Ducks Validate the Ticket - 48-13

Tempe, Ariz. -- Valadation is what the Oregon Ducks were looking for and after the final whistle sounded on Saturday, all indications are that Oregon football is very good. Anyone who thinks differently, well that's their problem – at least from the Ducks' point of view. Oregon completely dominated Arizona State and recorded a 48-13 win to go 4-0 for the year and 2-0 in the Pac-10.

(PHOTO) Oregon's Dexter Manley Jr., sacks ASU's Rudy Carpenter for 5-yards during the second quarter of the Oregon-ASU game in Tempe. (Photo by Chris Wilson)

The Ducks stormed out of the bus into a hot Arizona day, but the heat didn't seem to have any affect on the team from Eugene as Oregon burst out to 24-3 lead at halftime. Just to stay consistent the Ducks seemingly scored at will and did not allow Arizona to score a touchdown on offense.

Oregon finished the day off by putting up 24 more points in the second half of the game.

"I thought our players played with great purpose today," said Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti. "The heat was not a factor and I'm pleased with our conditioning."

Dennis Dixon continued to demonstrate his complete control as the field leader for the Ducks. Dixon finished the day throwing for 19-for-30, 215 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The junior quarterback seemed more calm and poised than he has all season and felt that his game was a matter of good solid work.

"It's about getting repetitions," said "Once you get those reps, it goes a long way, working at it live and and going after it. It's a test and I think I passed."

Dixon was aided with a huge effort from two guys that are becoming the hammer and anvil of the Oregon offense, wide receiver Jaison Williams and running back Jonathan Stewart. Williams finished the day with 10 catches for 137 yards while Stewart picked up 142 yards on just 12 carries with a long run of 63 yards. Stewart's running mate in the backfield, Jeremiah Johnson had 89 yards on six carries and a touchdown. Cameron Colvin scored on a rushing touchdown while Dan Kause and Jordan Kent had touchdown catches.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the play of the Oregon defense particularly the alleged thin defensive line that recorded a total six quarterback sacks, three by Dexter Manley. While there was cause for joy with the job the defensive line put out a big draw back is that starter Cole Linehan broke his right foot and most likely will be lost until at least the Civil War game.

"We challenged them pretty good," said Defensive Coordinator Nick Alitotti of the defensive line's effort. "We needed to have some bodies and guys step up."

Blair Phillips was the team's leading tackler with nine (seven solo). Terrell Ward also made his presence felt in the first quarter picking off a Rudy Carpenter pass. Much concern had been expressed prior to this game that the Oregon young secondary would be tested all day, but as it turned out Carpenter was only 6-of-19, 33 yards and the interception. ASU was more successful running the ball. Ryan Torain had 114 yards on 19 carries, but the Sun Devils never got untracked offensively all day.

Should this win quiet all the critics that had sounded off over the last two weeks while the Ducks were taking a bye week? For Bellotti, he'll let his team do its talking on the field and let those who have a different opinion sort things out for themselves.

"I think that is for other people actually," Bellotti responded to the question of whether the Ducks were validated by the win. "I thought all along that we were validated...I thought it was important to go out and play well and not be determined by somebody else's call."

The Ducks now must turn their attention quickly on California. A team that in many ways is a mirror image of Oregon, as both teams run out the spread offense, having potent running attacks and can score lots of points. The Ducks do need to get some help back in the form of defensive tackle Jeremy Gibbs to replace the injured Linehan. Until then though, Oregon is 4-0 on the year, 2-0 in the Pac-10 and have a lot of people believing.

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