EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's new offense is rounding into form,
and the timing couldn't be better with top-ranked Southern
California due up next for the Ducks.
Kellen Clemens threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns to lead a
balanced Oregon attack in a 37-34 victory over the No. 23 Bulldogs
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Fresno
State (1-1), which also had won their last three against Pac-10
After seeing their running game stagnate and settling too often
for field goals in their first two games, the Ducks (3-0) saw
strides with their new spread-option system under coordinator Gary
Crowton, the former Brigham Young coach.
"Playing the No. 1 team in the nation, at our house, will be
another great opportunity for this team to show what they've got,"
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "With this win today we've set
the stage for a great matchup next week."
Demetrius Williams caught eight passes for 95 yards and two
touchdowns, while Terrence Whitehead rushed for 96 yards and a
score, and caught another TD. Clemens completed 28 of 38 passes.
Whitehead took a seemingly routine pass from Clemens and ran it
willy-nilly 42 yards into the end zone, hopping over downed
teammates and shrugging off clinging defenders to make it 37-27 for
the Ducks with 4:16 left.
"We can say the forbidden word now, can't we?" said Clemens,
whose team had been repeatedly reminded not to think ahead to USC.
But Fresno State kept it interesting with Paul Pinegar's 14-yard
touchdown pass to Matt Rivera to narrow it to 37-34 with 1:50 left.
Pinegar completed 33 of 43 passes for 418 yards and three scores
for Fresno State, which was ranked in the AP's preseason poll for
the first time but wasn't challenged much in a season-opening 55-17
victory at home over Weber State.
The Bulldogs were stung Saturday by 16 penalties for 155 yards.
"I don't believe we're an undisciplined team," Fresno State
coach Pat Hill said. "Obviously we were in the wrong place in the
wrong times in critical situations. I mean, 16 penalties for 155
yards -- that's unheard of. It's unbelievable."
After Clint Stitser's 27-yard field goal on Fresno State's first
possession, tailback Wendell Mathis ran for a 3-yard touchdown and
caught a 20-yard scoring pass to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-0.
The Ducks didn't score until the second quarter, when Clemens
found Williams with a 23-yard TD pass.
Paul Martinez surprisingly missed the extra point after missing
a 41-yard field goal earlier in the game.
Martinez had 11 field goals going into the game against Fresno
State, and had twice been named the Pac-10's special teams player
of the week.
The Ducks narrowed it to 17-13 on Clemens' 46-yard pass to
Oregon took a 20-17 lead before halftime when Williams caught a
12-yard TD pass from Clemens.
The Bulldogs tied it up with Stitser's 27-yard field goal to
open the second half.
Oregon went back ahead on Whitehead's 20-yard scoring run, and
made it 30-20 with a 45-yard field goal from Martinez.
Fresno State narrowed the deficit to 30-27 on Pinegar's 36-yard
touchdown pass to Paul Williams late in the third quarter.
"We knew we had matchup opportunities on the outside and the
ability to have a big day throwing the ball, we just didn't make
the big plays when we needed them," Pinegar said.
The Ducks won their opener on the road against Houston 38-24 and
followed it up with a 47-14 win at home against Division I-AA
Montana. They had six field goals against the Grizzlies, leading to
questions about the effectiveness of the new offense.
"Finally this is becoming the Oregon offense," Bellotti said.
"We took things from a bunch of teams, but we're finally making it
The Ducks were without freshman tailback Jonathan Stewart
(ankle) and defensive end Devan Long (knee).
Oregon has won four straight against the Bulldogs to take a 4-2
advantage in the series.
In 2002, the last time the teams met, the then-No. 13 Ducks had
to rally from behind to beat Fresno State 28-24 at Autzen. The
Bulldogs were without starting quarterback Jeff Grady so Pinegar
made his second career start, completing 16 of 36 passes for 201
yards and two touchdowns.
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