Ducks Struggle Against Demon Deacons In Seattle
Dec. 30, 2002
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) - Despite having one of the nation's best rushing offenses,Wake Forest took to the air in the Seattle Bowl.
James MacPherson completed 9 of 16 passes for a season-high 241 yards andtwo touchdowns as the Demon Deacons beat Oregon 38-17 Monday at SeahawksStadium.
MacPherson, who also ran for a score, hit Jason Anderson with TD passes of57 and 63 yards as Wake Forest (7-6) finished with a winning record for thesecond straight year. The Deacons haven't had consecutive winning seasons since1987-88.
The Ducks (7-6) started the season 6-0 and were ranked as high as No. 6, butthey simply weren't the same without quarterback Joey Harrington, a 2001Heisman finalist last year. The team lost five of its last six, a year aftergoing 11-1 and winning the Fiesta Bowl.
Entering Monday's game, Wake Forest was ranked eighth nationally in rushingoffense, averaging 239.9 yards a game. The Deacons ran for 256 against Oregon,even with their early emphasis on the passing game.
The Ducks opened the game with Jared Siegel's 45-yard field goal, but WakeForest answered with a seven-play, 65-yard drive, topped by Ovie Mughelli's1-yard run.
Oregon starter Jason Fife completed just 1 of 7 passes for 4 yards before hewas replaced late in the first quarter by redshirt freshman Kellen Clemens.
MacPherson fared batter, hitting Anderson with a 57-yard scoring pass earlyin the second quarter to push Wake's lead to 14-3. MacPherson added a 1-yardtouchdown dash with 2:40 left before halftime.
With 26 seconds left in the half, Clemens hit Samie Parker with a 7-yardscoring strike to make it 21-10.
Matt Wisnosky had a 43-yard field goal for Wake Forest before Oregon's MattFloberg narrowed it to 24-17 on a 1-yard run with 5:39 left in the thirdquarter.
MacPherson, who had just six touchdown passes going into the game, closedthe third quarter with his 63-yard touchdown pass to Anderson. Chris Barclayadded a 12-yard TD run late in the game for the final margin.
Clemens finished 19-of-31 for 161 yards.
Oregon tailback Onterrio Smith, who missed three of the last four games withan injury to his left knee that required surgery in late November, returned andgained 62 yards on 18 carries in what would be his final college game if hedeclares himself eligible for the NFL draft. In nine regular-season games,Smith ran for 1,079 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Barclay led the Deacons with 82 yards on 19 carries. Tailback TarenceWilliams, who got off to a slow start this season but rushed for 550 yards inhis final five games, had 53 yards on 16 carries.
Late in the third quarter, Williams appeared to twist his left knee on a runand spent several minutes prone on the field as trainers attended to him. Hewas taken from the field by cart and did not return.
Wake Forest defensive end Calvin Pace remained one sack short of the schoolrecord of 30 set by Mike McCrary. Like Smith, Pace was returning from an injurythat cut his season short. He broke his left leg Nov. 23 against Navy andpracticed for the first time Thursday.
The second annual Seattle Bowl marked the first meeting between the Ducksand Demon Deacons since Dec. 31, 1992 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport,La. Wake Forest won 39-35.