Final—Oregon 35, Arizona State 23

59,379 people packed Autzen stadium tonight to watch the Oregon Ducks and Arizona State Sun Devils battle it out for Pac-10 supremacy. The two offensive juggernauts combined for 34 points in the first half, but both defenses stiffened in the second 30 minutes. Oregon prevailed in the end, but not before it suffered some potentially serious bruises.

Arizona State opened up the second half with back-to-back big gains on the ground. Rudy Carpenter scrambled to the Oregon 47 yard line and Keegan Herring following with a 9 yard run of his own. Nick Reed and Will Tukuafu combined to sack Carpenter at the Oregon 33 yard line, then the Autzen noise forced a false start penalty that pushed the ball back to the 38 for a lengthy 3rd and 17 yard attempt. The Devils picked up 5 yards and attempted a 50 yard field goal that easily made it over the cross bar. Oregon 21, Arizona State 16

Jonathan Stewart showed of his wheels on the following kickoff as he sliced his way through the Sun Devil squad en route to the Oregon 49 yard line. On 3rd and 11, Jaison Williams let a perfectly thrown 52 yard pass slip through his fingers in the end zone to force an Oregon three and out. Josh Syria buried the Sun Devils deep in their own territory with a perfectly placed punt to the ASU 4 yard line.

ASU backed up 1 yard to their 3 yard line in three plays before they brought in the punt team. Oregon started their next possession on the Devil's 48 yard line, and picked up a quick first down on consecutive running plays. The third play of the drive went to Jonathan Stewart for a 33 yard run that ended when Stewart tiptoed the sideline and plowed his way across the goal line for another Oregon touchdown. Oregon 28, Arizona State 16

Rudy Carpenter continued to look sharp as he drove the Sun Devils down the field again. ASU reached the Oregon 36 yard line but was stopped short on 4th and 1 to give the ball back to Oregon on downs.

Jaison Williams is having a bad day regardless of what the box score says. He dropped another perfect pass on third down that would have easily kept the Duck's drive alive.

Keegan Herring broke through a couple arm tackles and beat an Oregon CB down the sideline to pick up 26 yards on the Devil's first play of the drive. However, the Duck defense quickly recovered to force an ASU punt after Jerome Boyd sacked Carpenter on third down.

Oregon started their next drive on the 20 yard line after the ASU punt bounced into the end zone. Drew Davis put his name in the box score with a 9 yard catch to the 29 before Andre Crenshaw picked up the first down. Crenshaw picked up another 15 yards after a Dixon scramble to move the ball to the ASU 44 yard line. Stewart picked up 15 yards then dragged an ASU defender 7 yards on the next play to set up 2nd down and 3 at the Devil 24. Dixon scrambled 5 yards to the 19 on third down to keep the chains moving. With one second remaining in the third quarter, Dennis Dixon hooked up with Drew Davis for a 19 yard pass and catch in the end zone. This was Davis' first touchdown as a member of the Oregon Ducks. Oregon 35, Arizona State 16

Jairus Byrd kept the sack-fest alive for the Ducks by wrapping up Carpenter on 2nd down. The Devils picked up a couple yards on 3rd down but punted on 4th and long.

Dennis Dixon scrambled for a 1st down on the Duck's first play of the drive, but went down holding his knee after a hard tackle. Dixon hobbled off of the field on his own, but was replaced by Brady Leaf. Leaf threw a perfect pass to Ed Dickson on first down that went incomplete due to defensive pass interference. The penalty put the Ducks on the ASU 44 yard line with a fresh set of downs, but the Ducks could not get any farther. Josh Syria continued to punt well and pinned the Devils at their own 5 yard line with a perfect coffin-corner kick.

Rudy Carpenter threw a perfect pass for a big gain out to the 37 yard line to start the next drive. Jarius Byrd was whistled for pass interference on a crucial third down to keep the ASU drive going. Walter Thurmond III broke up consecutive passes on 2nd and 3rd down from the Oregon 48 to force ASU into a 4th and 10 attempt. Rudy Carpenter found a receiver across the middle for a 32 yard completion that kept the drive alive…for a minute. On the next play, Walter Thurmond III picked off Carpenter in the end zone to stop the defensive bleeding.

Dennis Dixon stayed on the sidelines on the next Duck's possession, so the workload shifted to Jonathan Stewart. Stewart picked up one first down, but the Ducks could not pick up another before they were forced to punt.

The Sun Devil's next drive was quick and methodical. Carpenter threw three passes for big yardage including a 54 yard completion and an 11 yard touchdown pass to TE Brent Miller. The 76 yard drive took less than 1 minute, keeping precious time on the clock for the Sun Devils. Oregon 35, Arizona State 23

The Oregon offense continued to struggle with Brady Leaf under center—punting again after gaining minimal yardage. Syria booted a high 42 yard punt, but the Devil's still started out with good field position. Nick Reed picked up another sack for the Ducks on second down to force another 3rd and very long. Rudy Carpenter connected with his receiver for a huge gain across the middle that was long enough for a first down, but the ball carrier fumbled and Mark Asper recovered for the Ducks.

After a few possessions with limited success, Brady Leaf came out running…literally. Leaf faked a couple handoffs and scrambled for enough yardage to pick up a crucial first down that the Ducks needed to keep the clock moving. After three short running attempts, the Ducks faced 4th down, but there were only 21 seconds left on the clock. Syria booted another sky-high punt to pin the Devils deep. Will Tukuafu sacked Rudy Carpenter on the next play to end the game on a high note for the victorious Oregon Ducks.

Final Score—Oregon 35, Arizona State 23


Key Duck Contributors

Dennis Dixon showed he deserves the Heisman hype he has been receiving lately. The Duck offense was clicking before its star quarterback went down with what appeared to be a knee injury.

Starting MLB John Bacon is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Nick Reed was second on the team in tackles with 11, and picked up 3 1/2 sacks to bring the team total to 9.

Walter Thurmond III intercepted a pass in the end zone that stopped the Sun Devils from gaining momentum late in the second half.

Patrick Chung led the Ducks with 15 tackles.

First half recap

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