Washington State Goes Duck Hunting
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Washington State quickly made Oregon's recent successlook like a fluke.
Matt Kegel threw for three touchdowns and steadily guided the No. 21Cougars, who took advantage of seven-first half turnovers to beat the10th-ranked Ducks 55-16 Saturday.
Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pacific-10) grabbed national attention with last weekend's31-27 upset of No. 3 Michigan, but was done in by its own mistakes.
Washington State (4-1, 1-0), the defending Pac-10 champions, went to the airto stymie the Ducks - who had successfully stopped Michigan's rushing game.
Kegel completed 13 of 33 passes for 242 yards for the Cougars, who also gota pair of scoring runs from Jermaine Green. The Cougars' only loss of theseason came on Sept. 6, when they blew a 19-0 lead and lost 29-26 in overtimeat Notre Dame.
Washington State, coming off a 23-13 victory over New Mexico last weekend,struck first with Kegel's 41-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Moore midway throughthe first quarter.
Drew Dunning added a 41-yard field goal to make it 10-0, and the Ducksrotated in quarterback Jason Fife to spell starter Kellen Clemens.
But Fife's first pass was intercepted by Jeremy Bohannon, and on theCougars' first play from scrimmage Kegel hit Devard Darling with a 38-yardsscoring pass to make it 17-0.
It was the first interception thrown by an Oregon quarterback this season,and one of seven Oregon's two QBs would have in the game.
The Ducks appeared to swing momentum near the close of the first quarterwhen Keith Lewis blocked a Washington State punt for a safety. Lewis hasblocked a punt in each of his last three games.
But Oregon's renewed energy was snuffed when Fife's long pass to SamieParker bounced off the receiver's chest in the end zone. Parker took his angerout on a defender for a 15-yard personal foul, and Fife was intercepted on hisnext throw.
Kegel responded by marching the Cougars downfield to set up Green's 1-yardtouchdown run.
The Cougars went up 31-2 when cornerback Karl Paymah tipped a pass fromClemens to Parker into the hands of Virgil Williams, who ran the interceptionback 40 yards for another score.
A blocked Oregon punt that Bohannon ran back 4 yards into the end zone madeit 38-2 for Washington State at halftime.
Oregon finally found offensive success with Terrence Whitehead's 4-yardscoring run early in the second half.
Green's second touchdown came from 23 yards out with 2:05 left in the thirdquarter, but Oregon quickly answered with Clemens' 26-yard TD pass to DemetriusWilliams to make it 45-16.
Kegel added a 13-yard scoring pass to Troy Bienemann and Dunning hit a45-yard field goal for the final margin.
Oregon's quarterback tandem of Fife and Clemens, who went into the gameleading the Pac-10 in passing efficiency, threw five interceptions in the firsthalf alone.
Clemens, who started, was 16-of-34 for 232 yards and four interceptions,while Fife was 8-of-24 for 123 yards and three interceptions.
Washington State, which beat Oregon 32-21 last season in Pullman en route tothe conference title, had not been to Eugene since 1999.