Bears Fall Short In Overtime, 27-20
Nov. 5, 2005
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Third-string quarterback Brady Leaf threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to James Finley in overtime and No. 15 Oregon beat No. 23 California 27-20 on Saturday.
The Ducks (8-1, 5-1 Pac-10) played their first game without starter Kellen Clemens, who is out for the season with a broken ankle. Dennis Dixon started, but it was Leaf who led them to victory in a game played in constant rain and unpredictable winds.
California (6-3, 3-3) had a chance to win in regulation, but Tom Schneider missed a rushed, 53-yard field goal attempt. The Bears have lost three of their last four games.
The only loss for Oregon (8-1, 5-1) has come against top-ranked USC.
Leaf, the younger brother of former Washington State star Ryan Leaf, completed 9-of-13 passes for 93 yards, while Dixon was 15-of-26 for 139 yards and a score. He threw one interception.
Dixon hit Demetrius Williams with a 23-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter to give the Ducks a 7-0 lead. Cal evened it up after a blocked Oregon punt on Lynch's 1-yard run.
After Paul Martinez put Oregon back out in front with a 29-yard field goal, Schneider made a 21-yard field goal with 44 seconds before the half to tie it at 10.
Martinez, who missed a 37-yard attempt in the first half in wet and windy conditions, hit a 49-yard field goal to cap the first series of the second half.
After Ayoob fumbled and Oregon recovered on the Cal 18, Terrence Whitehead ran it in on the next play to make it 20-10.
Schneider's 45-yard field goal narrowed it again for Cal, before Lynch broke away with a 52-yard touchdown run to tie it at 20. Schneider's miss as time ran out sent the game into overtime, and Cal was unable to move the ball after Oregon scored.
Watching from the sidelines on crutches was Clemens, who has been made an undergraduate assistant coach so that he can help Dixon and Leaf.
Clemens fractured his left ankle in Oregon's 28-21 win at Arizona on Oct. 22 and underwent surgery. He finishes with 61 touchdown passes for his career, one short of Danny O'Neil's school record (1991-94).
Ayoob was heckled by fans after the Bears lost 23-20 at home to Oregon State, but the next week he completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Lavelle Hawkins with 1:50 left for 42-38 victory on Oct. 22 over Washington State.
Both Oregon and Cal were coming off byes.
Lynch and Justin Forsett were both averaging 108-plus yards rushing going into the game. But Oregon held Forsett to just 32 yards on six carries.
Whitehead ran for 119 yards and caught eight passes for 72 yards.
The Golden Bears have not won in Eugene since 1987. They had a seven-game losing streak overall until a 28-27 home win over the Ducks last season.