34-33 Oregon: Huge Win for the Ducks

September 16th, 2006 will forever go down in University of Oregon football history. With only minutes left and down 13 points, Oregon fought back to score two touchdowns to beat Oklahoma. Holding onto a lot of skill and heart and a little luck, the Ducks took ownership of this game with minutes remaining and took home the amazing victory.

59,269 fans showed up to make this game the largest crowd ever at Autzen Stadium. Oregon is now 24-1 in non-conference home games under coach Mike Bellotti, and 5-0 against ranked non-conference teams. In a rundown of statistics, Oregon earned 26 first downs to Oklahoma's 19 and outgained the Sooners 501 to 381 in total yards. Quarterback Dennis Dixon threw for a career-high 341 yards on 26-for-41 passing. Dixon passed for two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jaison Williams led the way for the receivers with a career best 177 yards on 9 catches, and Jonathan Stewart ran for 144 yards on 23 rushes, including a touchdown.

The Ducks started off the game with a 24-yard kick return by Jonathan Stewart. On the first play from the huddle, Dennis Dixon's first pass was almost intercepted. Three plays later, the Ducks would find themselves in the endzone for a touchdown. On the ensuing play, Dixon hit Jaison Williams to the left, and with two jukes, Williams was off to the races for a 69-yard reception and run. Stewart then ran six yards on first down and followed that with a three-yard touchdown.

After a couple of defensive stuffs against Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma was forced to punt. The Ducks next drive culminated in a 22-yard field goal by Paul Martinez to up the score to 10-0. The drive included a 35-yard completion from Dixon to Brian Paysinger. The Sooners countered with a nine-play, 44-yard drive for a 41-yard field goal by kicker Garret Hartley.

At the end of the first quarter, Dixon had 130 yards passing, going 8-for-11. Stewart picked up 42 yards and a TD on seven rushes, and Jaison Williams had 82 yards receiving on 2 catches.

In the second quarter, second-string quarterback Brady Leaf replaced Dixon, but not for injury. The offense only gained two yards on the drive and had to punt. The Sooners gained the ball back and had to punt after a drive where a 58-yard touchdown throw from Paul Thompson was taken back due to holding. The Duck's Jeremiah Johnson fumbled the return and the Sooners recovered on the 20-yard line.

The Duck defense then mounted a very impressive defensive stand. The Sooners made their way to a first down on the two-yard line. Three penalties later, the Sooners found themselves 20 yards further back on second down. The Sooners ended up kicking a field goal from 20 yards, bringing the score to 10-6 Oregon, and the Duck collective breathed a sigh of relief.

With 2:01 left, the Ducks got the ball back and drove 60 yards in ten plays. With two seconds left, kicker Paul Martinez lofted up a field goal that bounced off the crossbar and in for a score. The Ducks ran into the tunnel leading 13-6 over the Sooners.

The Ducks came out strong on defense in the third quarter and forced Oklahoma to punt after gaining one first down. Johnson again fumbled the catch on the return but recovered before Oklahoma could grab it, but the drive ended in quick punt. With good field position, Oklahoma quickly made its way through the Oregon defense with the aid of a 37-yard completion from Thompson to Juaquin Iglesias. Thompson capped the drive with a one-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown to tie the score 13-13.

Oregon's next drive saw the Ducks slicing up the Oklahoma defense on three straight 9-11 yard plays. Arguably, the key play of the game happened next. Stewart fumbled, Oklahoma recovered, and after a first down pass to Malcolm Kelly, Thompson hit Iglesias in the left corner of the end zone over Walter Thurmond for a touchdown and a 20-13 lead.

The Ducks fought back on the ensuing drive with a combo of two 10-yard Stewart runs and Dixon hitting 14 yards to Dante Rosario, eight to Rosario, and nine to Finley. The Ducks got stopped near the red zone and ended up going for the first down on 4th and 6. Dixon threw a floater to Jaison Williams that dropped into his arms just over the cornerback for the touchdown and a score of 20-20.

The Sooners then marched down the field and scored the go-ahead run to take the lead 27-20. On this drive, Peterson had runs of 17 and 16 yards, the former being the touchdown carry. Oregon's Chris Vincent returned the ball to the 25-yard line on the kick return and set up a drive in which Oregon could tie the game. Dixon dropped back to pass and threw right about 15 yards down the field, but the ball was tipped by an Oklahoma defensive back. Before it hit the ground, another Oklahoma player snatched the ball for the interception. Peterson's back-to- back runs of nine and 11 yards set up a 1st and three for the Sooners, but the Duck defense stood strong and allowed only a field goal by Hartley.

Dixon was intercepted again, and the Sooners recovered on their 38. Adrian Peterson had three straight long runs, with that last being a 35 yard outside run to the right. Again, the Ducks held the Sooners to a field goal by Hartley in the red zone. On the kickoff, Hartley booted the ball out of bounds, putting Oregon at their 35 yard-line. Dixon and the Oregon offense made their way down the field with three first down passes to the left to Jaison Williams. Dixon then scored a 16 yard TD scamper with 1:12 remaining.

Oregon tried a tricky onside kick in which Luke Bellotti set up to go right but looped one up to the left at the last second. The ball bounced around a few times, and an Oregon player recovered. Dixon passed to a receiver for a 15-yard catch and first down on the first play from the huddle. On the next play, Brian Paysinger was held by his Oklahoma defensive counterpart for pass interference, and the Ducks moved to the Oklahoma 23 for a first down with 50 seconds to go. Dixon hit Brian Paysinger for the touchdown on the next play to tip the score in the Ducks favor 34-33 after Martinez's successful point-after kick. The drive was 20 seconds long.

On the next kick, the Ducks elected to send a short, bouncing kick along the ground. Oklahoma returned the ball to the Oregon 27 on a huge run to set up the possible game winner. Adrian Peterson was stopped for a 1-yard run, and Thompson spiked the ball with two seconds left to set up a 43-yard field goal by Hartley. The Oregon defense blocked the kick, and Oregon won the game 34-33. Overall, this game was unbelievable event for the fans from both teams to witness with numerous lead changes and heart-stopping drama. Ducks win 34-33.


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