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Sunday, October 12, 2008
First-half reflections: Oregon 14, UCLA 0:

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The first half was all about Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and the Ducks defense.

First, after speculation this week that a healthy Justin Roper might win back the starting job, Masoli played every snap in the half. Second, after carrying the ball just 24 times for 72 yards running the Ducks spread-option offense in the previous six games, Masoli was the Ducks primary rushing weapon, using 16 totes to gain 128 yards with a touchdown.

He was only 4-of-12 for 41 yards passing, but 24 of those yards came on a touchdown pass in the waning moments of the first half to freshman Chris Harper -- yeah, the Chris Harper who at one point was battling Masoli for the starting quarterback job.

Meanwhile, the Ducks defense that got torched in a 44-10 loss at USC, held UCLA to just 94 yards and five first downs in the first half. That last touchdown was a killer for UCLA.

First, the Bruins got the ball with 1:08 before the half but could only burn 24 seconds. Then they allowed the Ducks to go 52 yards in 22 seconds for the TD.

A 14-point deficit used to mean little in the Pac-10 and a traditional offensive power like UCLA, but that's no longer the case. Another Ducks score could ice the Bruins and their anemic attack.