Trick or Treat: Oregon rolls

Kenny Wheaton lives, but today his name was Ramone Reed. Or maybe it was Chris Solomona. Each executed their own impersonations of Wheaton's 'The Pick' Saturday as Oregon took advantage of seven Husky turnovers to defeat Washington, 31-6, ten years after Wheaton's improbable play.

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  • Press Box Notes
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  • UW Game Recap
  • Reed's play was the turning point of the game. With the fourth quarter barely underway and the Ducks holding onto a 17-6 lead, the senior from Berkeley, California made a break on a ball intended for Bobby Whithorne at the Oregon goal-line - almost the identical place Wheaton made his play in 1994.

    With 4:12 left in the game and the Dawgs still only down 11, Solomona made an athletic tip to himself of a screen pass at the Washington 10-yard line and scampered in for the score. Terrence Whitehead's 30-yard rumble up the middle with 2:36 left iced the game for Oregon.

    The Huskies (1-7, 0-5) could not have imagined a worse-case scenario, with five of their seven miscues coming in the final thirty minutes. All of their interceptions also came in the second half, two of them as the Huskies were driving in Oregon territory - including Reed's pick - stifling any momentum created by Washington's defense.

    "I don't know where he (Paus) was trying to put the ball," Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson said after the game, shaking his head. "We had a combination route going, layering in the end zone, and I don't know where he was trying to put the ball.

    "Our guys put a lot of energy into this. I thought we handled things well. I thought we handled the noise well, being on the road, and the intense dislike for us here. We made plays, stayed in the game, settled down on defense. And I thought the third quarter we started to control the game, and if we had done anything on offense - anything - we have a chance to win the game. But you look at the score and it says Oregon won easily. But I don't think anybody for Oregon thinks they won that game easily."

    "I thought our defense did an awesome job, not only scoring the touchdown, but turning away several touchdown opportunities for Washington," Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti said. "Getting turnovers, interceptions, it made the difference in the game. We were ball hawks in the secondary and our defensive front played very well taking the run away."

    "I wanna known what he (Solomona) is eating, but I've got to do the same because he has two tugs on the D-line and none of us have any, so we're all jealous," Oregon defensive end Devan Long said of Solomona's play. "But he played a great game."

    Paus finished the game 14-36 for 211 yards and no touchdowns. Craig Chambers, making his first collegiate start, played impressively. The redshirt frosh from Mill Creek caught 4 passes for 106 yards.

    "He's been improving and improving and really had a nice day," Gilbertson said of Chambers. "He understands where he needs to get to. Hopefully this will give him some momentum to go in and make some more plays. It was fun to watch him make plays.

    "He just started to look better, look faster and get more explosive off the line. And he started catching the ball in practice. Before he wasn't. He ran some beautiful routes tonight and made some great catches. I'm happy for Craig. I know people have been wondering where Craig has been and I know that's been hard for him. I'm pleased that he stepped up like that."

    As has been the case the previous two games, Oregon started out strong. They marched 80 yards, with some help by the Washington defense, jumping out to an early lead on a Kellen Clemens-to- Cameron Colvin 16-yard pass. With a 10:48 to 4:12 time advantage and a 116-26 gain in total yardage, this game eerily resembled the first quarter of the offensive debacle at USC.

    And if it weren't for the generosity of Marcus Maxwell, the Ducks would have had a sizeable advantage going into the locker room at half. Maxwell, a senior receiver from Hercules, California, fell down on an end-around pass that would have certainly been an Oregon touchdown. He later tipped a pass in the end zone that wound up in the hands of UW safety Dashon Goldson.

    Later in the first half, UW tight end Joe Toledo forced Justin Phinisee to cough up the ball on an Oregon punt return, but the Huskies were not able to capitalize on either turnover. Kyle Trew's recovery at the Ducks' 35-yard line yielded a three-and-out.

    Oregon executed a perfect two-minute drill at the end of the half to take a lead that was never seriously threatened. They took advantage of a Phinisee 19-yard punt return to march down the field unabated. Their 10-play, 65-yard drive pushed the Ducks' margin in the first half to 14.

    UW return man Anthony Russo gave the Ducks a free shot at three more with a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but Jared Siegel was not able to cash in on a 47-yard attempt.

    The third quarter was a see-saw affair, with the Huskies drawing first blood. Evan Knudson nailed his second field goal of the game, a 37-yard field goal to cap off a five-and-a-half minute drive to start the quarter.

    "We made a couple of adjustments at halftime and got some things squared away and our guys performed better," Gilbertson said. Washington outgained Oregon 155-26 in the third quarter. "But we haven't scored a touchdown in two games. It's a nightmare. You can make all the adjustments you want, but if have to put the ball in the end zone.

    "I'm sick about it. It's a nightmare we keep on living week after week. It's exhausting. The kids have hung in well, have really battled. We drive down two times and feel like we've got some great momentum going - and to come up with two interceptions in a row is just an exhausting, heartbreaking thing for our guys."

    "The defense was amazing today," Oregon QB Kellen Clemens said. Clemens was 21-34 for 134 yards and two touchdowns, both to true freshman receiver Cameron Colvin. "Not only did they hold them out of the end zone, but when we were struggling they started scoring. This was a defense-dominated performance by the Ducks. We'll take a 31-6 win over the Dawgs any day."

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