Washington Suffers First Setback
Aug. 31, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Jeremiah Masoli stepped in for Justin Roper and threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night, helping No. 21 Oregon to a 44-10 victory over rival Washington.
Roper started for the Ducks and completed 7-of-11 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. But he was replaced in the second quarter by Masoli, a junior college transfer, and did not return.
Coach Mike Bellotti said Roper had a concussion, but it was not clear how the injury occurred.
Washington's dual-threat quarterback, Jake Locker, completed 12 of 28 passes for 103 yards and also ran for 57 yards.
The uncertainty surrounding Roper was cause for concern for the Ducks.
Roper was named Oregon's starting quarterback earlier in the week after Costa was injured in practice and had season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Roper's only other start came in last season's Sun Bowl, when he threw four touchdown passes in Oregon 56-21 victory over South Florida. Roper was pressed into service when both Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf went down with injuries late in the season.
Masoli led City College of San Francisco to the junior college national championship last season while throwing for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns.
True freshman Chris Harper followed Masoli on Oregon's depth chart, and came in for a handful of snaps in the second half. He scored on a 2-yard keeper with 46 seconds left in the game.
Roper remained in uniform on the sidelines in the second half, but late in the game he wrapped himself in a blanket.
The Huskies started 10 freshmen/sophomores, including heralded tailback Chris Polk and defensive tackle Senio Kelemete, both freshmen, as well as redshirt freshmen Alvin Logan (wide receiver) and Quinton Richardson (cornerback).
Oregon tailback Jeremiah Johnson, who split carries with Jonathan Stewart for the last three seasons, had a 44-yard carry on the Ducks' first series, then followed it up with a 4-yard scoring run.
Roper's 60-yard touchdown pass to Terence Scott made it 14-0.
The Ducks squandered another opportunity to score in the first quarter. Washington's Jared Ballman botched a punt that went just six yards, putting Oregon on the 26-yard-line, but the Ducks couldn't score - even Matt Evensen's 31-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
Ryan Perkins kicked a 35-yard field goal early in the second quarter to make it 14-3, and Washington narrowed it further on Paul Homer's 1-yard touchdown dive.
Johnson scored again on a 10-yard run early in the third quarter to put Oregon ahead 21-10. Evensen added a 41-yard field goal in the fourth.
Masoli passed to Jaison Williams, who dashed nearly untouched down the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown reception to make it 30-10. Masoli also hit Jeff Maehl with a 25-yard scoring pass in the final quarter.
Johnson finished with 15 carries for 124 yards. Scott had six catches for 117 yards.
The Huskies return home on September 6th at 12:00pm to face BYU in the second game of their season.
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