3:30 PM ET, September 27, 2003
Autzen Stadium, EUGENE, OR
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- When Washington State saw Oregon start to panic early, the Cougars knew they had the Ducks.
Matt Kegel threw three touchdown passes and steadily guided the No. 21 Cougars, who took advantage of seven-first half turnovers to beat the 10th-ranked Ducks 55-16 Saturday.
Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) grabbed national attention last week of its 31-27 victory over Michigan, but was done in by its own mistakes. The Ducks had nine turnovers and had two punts blocked.
"I could see it in their eyes," Washington State safety Jeremy Bohannon said. "They could see they were playing a tough opponent. We tried to turn the intimidation factor around on them."
Washington State (4-1, 1-0), the defending Pac-10 champions, went to the air and appeared to completely confuse the Ducks -- who had successfully stopped Michigan's vaunted rushing game.
"We were still thinking about the Michigan game, and I really don't think we were really fired up," Oregon receiver Samie Parker said. "Everyone is usually fired up in the locker room, but we were really quiet today. We were just kind of waltzing around, and I don't think we were ready to play."
Kegel completed 13 of 33 passes for 242 yards for the Cougars, who also got a pair of scoring runs from Jermaine Green. The Cougars' only loss of the season came on Sept. 6, when they blew a 19-0 lead and lost 29-26 in overtime at Notre Dame.
"We believed in ourselves and good things happened for us," Kegel said about the change. "It was the Cougars' day."
Washington State, coming off a 23-13 victory over New Mexico last weekend, struck first with Kegel's 41-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Moore midway through the first quarter.
Drew Dunning added a 41-yard field goal to make it 10-0, and the Ducks rotated in quarterback Jason Fife to spell starter Kellen Clemens.
But Fife's first pass was intercepted by Bohannon, and on the Cougars' first play from scrimmage Kegel hit Devard Darling with a 38-yard scoring pass to make it 17-0.
It was the first interception thrown by an Oregon quarterback this season, and one of seven the Ducks' two QBs would have in the game.
The Ducks appeared to swing momentum near the close of the first quarter when Keith Lewis blocked a Washington State punt for a safety. Lewis has blocked a punt in each of his last three games.
But Oregon's renewed energy was snuffed when Fife's long pass to Parker bounced off the receiver's chest in the end zone. Parker took his anger out on a defender for a 15-yard personal foul, and Fife's pass was intercepted on his next throw.
Kegel responded by marching the Cougars downfield to set up Green's 1-yard touchdown run.
"They were getting frustrated," Washington State defensive lineman Jeremy Williams said. "They were out there, working hard and we kept getting to them and swatting their passes."
The Cougars went up 31-2 when cornerback Karl Paymah tipped a pass from Clemens to Parker into the hands of Virgil Williams, who ran the interception back 40 yards for another score.
A blocked Oregon punt that Bohannon ran back 4 yards into the end zone made it 38-2 for Washington State at halftime.
Oregon finally found offensive success with Terrence Whitehead's 4-yard scoring run early in the second half.
Green's second touchdown came from 23 yards out with 2:05 left in the third quarter, but Oregon quickly answered with Clemens' 26-yard TD pass to Demetrius Williams to make it 45-16.
Kegel added a 13-yard scoring pass to Troy Bienemann and Dunning hit a 45-yard field goal for the final margin.
Oregon's quarterback tandem of Fife and Clemens, who went into the game leading the Pac-10 in passing efficiency, threw five interceptions in the first half alone.
Clemens, who started, was 16-of-34 for 232 yards and four interceptions, while Fife was 8-of-24 for 123 yards and three interceptions.
"I think our front four were pushing that pocket and tipping passes," Washington State coach Bill Doba said. "That killed them as much as anything."
Washington State, which beat Oregon 32-21 last season in Pullman en route to the conference title, had not been to Eugene since 1999.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-16||3-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-4|
|TD||8:38||SAMMY MOORE 41 YD PASS FROM MATT KEGEL (DREW DUNNING KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 51 yards.
|FG||5:30||DREW DUNNING 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -5 yards.
|TD||5:04||DEVARD DARLING 38 YD PASS FROM MATT KEGEL (DREW DUNNING KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 38 yards.
|TD||11:00||JERMAINE GREEN 1 YD RUN (DREW DUNNING KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 48 yards.
|TD||8:36||VIRGIL WILLIAMS 40 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (DREW DUNNING KICK)||31||2|
|TD||0:21||JEREMY BOHANNON 4 YD BLOCKED PUNT RETURN (DREW DUNNING KICK)||38||2|
|TD||9:28||TERRENCE WHITEHEAD 4 YD RUN (JARED SIEGEL KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 47 yards.
|TD||2:05||JERMAINE GREEN 23 YD RUN (DREW DUNNING KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 48 yards.
|TD||1:45||DEMETRIUS WILLIAMS 26 YD PASS FROM KELLEN CLEMENS (JARED SIEGEL KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 26 yards.
|TD||14:09||TROY BIENEMANN 13 YD PASS FROM MATT KEGEL (DREW DUNNING KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 49 yards.
|FG||10:37||DREW DUNNING 45 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 36 yards.