Wildcats Fall To No. 7 Oregon, 63-28
Oct 6, 2001
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. - For one night at least, no one was callingseventh-ranked Oregon overrated.
Joey Harrington threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more as theDucks beat Arizona 63-28 Saturday night to improve to 5-0 and match their beststart in 37 years.
It was the Ducks' first blowout victory after struggling in its first fourwins.
'It was fun. We had fun for the first time in a long time,' Harringtonsaid. 'We didn't worry about what people were saying. People were talking inthe papers about how we didn't deserved to be ranked where we were. We justwent out and had fun and put a game together.'
Harrington, 19-2 as a starter, completed 15 of 24 passes for 279 yards, thensat out the fourth quarter.
Coach Mike Bellotti wasn't ready to call it a breakthrough victory, though.
'In some aspects it was,' Bellotti said. 'I still think there's room forimprovement. We have to find a way to improve every single game. That's beenour battle cry.'
Onterrio Smith rushed for 131 yards in 15 carries and scored two touchdownsfor Oregon (2-0 Pac-10). Maurice Morris gained 110 yards in 21 attempts andscored once as the Ducks rolled up 607 yards, 472 in the first three quarters.
The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2), in their first season under coach John Mackovic,have allowed 111 points in consecutive home losses to Washington State andOregon.
'Embarrassing,' Arizona's Bobby Wade said. 'We expected to give Oregon away better game that we did.'
Arizona has lost seven consecutive Pac-10 games, and Mackovic said theWildcats just don't have enough talent.
'It's tough for us, and it's going to be tough for us until we get somepersonnel playing in here,' he said. 'We don't have a lot of personnel.'
The Ducks tied their team record for points in a Pac-10 game. They scored 63against Stanford in 1998. It was the most points given up by Arizona in aPac-10 game.
Samie Parker caught a career-high six passes for 160 yards, all in the firsthalf.
Wesly Mallard intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble for the Ducks, whoturned all five of the Wildcats' turnovers into touchdowns.
'Early in the year, we were getting turnovers but we weren't gettinganything out of them,' Bellotti said. 'Today, they translated into points,and that's what good teams do.'
Clarence Farmer rushed for 158 yards in 15 carries. His 78-yard run set up aWildcats' touchdown that tied the game 14-14 with 13:43 to play in the firsthalf. Oregon scored the next 49 points in just over two quarters.
Jason Johnson was 7-of-18 for 132 yards and two touchdowns for Arizona (3-2,0-2) before being pulled from the game after throwing an interception, thefirst of three third-quarter turnovers by the Wildcats.
Harrington completed 14 of 19 passes for 267 yards for three touchdowns inthe first half as Oregon scored the last 21 points of the second quarter totake a 35-14 lead the break. He scored the Ducks' other two first-halftouchdowns on runs of 1 and 2 yards.
Harrington said the only time he was hit hard by the defense came in the endzone after a touchdown, a play that led to a personal foul penalty againstArizona.
'Joey Harrington's a good player,' Mackovic said, 'but we didn't reallygive much of a test really.'
Harrington was intercepted for the first time in 95 attempts on Oregon'sfirst possession, a pass that bounced off Parker and was picked off by JarvieWorcester.
After Oregon took a 14-0 lead, Johnson connected with Brandon Marshall on a44-yard touchdown play, then Farmer's long run set up Johnson's 8-yard scoringpass that tied it at 14.
Arizona tried an onside kick and would have recovered it, but a Wildcatsplayer touched the ball just before it went the required 10 yards. The Ducksquickly went 45 yards in five plays, Harrington scoring on a 2-yard run to putOregon back on top for 21-14 with 11:39 still left in the first half.
Harrington's perfect 38-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Parker made it28-14 with 6:09 left in the half. Harrington's 17-yard scoring pass to JustinPeelle gave the Ducks a 35-14 lead 1:21 before halftime.
Third-string quarterback John Rattay directed Arizona to two fourth-quartertouchdowns against Oregon's reserves.