Ducks Dominate Vandals, 58-21
EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon coach Mike Bellotti had a lot to be pleased about during the Ducks' 58-21 win Saturday, but he was a little concerned that Idaho had the ball nearly twice as long as his team.
The lopsided score was not reflected by the time of possession, with Idaho in control of the ball for nearly two thirds of the game, 38:05 compared to 21:10 for Oregon.
Idaho (0-3) outpassed Oregon (3-0) 280 yards to 238, and except for a couple big sacks and errant snaps on punts, the Vandals would have outrushed the Ducks too. Idaho had 124 yards on the ground, compared with 165 for Oregon. Idaho also had 28 first downs to just 16 for Oregon, and 200 yards in punt and kick returns, compared to a meager 14 yards for the Ducks.
'We're not where we need to be yet,' Bellotti said. 'This team has the potential to be special, but it's a work in progress.'
Oregon led all the way, with Onterrio Smith rushing for 104 yards and three short touchdown runs. His first TD, from 3 yards, came just 2:34 into the game after Idaho punter Ryan Downes recovered a bad snap just short of his own goal line.
Oregon quarterback Jason Fife threw two touchdowns - 80 yards to Samie Parker and 23 yards to fullback Matt Floberg - and was 10-of-22 for 232 yards. But Fife had his problems early in the game, failing to get a single first down in the first quarter.
'You take a win, but it's a learning experience,' Fife said.
Bellotti, however, said he was satisfied with Fife's performance later in the game.
'I was pleased with Jason,' Bellotti said. 'He played well, even if the statistics may not show it.'
Idaho quarterback Brian Lindgren completed 23 of 33 passes for 207 yards and a 19-yard TD pass to Zach Gerstner, while backup quarterback Adam Mallette was 5-of-8 for 58 yards with an 18-yard TD pass to Josh Jelmberg.
The 74-yard scoring drive that Lindberg capped with his pass to Gerstner stretched 10 plays and 4:26 - the longest possession of the day. But the Vandals also had three turnovers.
'At times, we moved the ball real well,' Lindgren said. 'That wasn't a problem. But we turned the ball over - that was the problem.'
Idaho briefly threatened when tailback Malfred Shaw sprinted 51 yards up the middle in the second quarter to pull to 14-7. Fife then answered with his 80-yard TD pass to Parker on the next play.
Oregon backup tailback Kenny Washington scored from 2 yards out, and Allan Amundson added the last touchdown for the Ducks from just inches in the final period. Jared Siegel kicked field goals for Oregon, from 34, 33 and 27 yards.
Idaho freshman quarterback Michael Harrington, the younger brother of former Oregon star quarterback Joey Harrington, made a brief appearance in the final two minutes, completing 2 of 4 passes for 15 yards before the Vandals turned over the ball as time ran out.
It was only the third time in the past 32 years the teams met, despite a series that goes back to 1901. Oregon is now 51-3-4 against Idaho, with the last victory for the Vandals coming at home in 1950.
By WILLIAM McCALL
Associated Press Writer