Oregon's Offense At Full Throttle In Rout Of Arizona
Oct. 8, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - Talk about efficient. Seventh-ranked Oregon finallygot its offense going at full throttle against Arizona.
In a 63-28 rout of the Wildcats, Joey Harrington & Co. scored ninetouchdowns Saturday night on drives that never lasted longer than threeminutes.
'I felt like Joey operated this thing and did a great job,' Oregon coachMike Bellotti said. 'Our offensive line allowed not only Joey a chance tothrow but our running backs a chance to get started. When our kids can hitthe line of scrimmage full speed, they've got a chance to make some yards.'
Except for a pass that bounced off a receiver for an interception to thwartthe Ducks' opening drive - his first pick in 95 passes - Harrington was allbut unstoppable in the first half.
In the first two quarters, Harrington completed 14 of 19 for 267 yards andthree touchdowns as Oregon burst away from a 14-14 tie to take a 35-14 leadat the break. He scored the Ducks' other two first-half touchdowns on shortruns.
In the second quarter, he was 7-for-9 for 152 yards and two scores.
'I'd like to think there's always room for improvement, but we played prettywell there in the second quarter,' Harrington said. 'Things were cookin'.Everybody was on the same page. We just had a confidence about us.'
Oregon got a breakout game from speedy sophomore wide receiver Samie Parker,who caught six passes for 160 yards, all in the first half. His firstcollegiate touchdown catch was a 38-yarder in which he left the Arizonadefensive secondary looking as if it were standing still.
'That's the same type of pass, over-the-shoulder, that we do in practice,'Parker said. 'It was something we do every day so it wasn't that dramatic.But it was fun. I finally got my first college touchdown, and that feelsgreat.'
When Harrington wasn't dismantling the Arizona defense with his passing, theDucks were rambling on the ground. Oregon amassed 607 yards - 325 throughthe air, 282 on the ground.
Starter Maurice Morris gained 110 yards in 21 carries, then, likeHarrington, sat out the final quarter. Backup Onterrio Smith rushed for 131yards in just 15 carries, including a 56-yarder to set up one of Oregon'sfinal scores.
Most remarkable was the swiftness with which Oregon struck. The first drivewent 75 yards in five plays and took 1 minute, 20 seconds. The next Ducks'drive was their most time-consuming - 2:57 - even though it went only 17yards after Arizona fumbled away the kickoff.
Oregon had drives of 66 and 77 yards that each took 2:36. They went 45 yardsin 2:04, 57 yards in 1:36, 23 yards in 1:13, 35 yards in 1:26 and 62 yardsin 1:12.
'It was fun. We had fun for the first time in a long time,' Harrington said.'We didn't worry about what people were saying. People were talking in thepapers about how we didn't deserve to be ranked where we were. We just wentout and had fun and put a game together.'
The Ducks, 2-0 in the Pac-10, improved to 5-0 overall for only the secondtime in 37 years.
Still, Bellotti said it wasn't a perfect performance. The Ducks' defensecontinued giving up big plays, especially early when Arizona rallied to tieit at 14-14.
'I still think there's room for improvement,' Bellotti said. 'We have tofind a way to improve every single game. That's been our battle cry.'
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer