Oregon Continues Winning Ways Against Fresno State
Sept. 17, 2005
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Kellen Clemens threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns to lead Oregon to a 37-34 victory over No. 23 Fresno State on Saturday.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Bulldogs (1-1), who also had won their last three against Pac-10 teams.
The Ducks (3-0) saw their new spread offense come together against a ranked opponent a week before No. 1 USC comes to Autzen Stadium for the conference opener.
Demetrius Williams caught eight passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while Terrence Whitehead rushed for 96 yards and a score, and caught another TD. Clemens completed 28 of 38 passes.
Whitehead took a seemingly routine pass from Clemens and ran it willy-nilly 42 yards into the end zone, hopping over downed teammates and shrugging off clinging defenders to make it 37-27 for the Ducks with 4:16 left.
But Fresno State kept it interesting with Paul Pinegar's 14-yard touchdown pass to Matt Rivera to narrow it to 37-34 with 1:50 left.
Pinegar completed 33 of 43 passes for 418 yards and three scores for Fresno State, which was ranked in the AP's preseason poll for the first time but wasn't challenged much in a season-opening 55-17 victory at home over Weber State.
The Bulldogs were stung Saturday night by 16 penalties for 155 yards.
After Clint Stitser's 27-yard field goal on Fresno State's first possession, tailback Wendell Mathis ran for a 3-yard touchdown and caught a 20-yard scoring pass to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-0.
The Ducks didn't score until the second quarter, when Clemens found Williams with a 23-yard TD pass.
Paul Martinez surprisingly missed the extra point after missing a 41-yard field goal earlier in the game.
Martinez had 11 field goals going into the game against Fresno State, and had twice been named the Pac-10's special teams player of the week.
The Ducks narrowed it to 17-13 on Clemens' 46-yard pass to Cameron Colvin.
Oregon took a 20-17 lead before halftime when Williams caught a 12-yard TD pass from Clemens.
The Bulldogs tied it up with Stitser's 27-yard field goal to open the second half.
Oregon went back ahead on Whitehead's 20-yard scoring run, and made it 30-20 with a 45-yard field goal from Martinez.
Fresno State narrowed the deficit to 30-27 on Pinegar's 36-yard touchdown pass to Paul Williams late in the third quarter.
It was the first time this season that all phases of the Oregon offense have been clicking. The Ducks have installed a spread-option under new coordinator Gary Crowton, the former BYU coach. The Ducks won their opener on the road against Houston 38-24 and followed it up with a 47-14 win at home against Division I-AA Montana.
The Ducks were without freshman tailback Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and defensive end Devan Long (knee).
Oregon has won four straight against the Bulldogs to take a 4-2 advantage in the series.
In 2002, the last time the teams met, the then-No. 13 Ducks had to rally from behind to beat Fresno State 28-24 at Autzen. The Bulldogs were without starting quarterback Jeff Grady so Pinegar made his second career start, completing 16 of 36 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.