PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Oregon coach Mike Bellotti thought he
might have fretted too much about his team's performance in the red
zone. His Ducks proved him right Saturday, scoring on six of seven
trips inside Washington State's 20-yard line.
Kellen Clemens completed 36 of 55 passes for a career-high 437
yards and three touchdowns and ran for three more scores to help
Oregon rally for a 41-38 victory over Washington State.
"I worry less about red zone execution, in all honesty,"
Bellotti said after telling reporters earlier this week his team
would focus on its performance near the goal line. "I think we're
a good red-zone team. I think again that we've done some things
this year by missing some field goals, by shooting ourselves in the
foot, that aren't characteristic of our teams."
"I am very proud of the spirit and fight of this group," he
said. "I am proud that we won the game, that we came back and
overcame our own mistakes."
Clemens' 13-yard TD run with 1:21 remaining gave Oregon (2-3,
1-1 Pac-10) its first lead in the game and ensured the Ducks would
not start the season with two conference losses for the first time
since 1997. Oregon had 646 yards of offense.
Josh Swogger threw three touchdown passes for Washington State
(3-2, 1-1) which was unable to stop the Ducks, who scored 27 points
in the fourth quarter.
Washington State led 38-34 with five minutes remaining, but was
forced to punt with 3:25 to go, setting up Oregon's 60-yard,
seven-play go-ahead drive.
Tim Day caught TD passes of 10 and 14 yards in the fourth
quarter as Oregon stormed back from a 35-21 deficit. Clemens also
found Marcus Maxwell in the end zone with an 11-yard scoring strike
in the final period.
Day finished with eight catches for 152 yards and two TDs.
"This is the craziest I've been in, we went back and forth,"
the junior tight end said. "Kellen threw the ball really well.
Kellen had a great game; three rushing touchdowns, threw the ball
great today. He was poised in the pocket."
Clemens' second TD run in the second quarter -- a 3-yard burst --
tied the game at 14-14 at the half. Washington State had first half
scores when Swogger hit Jason Hill with scoring strikes of 39 and
Jerome Harrison broke the halftime tie with a 1 yard TD run to
cap an 80-yard drive to open the second half, giving the Cougars a
21-14 lead. Michael Bumpus broke through a scrum at midfield and
returned a punt 52 yards to give Washington State a 27-14 lead at
the end of the third quarter.
Terrence Whitehead was the Ducks' workhorse, rushing for 166
yards on 22 carries and catching seven passes for 71 yards.
Demetrius Williams caught most of his 12 passes for 126 yards in
the second half.
Oregon secured the win despite losing three of six fumbles and
being flagged 13 times for 104 yards of penalties. Washington State
lost its one fumble.
Cougars kicker Loren Langley hit a 34-yard field goal midway
through the fourth quarter to complete Washington State's scoring.
He missed earlier from 46 yards out.
Swogger completed 13 of 36 attempts for 231 yards. He was
intercepted twice. Harrison led Cougars rushers with 117 yards on
14 carries. Swogger also threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Trandon
"I think Oregon played a great ball game," Cougars coach Bill
Doba said. "They could have folded up their tent when we were up
14 on them, but they kept battling back."
Jared Siegel missed a 49-yard field goal attempt just before the
half after an Oregon drive to the WSU 9 was stalled by penalties.
"I'm disappointed with our penalty situation. It is something
that has to change," Bellotti said. "Having said that, the fact
that we overcame those things, that those guys did not give up,
never lost faith despite some unbelievable plays and some
unbelievable calls is to their credit."
"The most important thing is that we are 1-1 in the Pac-10,"
Bellotti said. "It's a new season for us."