10:15 PM ET, October 8, 2005
Sun Devil Stadium, TEMPE, AZ
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Oregon took a cue from No. 1 USC and unleashed the running game against Arizona State. The result was Duck domination.
Kellen Clemens threw for 279 yards and Terrence Whitehead ran for 122 to power No. 25 Oregon to a 31-17 victory over the No. 17 Sun Devils on Saturday night.
"The offensive line was winning at the line of scrimmage, so I felt like we could run all day," Whitehead said.
He also caught nine passes for 100 yards for the Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10), who scored 24 consecutive points after the Sun Devils took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
"When he's healthy," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said of his running back, "he's one of the best all-around football players in this conference."
The Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2), coming off an emotional, bruising 38-28 home loss to No. 1 USC, lost to Oregon for the first time in four years.
"It's nice to climb back in this Pac-10 race," Bellotti said.
Sam Keller was 31-of-56 for 277 yards and two touchdowns. He threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Clemens was 20-of-39. He threw for two touchdowns and was picked off twice. Whitehead scored on a 6-yard reception and a 1-yard run.
The Ducks rushed for 234 yards to 53 for Arizona State.
"I thought our ability to move the football, run the football, was probably the difference in the game," Bellotti said. "We thought going in we would have a good chance to do that."
USC came back from a 21-3 halftime deficit to literally run over the Sun Devils in the second half. The Ducks obviously were watching.
"We did have problems stopping the run, and Oregon did a nice job," Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said. "It's the first time they've lined up with two tight ends and consistently run the ball with Whitehead. We wondered if they would try to do more of that after what happened with 'SC and they did."
Keller, operating behind an injury-riddled line, was too beat up to talk to reporters after the game.
"Tonight we got outcoached and we got outplayed," Koetter said. "It's not a fun feeling."
Matt Evensen, a walk-on freshman kicking in place of injured Paul Martinez, kicked three field goals, including a 51-yarder as the first half ended to put the Ducks ahead 13-10.
Evensen's 42-yard field goal early in the third quarter made it 16-10, then Nick Reed blocked Chris MacDonald's punt and recovered at the Arizona State 1. Whitehead scored from there, then Clemens' tossed a shuffle pass to James Finley for the two-point conversion, and Oregon led 24-10 with 7:33 left in the third quarter.
Arizona State needed only 1:25 to go 69 yards in six plays. Keller was 4-for-5 on the drive, capped by a 1-yard scoring pass to Zach Miller that cut it to 24-17 with 6:08 left in the third. But it was the only glimpse of the Sun Devils' usual high-powered offense all night.
"We didn't show up tonight," Sun Devils wide receiver Derek Hagan said. "It seemed like guys' minds weren't into the game too much. Some guys were there, some guys weren't."
An interception by Zach Cantanese had Arizona State threatening for the tying touchdown. But Justin Phinisee picked off Keller's pass and returned it 51 yards to the Sun Devils 33.
The Ducks drove to the 1, but Arizona State held.
The Sun Devils couldn't capitalize though, and Clemens' 34-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Demetrius Williams put Oregon ahead 31-17 with 11:27 to play.
On Oregon's' first possession, DeWayne Hollyfield blocked Evensen's 55-yard field goal try and Arizona State took over at the ASU 43. Five plays later, Keller threw to a wide-open Derek Hagan for a 20-yard scoring play that made it 7-0.
With the reception, Hagan tied the school record with 25 career TD catches.
Oregon's first touchdown was set up by a spectacular flea-flicker play. Clemens handed off to Whitehead, who pitched it back to the quarterback. Clemens let fly with a pass that traveled at least 60 yards in the air. Williams caught it, a 61-yard play to the Arizona State 6, setting up the TD toss to Whitehead.
"I just threw it as hard as I could," Clemens said. "I know my arm almost fell off."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Oregon converted a blocked punt it recovered at the SUn Devils' 1-yard-line, then added a two-point conversion. That gave the Ducks a 24-10 lead with 7:33 left in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Terrence Whitehead ran for 122 yards and caught nine passes for 100 more.
Stat of the game... Derek Hagan tied the Arizona State school record with his 25th career touchdown catch.
The Fan Pick
6.0% of College Pick'em players picked Oregon to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-18||5-18|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||1-3|
|TD||7:41||DEREK HAGAN 20 YD PASS FROM SAM KELLER (JESSE AINSWORTH KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||5:29||JESSE AINSWORTH 34 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -9 yards.
|FG||11:52||MATT EVENSON 42 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 18 yards.
|TD||9:32||TERRENCE WHITEHEAD 6 YD PASS FROM KELLEN CLEMENS (MATT EVENSON KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 88 yards.
|FG||0:00||MATT EVENSON 51 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 34 yards.
|FG||11:48||MATT EVENSON 42 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 55 yards.
|TD||7:33||TERRENCE WHITEHEAD 1 YD RUN (JAMES FINLEY 2PT PASS FROM KELLEN CLEMENS)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 1 yards.
|TD||6:08||ZACH MILLER 1 YD PASS FROM SAM KELLER (JESSE AINSWORTH KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||11:27||DEMETRIUS WILLIAMS 34 YD PASS FROM KELLEN CLEMENS (MATT EVENSON KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 88 yards.