Roper Leads No. 18 Oregon in 66-24 Rout of Utah State
Sept. 6, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Justin Roper returned from a concussion and helped No. 18 Oregon to a school-record 688 yards in a 66-24 rout of Utah State on Saturday.
LaGarrette Blout ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks, taking on the bulk of the rushing duties after Jeremiah Johnson left with a shoulder injury on the Ducks' first series of the game.
Injuries forced the Ducks to take a look at their untested quarterbacks last week. The easy victory over the Aggies gave the team some leeway to experiment with them on Saturday.
Roper, who went out with a concussion in last week's victory over Washington and didn't practice with the team until Wednesday, started and completed 13 of 18 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.
The Ducks (2-0) used backup Jeremiah Masoli, a junior college transfer, in the second quarter. He finished 5-of-9 for 44 yards.
Freshman Chris Harper also got some work, completing four of six passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.
It was much more relaxed than last Saturday's 44-10 victory over the Huskies. Roper had been named the starter just a week earlier when the season's projected No. 1, Nate Costa, was injured and required season-ending knee surgery.
The Ducks yardage surpassed the 667 they gained against BYU in 1989.
Utah State (0-2), which opened with a 27-17 loss to UNLV, has won just one of 46 games against a ranked opponent. The Aggies have lost all four of their meetings with the Ducks.
Utah State also used a couple of quarterbacks. Sean Setzer, who went to Wilson High School in Portland, started and completed seven of 11 passes for 61 yards.
He was replaced in the second half by sophomore Diondre Borel, who finished 16-of-24 for 157 yards and two TDs.
It didn't start well for Oregon. Johnson, expected to carry the load at running back after the departure of Jonathan Stewart, went down with a shoulder injury on Oregon's first series of the game.
Johnson, who rushed a career-high 124 yards last weekend against Washington, sat on the sidelines, his shoulder wrapped with ice.
Roper was intercepted on the same series. But that was pretty much the last of the trouble for the Ducks.
On their next possession, Andre Crenshaw ran 3 yards for a touchdown, before Terence Scott caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Roper to make it 14-0 for the Ducks in the first quarter.
Blount ran 36 yards for another TD, before Borel found Curtis Marsh with a 15-yard scoring pass to make it 21-7.
Blount ran for a 1-yard score and Scott added a 51-yard run within span of about a minute and a half to make it 35-7.
Utah State added a touchdown late in the second quarter when Masoli's fumble in the endzone was recovered by Antonio May.
Matt Evensen kicked a 39-yard field goal to make it 38-14 for Oregon at the half.
Oregon rushed for 225 yards - compared to Utah State's 26 - in the first half alone.
Utah State hasn't defeated a Pac-10 school since 1965, when it beat Arizona State 13-0.