ASU Rallies Past Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. - Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter tried to come up with words to adequately describe his team's upset of No. 6 Oregon, and he kept going back to one in particular.
'You dream about getting a win in a place like this,' Walter said after the Sun Devils' 45-42 victory Saturday night. 'It huge. It's huge for the program and it's huge for the team.'
Walter threw for a school-record 536 yards and four touchdowns, and Arizona State rallied from a 21-0 second-quarter deficit.
The Sun Devils (6-2, 3-0 Pac-10) are one of only two unbeaten teams left in the conference. Washington State (6-1, 3-0) was idle Saturday.
The loss snapped an 11-game overall winning streak for the Ducks (6-1, 2-1). It was the second-longest streak in the nation behind Miami's 28. Oregon had also won six straight Pac-10 games.
'Unfortunately we just couldn't control the game; we couldn't corral it, turn it our way,' Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said.
Walter, whose yardage topped Paul Justin's 534 yards against Washington State in 1989, completed 31 of 53 passes. All told, Arizona State racked up 590 total yards.
'Wow. I'm stunned,' Oregon free safety Keith Lewis said. 'You can never give up 500 yards, I don't care who you are.'
Shaun McDonald added 12 catches for 204 yards and a score for Arizona State, which snapped a four-game losing streak to Oregon.
'I've played against the Ducks for five years now and hadn't beaten them. So if I didn't do it this time, I would never have the chance again,' linebacker Mason Unck said. 'They are an unbelievable football team.'
Jason Fife, who entered the game ranked third nationally in passing efficiency, was 21-of-32 for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Onterrio Smith, the Pac-10's leading rusher, gained 172 yards on 27 carries and scored three TDs.
Arizona State took a 39-35 lead early in the fourth quarter on Walter's 58-yard touchdown pass to Justin Taplin. The Sun Devils extended their lead on Mike Barth's 44-yard field goal.
Oregon, which built a reputation for comeback victories in recent years and did it twice this season, tied the game with 6:55 left. On third-and-11 on the Arizona State 12, Fife hit Samie Parker in the end zone.
Walter, a sophomore, calmly marched the Sun Devils back downfield, but he overthrew McDonald on third-and-5 at the Oregon 12 and, and Arizona State settled for Barth's 29-yard field goal with 1:58 left.
Oregon's final series ended when Arizona State safety Brett Hudson intercepted Fife's pass.
The Ducks took the early lead on Fife's 6-yard TD throw to Parker, who lunged over the goal line to put the Ducks up 7-0. On Oregon's next possession, Fife handed off to Smith on the first play, and the tailback ran 57 yards untouched for the score. It was the Ducks' longest rushing play of the season. Smith added a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to make it 21-0.
Walter got the Sun Devils on the board with 3:34 left in the first half by finding Taplin for a 22-yard scoring pass. Arizona State got as close as the 5-yard line but settled for Barth's 32-yard field goal to make it 21-10 at the half.
The Sun Devils closed in on the Ducks in the second half, then took over the lead by scoring on seven straight possessions. After Smith's 6-yard scoring run to open the third quarter, ASU narrowed the deficit further on Cornell Canidate's 1-yard run.
Oregon answered with Fife's 50-yard pass to George Wrighster, who broke off one defender, then outran two others to the end zone to make it 35-17.
ASU came back with Walter's 3-yard TD pass to Mike Pinkard, followed by a 67-yard scoring strike to McDonald. Walter's 2-point conversion to McDonald made it 35-32.
After Arizona State picked up an Oregon fumble, Walter found Taplin with another long pass to put the Sun Devils ahead in the fourth quarter.
Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs, who leads the nation with 13 sacks, was carefully blocked by Oregon's offense, and he didn't get close to Fife.
It was ASU's first win over a ranked team since beating No. 10 Washington 44-31 on Nov. 1, 1997.
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer