Ducks Drill Sun Devils, 42-24

Nov 3, 2001

Audio
Mike Bellotti

By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. - Run or pass, it doesn't make any difference for theOregon Ducks. The names might change week to week, but the stats remaineye-popping.

Joey Harrington tied his own school record by throwing six touchdown passes- four to Keenan Howry - as the eighth-ranked Ducks routed Arizona State 42-24Saturday night.

'Sure, let them try to stop the run, and I'll throw the ball,' Harringtonsaid. 'Let them try to stop the pass, and I'll run the ball. I have such a funtime running this offense.'

Harrington, who also had six touchdown passes against Arizona State in lastyear's 56-55 double-overtime victory in Tempe, was 19-of-32 for 319 yards.Howry had nine catches for 126 yards.

'Joey Harrington and Keenan Howry obviously clicked in a big way,' Duckscoach Mike Bellotti said. 'On offense, we mixed it up, kept them off-balance,and that's important to do.'

The victory moved Oregon (8-1) into a three-way tie for first place in thePac-10 with Washington and Washington State, all of whom are 5-1.

Arizona State's Delvon Flowers ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns,including a 54-yarder for the game's opening score, but the Sun Devils (4-4,1-4) were held to just 272 total yards after that.

Arizona State quarterback Jeff Krohn was hit in the head on a first-quarterslide and did not play in the second half. He suffered from symptoms resemblinga concussion, but coach Dirk Koetter said a prognosis hadn't been determined.

'He was having a hard time remembering plays from the first series on,'Koetter said.

Howry's knack for consistently getting past the Sun Devils' defensive backsmade him Harrington's favorite target. Howry's four touchdown receptions brokethe school record of three shared by seven other players. Marshaun Tucker didit last year at Arizona State.

Howry, who said he's been feeling under the weather for the past two weeks,was more upset with the two passes he dropped.

'I've never done that before in my life,' he said.

Harrington's performance showed that the Ducks seem to be able to generateoffense however they please. Last week, Onterrio Smith ran for an Oregon-record285 yards - and the team piled up 446 yards rushing for another school mark -in a 24-17 win at Washington State.

In that game, Harrington threw just 26 times and had no touchdowns rushingor passing for the only time this season.

'We never go into a game wanting to do a certain thing,' Bellotti said.'The key for us is throwing the ball when we want to throw the ball, not whenwe have to throw the ball.'

Smith, a sophomore, got his first start at tailback in place of seniorMaurice Morris, who did not play because of a pulled left hamstring. Smith had152 yards on 36 carries but was bottled up for the first three quarters.

Harrington had no such difficulty. With plenty of time to throw, he mixedshort passes with the occasional deep ball, and three consecutive strikes toHowry put the game away.

'Keenan is the best I've played with,' Harrington said. 'He's so polishedin every area.'

After Mike Barth's 29-yard field goal cut Oregon's lead to 14-10 in thesecond quarter, Harrington directed a 79-yard drive. On third-and-6 from theSun Devils' 24, Harrington floated a pass toward Howry, who outran cornerbackEmmanuel Franklin on the right side and gathered the ball in.

Harrington then found Howry on a pair of 13-yard touchdowns, and connectedwith Samie Parker on a 38-yard pass play to make it 42-10.

The only other Oregon quarterback to throw for six touchdowns was O'Neill,against Stanford in 1994. Harrington has 6,262 career passing yards, movingpast Dan Fouts into third place on the school's list.

Flowers added two short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter, but he didn'thave much of an impact beyond his spectacular opening act.

He returned the kickoff 37 yards, then surprised the Ducks five plays laterby going through an opening on the left side of the line and blowing past thesecondary for his 54-yard score.

ASU wideout Shaun McDonald had 194 yards receiving last week, but was mostlycontained by Ducks cornerback Rashad Bauman. McDonald had five catches for 103yards, but his only big contribution was a 39-yard reception from Krohn in thesecond quarter, far away from Bauman.

That gave the Sun Devils a first-and-goal at Oregon's 1, but they couldn'tget closer and had to settle for a field goal.

'The first half in general, Oregon made plays and we didn't,' saidKoetter, who was Belloti's offensive coordinator in 1996 and 1997. 'That'swhat makes the difference between teams that are in the Top 10, like Oregon,and teams that are not.'

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