Oregon's 14-10 Win Against Arizona Opens The Road To The Rose Bowl
Oct. 21, 2000
EUGENE, Ore. - Joey Harrington threw two first-half touchdown passes,and Oregon's defense made the points hold up as the Ducks beat No. 21 Arizona14-10 on Saturday night to take control of the race for the Rose Bowl.
The Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-10), the only unbeaten team left in the conference,won their 19th straight home game by holding Arizona to just 17 rushing yardson 32 carries.
The Wildcats (5-2, 3-1) didn't fare much better with quarterback OrtegeJenkins. He was sacked eight times, and a second-quarter interception led to atouchdown that put the Ducks ahead 14-0.
Arizona fell to 0-5 under coach Dick Tomey at Autzen Stadium, the onlyPac-10 stadium in which he's never won during his 13-plus seasons with theWildcats. Arizona hasn't won here since 1986.
Despite their inability to sustain a drive, the Wildcats gave themselves achance to win by driving to the Oregon 36 in the final minute. Jenkinscompleted three straight passes for 44 yards to Brad Brennan on the drive,which began at Arizona's 10.
Jenkins couldn't connect on four straight passes, however, and the Ducks hadgood coverage. On fourth-and-10 from the 36, Jenkins threw it up for grabs inthe left side of the end zone as time ran out, and Ryan Mitchell knocked itaway.
Oregon's home winning streak is the second-longest in the nation, behindFlorida State's 33 games. The Ducks also have won nine straight Pac-10 gamesoverall.
The Ducks had trouble running the ball as well, but junior transfer MauriceMorris kept plowing ahead and moving the chains. He finished with 114 ofOregon's 137 rushing yards.
Harrington was 9-of-22 for 123 yards - just 33 in the second half. Jenkinswas 15-of-31 for 200 yards.
The victory put Oregon in position to decide its own destiny for the RoseBowl, which it last appeared in after the 1994 season. Arizona, which never hasbeen to the Rose Bowl, must hope the Ducks stumble in their final four leaguegames.
Oregon improved to 10-10 against Top 25 teams under coach Mike Bellotti.Since the beginning of 1993 season, Arizona and Oregon have been the best twoteams in the conference, both are 59-31 over that span.
The Ducks got all the offense they needed on two bullets from Harrington toMarshaun Tucker. Midway through the first quarter, Harrington bumped intoMorris in the backfield, then recovered to find Tucker diving at the goal linefor a 25-yard scoring play.
After Jenkins' soft pass was intercepted by Rasuli Webster at the Arizona22, Harrington hit Tucker perfectly over the middle for a 20-yard touchdownwith 7:08 left in the second.
The Wildcats cut the lead to 14-7 on a gift: cornerback Steve Smith stumbledand nearly fell, allowing Larry Croom to take a short pass from Jenkins and run58 yards for a touchdown.
With 45 seconds left in the half, linebacker Adrian Koch blocked KurtisDoerr's punt, giving Arizona the ball at the Oregon 14. The offense sputteredagain, however, and Sean Keel's 34-yard field goal pulled the Wildcats to 14-10at halftime.
But Arizona got stuffed time and again at the line, and Oregon got greatperformances by linemen Saul Patu and Jason Nikolau, as well as linebacker MattSmith.
Eighteen of the Wildcats' 32 rushes were for no gain or a loss.
Arizona's lost its best cover man, redshirt freshman Michael Jolivette, inthe second quarter when he was hit hard in the head while playing defense onspecial teams. Jolivette, who turned 20 Saturday, was blindsided by WeslyMallard, lifting Jolivette off his feet and sending his helmet and chin strapin opposite directions. Jolivette, who leads the Pac-10 in interceptions withfive, walked off the field with a towel to his mouth and had stitches put inhis lower lip.
His replacement, Jermaine Chatman, got burned on Harrington's secondtouchdown pass to Tucker.
By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer