly extinguished. A very productive Washington State was unable to score a touchdown in the first three-quarters. Washington State was unable to make anything happen as the Cougars could only manage 82 yards of rushing.

"I think Nick's (Aliotti) plan was awesome," said Head Coach Mike Bellotti.

The rain continued to fall and the Oregon's running backs burned up time. Washington State was forced into passing situations and despite making a very lively fourth quarter it was Smith who was the Cougar killer. Bellotti felt the Ducks could have made things easier on themselves in the fourth quarter by not giving up some big plays but over all he was content with the win and the Ducks performance.

"We refocused and are back on track," said Bellotti.

When asked what did he do to restore the Ducks confidence after the loss last week, Bellotti indicated the team responded to the loss. "It's not if you get knock down it is if you get back up," said Bellotti.

"The most important thing for us is to stay focused," said Bellotti.

The win put the Ducks back into a tie for the Pac-10 lead and the possibility of a BCS-Bowl still is very possible. Staying focused will be the challenge for the Ducks and one thing Oregon knows for sure, that they can run the ball.


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