Who's the Big Dog Now?

Corvallis – It looked so easy as the Oregon Ducks (9-3, 7-2) turned the Oregon State Beavers (8-4, 7-2) every which way but loose, however in actuality it was a game the Ducks played their best and left with great respect for the opponent. Oregon won the contest 65-38.

(PHOTO) JJ and the Ducks stiff-armed OSU. (Photo by Chris Wilson)

"I am extremely proud of this group of young men – the coaches and the players," said Oregon's Mike Bellotti. "We had a very good plan. We were rested. We're still hungry. That was a key, to not give up our edge. Our offense obviously could not be stopped. They played really well on offense, but our defense came up with some big plays at the end to sort of put it out of reach."

The game was a shoot-out that recorded the most combined points (103), yards (1,157), Reser attendance (46,319), and the warmest temperature (62 degrees) in the recorded history of the Civil War. Topped by Jeremiah Johnson's 219 yards of net rushing on 17 carries, the Ducks offense was unstoppable. Oregon hit the Beavers with several explosion plays just when it looked like the OS defense was going to hold the Ducks' juggernaut to a punt. Johnson broke loose twice, on runs of 79 and 83 yards. While Johnson was giving Beaver fans a very ill feeling his running mate, LeGarrette Blount, ripped off a 46-yarder of his own to add to his 112 yards. In total, the Duck offense racked up 385 yards of rushing and three touchdowns from the familiar group of three, Johnson, Blount and Jeremiah Masoli.

"It seemed like every time we got deep it was the best thing for us because we would respond with a big play," admitted Bellotti of his team's offensive performance.

Masoli was sensational throwing for 274 yards on 11-for-17 (64.7 percent) and three touchdowns, plus adding 53 yards running the ball and a score.

The Duck receivers enjoyed one their biggest games of the season. Jeffery Maehl had five grabs for 79 yards and a score. Terence Scott had two receptions for 93 yards including one in which he broke away from a would-be tackler and ran for a 76-yard touchdown reception. Masoli found Edward Dickson on a post pattern and the big tight end gained 45 yards on one of his two catches. He finished the day with a total of 81 yards. Jaison Williams only had one catch but that was for 35 yards, and Aaron Pflugrad reeled one in for 26 yards.

"Coming into the game we could see that they (OS) were very aggressive, especially their safeties," said Masoli. "So we established our running game and opened it up with the play action. That got the safeties moving up and we threw it over the top."

Place kicker Morgan Flint hit every kick – field goals and point-afters, finishing with three field goals (all in the first half, 38, 22 and 25) plus eight extra points.

Defensively Oregon was led in tackles by rover Patrick Chung with 11 tackles (eight solos) including a tackle for loss. T.J. Ward had eight tackles (four solos) and forced a fumble. Walter Thurmond III had seven tackles (six solos) plus a pick-6 interception and score of 40 yards. Spencer Paysinger also returned an interception for a score of 70 yards to go along with his eight tackles (four solos) and two pass break-ups. Nick Reed pushed his total of sacks to 13 for the year with three today, plus he forced a fumble and broke up a pass.

"We just had to go out there and stop the run on defense," said Thurmond of the game. "Once we stopped the split belly and the reverse that they had, we got them on some of the pass routes and they really didn't have much after that."

The Beavers may have lost their chance to return to the Rose Bowl unless USC should somehow lose to UCLA next week. The Beavers fought hard throughout the game and clearly never quit.

"First, I have to give credit to Oregon, they played well," said OS Head Coach Mike Riley of the game. "But our team never quit and they always kept trying. They (Oregon) were a hard team to stop. We had to throw the ball too much and I knew it would eventually lead to a turnover."

Beaver quarterback Lyle Moevao was 27-51 for 374 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He was also sacked five times. Sammie Stroughter did about everything the Beavers could ask of him as he caught seven passes for 145 yards. Tight end Shane Morales had five catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Jeremy Francis also pulled in five balls for 65 yards and a touchdown. Brady Camp finished off the touchdown receptions with one of his two catches for a total of 22 yards. James Rodgers filled in for his brother Jacquizz Rodgers as the leading Beaver runner today with seven carries on the fly-sweep for 56 yards. Ryan McCants had 10 carries for 32 yards net. Overall the Beavers had 89 yards net rushing today.

With the win, the Ducks break a two-game losing streak and regain bragging rights in Oregon – and remain the Big Dog in the state of Oregon football.

Notes:
Johnson's first 200-yard was the fifth 100+ yard rushing game of his career.
The 219 yards Johnson ran for is the most ever by a single runner in the history of the Civil War.
Johnson also cracked the 2,000 career rushing mark and the 1,000-yard rushing mark today.
Blount set a new Oregon single-season rushing touchdown mark with 16.
With a total of 98 points this season, Blount moved into sole possession of fifth on the single-season scoring chart and tops among non-kickers.
Oregon has passed the 300-yard rushing mark for the seventh time this season.
Thurmond's touchdown return on the interception was the third of his career.
Oregon has scored 82 first half points in the past two games.
The 65 points scored on OS was the most in the history of the Civil War.
Maehl's first quarter touchdown reception was the sixth of his career and the first away from Autzen Stadium.
Prior to Flint's first field goal in the first quarter of the game, the Ducks had not successfully converted a field goal attempt in regulation since the 2003 game.
Scott's 76-yard touchdown score was the longest Duck scoring pass of the season.
Reed is now in sole possession of second place on the all-time school sack list with 28.5.
Paysinger's score off the interception was the first of his career.
This was the second time the Ducks have had double 100-yard rushers this season. The last time Oregon had two such games was in 2001.

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