Ducks Clobber Cardinal
Nov 2, 2002
By WILLIAM McCALL
Associated Press Writer
EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon had this one wrapped up by halftime.
Jason Fife threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score Saturday as the No. 19 Ducks bounced back from two straight defeats with a 41-14 win over Stanford.
'It was a great effort in the first half, a workmanlike effort in the second,' coach Mike Bellotti said. 'It's much more fun to sit here and talk about this after a win, making ourselves bowl eligible, and ensuring a winning season.'
The Ducks, coming off home losses to Arizona State and Southern California, beat Stanford for just the second time in six tries at Autzen Stadium.
The Cardinal handed Oregon its only loss last season en route to its second consecutive Pac-10 title and a No. 2 national ranking.
The Ducks won without starting tailback Onterrio Smith, sidelined with a minor knee injury that is not expected to keep him out of action next week against Washington State.
Terrence Whitehead ran for 132 yards on 29 carries in place of Smith, who entered the day as the leading rusher in the Pac-10.
With the exception of Jason Siegel's field goal with 1:20 left, the Ducks (7-2, 3-2 Pac-10) did all their scoring in the first half - building a 38-7 lead by halftime.
Stanford coach Buddy Teevens had plenty of praise for Fife and the Ducks.
'Oregon did a great job, they mixed it up and Fife had a great day,' Teevens said. 'They are a good football team and we knew they could make the plays.'
Fife threw an interception while trying to drive the Ducks off their own 3-yard line early in the second quarter, setting up the first score for Stanford (2-6, 1-4).
Strong safety Oshiomogho Atogwe returned the interception 17 yards before Kenneth Tolon burst off right tackle five plays later for a touchdown from 10 yards out. Stanford trailed Oregon 28-7 with 11:40 left in the second quarter.
The only other Cardinal touchdown came when 6-foot-7 backup quarterback Ryan Eklund found 6-foot-7 receiver Teyo Johnson at the back of the end zone late in the third quarter for a 2-yard touchdown pass to make it 38-14.
Fife opened the scoring with a 1-yard pass to backup tight end Tim Day, the first TD of his college career, capping an 11-play, 70-yard drive.
Fife also connected with starting tight end George Wrighster on Oregon's second drive, a 5-yard touchdown pass that Wrighster grabbed with one hand as he ran toward the corner of the end zone.
The junior quarterback finished with 20 completions on 36 attempts for 254 yards and a third TD, a 1-yard pass to fullback Matt Floberg near the end of the first half that made it 35-7 Oregon.
The sluggish start in the second half worried Fife as Oregon punter Jose Arroyo came on the field for the first time in the game.
'We weren't doing the little things again, and it kind of scared me at first,' Fife said. 'I didn't want a repeat of last week.'
Redshirt freshman quarterback Kyle Matter was 9-of-19 passing for 71 yards for Stanford. Eklund was 3-of-9 for 21 yards and one interception.
Oregon also scored on a 1-yard run by Wrighster, who took a rare turn in the backfield, and a 1-yard keeper by Fife, both late in the first half. Siegel added a 32-yard field goal to close the half.
Stanford, which upset the Ducks 49-42 last year, led the Pac-10 in rushing at 159.1 yards per game coming in. But Oregon held the Cardinal to just 81 yards on the ground.