Oregon's Late Start Pushes the Ducks Past Bruins
Oct. 12, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli ran for 170 yards and a touchdown in ther Ducks' 31-24 victory over UCLA on Saturday night.
Masoli, who entered the season as the third-string quarterback, also completed five of 19 passes for 42 yards and a score for the Ducks (5-2, 3-1 Pacific-10).
Kahlil Bell and Derrick Coleman each ran for a touchdown for the Bruins (2-4, 1-2), hit late in the game by a scary injury to receiver Terrence Austin, who had to be carted off the field at Autzen Stadium.
The Ducks did not use quarterback Justin Roper, who had been out the last four games with a knee injury and a lingering illness. Given the starting spot just before the opener after Nate Costa had knee surgery, Roper returned to practice this week.
Instead, Oregon stayed with Masoli, who had a 5-yard TD run in the first quarter.
But Oregon was generally lackluster until the waning moments of the first half. Matt Evensen missed a 42-yard field goal and had a 50-yarder blocked.
The Bruins weren't any more inspired. The closest they came to scoring early was a missed field goal by Kai Forbath, a 47-yard attempt that went wide left.
Bell, who injured his left ankle in the opener and aggravated it last weekend against Washington State, was hit late in the first half and had to be helped off the field.
Oregon made it 14-0 with 22 seconds left before the half when Masoli hit Chris Harper - who has played at backup quarterback this season - with a 24-yard scoring pass. Harper, a true freshman, last week asked coach Mike Bellotti if he could play more at receiver.
UCLA scored its first touchdown on the road so far this season on Coleman's 1-yard run, but Oregon answered with LeGarrette Blount's 6-yard scoring run to make it 21-7.
Oregon cornerback Jairus Byrd was called for pass interference on what had looked like an interception of Craft in the end zone, and Bell subsequently ran 2 yards for the score to make it 21-14. The call was loudly booed by Ducks fans at Autzen, who were also warned for throwing items on the field.
In the fourth quarter, Austin was hurt when he was trying to make a catch and got hit by Oregon rover T.J. Ward. The ball tipped off of Ward's helmet and was intercepted by Byrd.
Austin was knocked headfirst into the turf. He remain prone on the field for several minutes, but could be seen moving his feet, before he was placed on a stretcher and taken from the field on a cart.
At the same time, a fan involved in an apparent scuffle was taken from the stadium on a stretcher, but further details were not known.
When the game resumed after a lengthy delay, Evensen hit a 32-yard field goal to make it 24-14, but Forbath answered with a 28-yard field goal for the Bruins.
Blount sealed it for the Ducks with a 69-yard scoring run.
Craft, pressed into duty this season after Patrick Cowan and Ben Olson were injured, hit Jeff Miller with a 1-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute left. Craft completed 27 of 43 passes for 288 yards.
The game is just the second on the road for the Bruins this season.