Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti said after the game Saturday night that he had talked with his team during team meetings on Friday night about the fact that Arizona State had beaten the Ducks for three straight years and about the perception some might have regarding the Oregon-ASU series.
"I challenged this team and I talked about the last three-year's games on Friday night," said Bellotti regarding what he told to his team in the team meetings. "I said I didn't think it was the way the press portrayed it, but if that's the way they (the media) portray it that's what people believe and we just need to overcome it. This is not one of those teams. This is this year's team. I did say that it is not on our offense, defense or special teams, but it is on every single person, every single player to step up. I really feel like today they responded to that challenge."
(PHOTO RIGHT) Sam Keller #9 of the Arizona St. Sun Devils is pressured by Devan Long #92 of the Oregon Ducks on October 8, 2005 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
"He got mad a few times," Long said of Sam Keller. "I remember him getting a little frustrated, he said a few things. It's always good to get the quarterback frustrated then he starts forcing passes. It's just great to get the momentum on our side."
What did Long think of the challenge Coach Bellotti had issued to the defensive line?
"We always get challenged on the defensive line because we always set the tempo," said Long after the game. "The front four guys flying around making plays, getting pressure on the quarterback. The guys in the guys behind us see that and it ignites them. If you can get that fire going it's real contagious. Everybody fires around and makes plays. It's awesome."
How did Long think his team reacted to the win over ASU and will carry over to next week?
"To come down here and do what we did is just a great feeling," related Long. "I have a lot of confidence in this team. Those guys in the locker room right now are fired up and I can't wait to get to the Dogs, and that is next week."
Oregon's last win over a ranked opponent on the road came against the then-No. 25 UCLA in 2002.
(PHOTO LEFT) Kellen Clemens #11 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona St. Sun Devils on October 8, 2005 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
With 278 passing yards today, quarterback Kellen Clemens moved to third all-time on the UO passing list. Clemens surpassed Chris Miller (1983-86/6,681) and Joey Harrington (1998-01/6,911) now has 6,943 career passing yards. Clemens also moved up the total offense list, passing Joey Harrington (1998-01/7,121) to move into third all-time with 7,439 career yards of total offense.
One of the bright spots for the Ducks was a recaptured ball late in the third quarter. ASU was trailing 24-17, and the Sun Devils started a drive on Oregon's 40 after Clemens was picked off by ASU's Zach Cantanese. Keller was incomplete on his first pass attempt but an interference call on Justin Phinisee moved the ball to the Oregon 25. A false start flag was thrown and the ball was placed at the Oregon 30. On the next snap, Phinisee, who returned the ball 51 yards to the ASU 33, intercepted Keller's pass. It was the second week in a row that Phinisee picked off a pass and had a long return. Last week against Stanford, Phinisee had an 86-yard interception return.
"Last game I probably should have scored on that," Phinisee said laughingly as he responded to a question about the second long return of the year. "This game I just wanted to get as much as I could to get some field position for our offense."
Perhaps defensive lineman Haloti Ngata expressed the feeling of the locker room the best when he responded to questions after the game in a soft-spoken manner.
"I can't explain what it is like in there except that everybody is happy," said Ngata. "It's great to be a Duck!"