Ducks Offensive Assault Too Much For Aggies

The 18th ranked Oregon Ducks scored early and often Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium, defeating the unranked Utah State Aggies 66-24 and re-writing the school record books in the process.

(PHOTO) Terence Scott (8) had 4 catches for 44 yards and this long touchdown run of 51 yards in Oregon's 66-24 route of Utah State. (Photo by Chris Wilson)

Seven different players registered touchdowns Saturday, as the Ducks piled up the points against Utah State before another sellout crowd at Autzen. Aided by the tremendous rushing of LeGarrette Blount, Andre Crenshaw, and Remene Alston and the impressive receiving efforts of Terence Scott, Ed Dickson, and Jeff Maehl, the Oregon offense set a new school record for total offense, accumulating a staggering 688 yards via the ground and air.

"The fact that we spread the ball around and a lot of people touched it should get us a lot of good recruits in the future, so put that down," said Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti to laughs as he addressed the media after the game. "Yardage, to me, is great, but it's not the most important thing. Points are the most important thing…the yardage totals are very good though because that means we're keeping the ball, possessing the ball, and moving the ball."

The score got out of hand early, as Oregon jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter en route to a 38-14 lead at halftime. After an interception on the Ducks first drive thrown by quarterback Justin Roper, the offense responded admirably after the defense forced a quick three-and-out, with Roper engineering a methodical 10 play, 61 yard drive that was capped off by a rushing touchdown from Andre Crenshaw from three yards out. The Oregon defense stymied the Aggie offense once again on the ensuing possession, allowing the Ducks to march up the field and score on consecutive series with Roper connecting with wide receiver Terence Scott for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Crenshaw and Blount filled in for running back Jeremiah Johnson, who was sidelined on the second play of the game with a shoulder injury that kept him out for the remainder of the contest.

"I didn't really hurt me at all after they popped it back in," Johnson revealed. "I was ready to go back in the game after they did it on the sidelines but they made the decision to keep me out and it was probably better for me in the long run."

Offensively speaking, the second quarter proved to be the most exhilarating for the Ducks. Spearheaded by long touchdown runs by Blount and Scott, the Oregon offense hit a noticeable rhythm, as they exploded for 24 points. Blount led all rushers with 132 yards on 18 carries, scoring both of his rushing touchdowns in the second stanza. Blount's 36 yard scoring gallop was arguably his most impressive play of the game, as he showed great vision and explosion in utilizing the massive running lane that was provided for him courtesy of the Oregon offensive line. After suffering from a case of the drops in the first quarter, Scott, who finished with bounced back with his aforementioned touchdown reception along with a brilliant 51 yard touchdown run off a receiver sweep in which he displayed great speed and moves in the open field.

"He's become a very reliable guy," said Roper about Scott. "He (Scott) can shake and make a guy miss, he's very fast and he catches the ball consistently which is the most important thing."

The Ducks continued their offensive onslaught in the second half as they kicked off the third quarter by mixing in terrific play calling that predominantly featured the receiving skills of tight end Ed Dickson. Dickson, who was an apparent afterthought in the Oregon passing game against Washington, was the Ducks leading receiver today with 70 yards on 6 catches.

"I feel good to just get back on track, to get this chemistry with Roper and the other young quarterbacks," Dickson admitted. "Last week I didn't get any catches because when Roper went down they kept me in for protection."

Midway through the third quarter, Chris Harper came on in relief of Roper, who ran for an 11-yard touchdown before exiting the game. As he did in the Washington game, Harper continued to flash his outstanding potential at quarterback, personally accounting for 65 yards of total offense (25 rushing, 40 passing) and one touchdown passes in his first significant amount of extended playing time as an Oregon Duck.

"We played very good today," observed Harper of the game. "I felt like we never let up on them. There might have been a couple of spurts where we eased off but we always turned it right back up and we came out with a really big win."

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