Oct. 17, 2000
EUGENE, Ore. - The road to first place in the Pac-10 Conference goes through Autzen Stadiumas conference unbeatens Oregon and Arizona collide.
The seventh-ranked Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-10) carry an 18-game home winningstreak into this game, the longest active streak in the conference. But Oregonproved itself a viable contender for the Pac-10 title after its 28-17 victoryat Southern California on Saturday.
Joey Harrington picked apart the Trojans defense for 382 yards passing andfour touchdowns. Oregon withstood a late charge from USC, which cut a 21-7deficit to four points before faltering in the fourth quarter.
Maurice Morris added 87 rushing yards for the Ducks, who have already beatenmost of the Pac-10's elite teams with wins over the Trojans, UCLA andWashington.
'We've talked about how in the past five weeks, we haven't clicked. It wasa matter of the gods must have graced us because we finally put it together,'Harrington said. 'We played extremely well, but I think we can play better.'
The Ducks are tied atop the Pac-10 with Arizona and are 3-0 in theconference for the first time since 1957. The No. 7 ranking is their highestsince reaching that spot in 1964.
The 21st-ranked Wildcats (5-1, 3-0) carry a four-game winning streak intothis game and maintained a share of first place in the Pac-10 by outlastingWashington State 53-47 in triple overtime Saturday. Leo Mills, who had 70 ofhis 129 rushing yards in the fourth quarter and overtimes, bulled in from twoyards to give Arizona the winning points.
Ortege Jenkins threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns for the Wildcats. Healso scored a fourth when he took a lateral from Malosi Leonard and raced 25yards on Arizona's first possession in overtime.
'When it looks bad, you have to keep fighting,' Jenkins said. 'It's a bigwin for us. We are 3-0 in the Pac-10.'
A win in this contest will put the Wildcats in serious contention for thefirst Rose Bowl berth in school history.
Oregon has won five of the last six games between the schools to take a13-12 lead in the all-time series. The Ducks recorded a 44-41 victory atArizona last season and have won the last four games against the Wildcatsplayed at Autzen Stadium.