Ducks leading Bulldogs 42-14 at halftime

Eugene, OR— Dennis Dixon and the University of Oregon Ducks came into the Fresno State game looking to live up to their week two hype. Dixon piled up 368 total offensive yards on his way to earning Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week and USA Today's National Player of the Week awards.

The rest of the team has taken Dixon's lead and amassed some equally impressive statistics. Oregon's running game has imposed its will in the first two games of the season en route to an average of 335 yards per game. Oregon is ranked third nationally and first in the Pac-10 on the ground, and that trend continued in the first half of the game.

Jonathan Stewart took the opening kickoff at the 6 yard line and ran it back to the 40 yard line for a 36 yard return. Jeremiah Johnson picked up 10 yards on an end around to move the chains for the first down, then Brian Paysinger followed suit and picked up another first down on his own end around. Jonathan Stewart was next to get into the action with his own 11 yard run for yet another first down. The momentum of the first drive stopped after three consecutive plays were stopped behind the line of scrimmage and the Ducks were forced to punt.

Following a Fresno State penalty on the Ducks punt, the Bulldogs found themselves lined up on the 3 yard line in the loudest corner of the stadium. Fresno State punted after a quick three-and-out as the Duck defense held them to minimal success on the ground.

The second offensive possession for the Ducks looked similar to the first as Dixon started off with an 11-yard option run that was quickly followed by a fourteen yard pass. After two short runs, Dixon connected with Jaison Williams for a 12 yard first down. Jonathan Stewart then took back-to-back hand offs for big yardage, including a 9 yard touchdown scamper to the right side of the end zone. The drive went 7 plays 61 yards. Oregon 7, Fresno State 0.

The Fresno State offense took the field and picked up a quick first down before the Duck defense took over. On third and long Patrick Chung came up big again for the Ducks as he forced a fumble that Walter Thurmond III picked up and returned 25 yards for a touchdown. The fumble recovery and subsequent touchdown were the first of Thurmond's career. Oregon 14, Fresno 0.

Fresno State's third possession of the game was plagued by penalties including illegal substitution, illegal formation, and a false start penalty. However, the Bulldogs overcame their mistakes and picked up some clutch first downs. A tackle 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage by Jerome Boyd was negated by a personal foul face-mask penalty that moved the Bulldogs into the Oregon red zone. A few plays later, the Ducks gave up the touchdown on a 1 yard run. The Ducks tightened up their defense after giving up the touchdown and David Faaeteete blocked the Fresno State PAT. Oregon 14, Fresno State 6.

A roughing the passer penalty on the Ducks next possession kept the Oregon from facing a third and long situation, and Dixon took advantage of the Bulldog miscue with two consecutive passes for big yardage. The first pass went to Ed Dickson across the middle for about fifteen yards, but the second pass was the one that will make the highlight reel. Dixon found Jeremiah Johnson for a 35 yard pass across the middle that looked good for about 15 yards until Johnson made a signature cut to the outside to find his wall of blockers. Johnson tiptoed the sidelines and dove into the end zone with little room to spare. Oregon 21, Fresno State 6.

On the first play of the next Fresno State possession, the Duck defense picked up yet another turnover. Walter Thurmond III got into the mix again with a leaping interception that he returned for 30 yards to the Fresno State 13 yard line. The poor pass was forced by penetration into the Fresno State pocket by freshman standout Tonio Cellotto. A few short rushing plays later the Ducks found themselves on the Fresno State 2 yard line, and the Dixon-to-Dickson combination connected again for the short touchdown pass. Oregon 28, Fresno State 6.

On the next Fresno State possession, QB Tom Brandstater connected with WR Seyi Ajirotutu with a long play to the Oregon 36 yard line before a false start penalty and some solid Oregon defense backed them up to the Oregon 43 yard line. The Bulldogs punted on fourth down and pinned the Ducks on their own 12 yard line.

The Ducks scored 18 seconds later when Jonathan Stewart took a handoff up the middle and outran the speedy Fresno State defense 88 yards in 18 seconds. The run was the longest in Autzen Stadium history, surpassing Don Reynolds' 85 yard scamper in 1972 against UCLA. Oregon 35, Fresno State 6.

Oregon stopped Fresno State again on their next possession, highlighted by a play from Kwame Agyeman in which he tackled the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage for a 2 yard loss. The Duck defense forced another punt a few plays later. The Ducks offense sputtered on their next possession and went three-and out before they also were forced to punt.

Matthew Harper and the Ducks stopped the next Fresno State drive on fourth down, and took over at the Oregon 38 yard line. Dennis Dixon picked up a first down on a quarterback keeper up the middle for about 15 yards to start the drive. Andre Crenshaw saw early action in the game, and picked up a key block to help spring Jonathan Stewart for a 12 yard gain to the Fresno State 38 yard line. Cameron Colvin picked up an 8 yard catch before Dennis Dixon scampered for a pickup of 22 yards to the 3 yard line. Dixon then faked a handoff up the middle and dove into the end zone for a 3 yard touchdown. Oregon 42, Fresno State 6.

The Bulldogs started with great field position near mid-field as they benefited from a big kickoff return. Brandstater connected with WR Marlon Moore for a long reception into Oregon's red zone. The Ducks seemed to hold the Bulldogs on third and long when Faeteete sacked Brandstater near the 20 yard line, but a penalty by the Ducks gave the Bulldogs a first and goal at the Oregon 3 yard line. Matthew Harper deflected a pass in the corner of the end zone to break up a sure touchdown, but the Bulldogs would not be contained, and scored on a 1 yard pass to FB Vince Pasco. Fresno State succeeded on their subsequent 2 point conversion. Oregon 42, Fresno State 14.

First half stats show that the Ducks continue to impress on the ground.

Oregon rushed for 222 yards on 25 carries, led by Jonathan Stewart who picked up 141 yards on 12 carries (11.8 avg) and two touchdowns.

Fresno State's leading rusher is Lonyae Miller, who has picked up 39 yards on 15 carries (2.6 avg).

Dennis Dixon has completed 8 of 11 attempts for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Dixon has 151 all-purpose yards in the first half.


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