Ducks have 7 first-half turnovers

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- When Washington State saw Oregon start to
panic early, the Cougars knew they had the Ducks.

Matt Kegel threw three touchdown passes and steadily guided the
No. 21 Cougars, who took advantage of seven-first half turnovers to
beat the 10th-ranked Ducks 55-16 Saturday.

Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10) grabbed national attention last week of
its 31-27 victory over Michigan, but was done in by its own
mistakes. The Ducks had nine turnovers and had two punts blocked.

"I could see it in their eyes," Washington State safety Jeremy
Bohannon said. "They could see they were playing a tough opponent.
We tried to turn the intimidation factor around on them."

Washington State (4-1, 1-0), the defending Pac-10 champions,
went to the air and appeared to completely confuse the Ducks -- who
had successfully stopped Michigan's vaunted rushing game.

"We were still thinking about the Michigan game, and I really
don't think we were really fired up," Oregon receiver Samie Parker
said. "Everyone is usually fired up in the locker room, but we
were really quiet today. We were just kind of waltzing around, and
I don't think we were ready to play."

Kegel completed 13 of 33 passes for 242 yards for the Cougars,
who also got a pair of scoring runs from Jermaine Green. The
Cougars' only loss of the season came on Sept. 6, when they blew a
19-0 lead and lost 29-26 in overtime at Notre Dame.

"We believed in ourselves and good things happened for us,"
Kegel said about the change. "It was the Cougars' day."

Washington State, coming off a 23-13 victory over New Mexico
last weekend, struck first with Kegel's 41-yard touchdown pass to
Sammy Moore midway through the first quarter.

Drew Dunning added a 41-yard field goal to make it 10-0, and the
Ducks rotated in quarterback Jason Fife to spell starter Kellen

But Fife's first pass was intercepted by Bohannon, and on the
Cougars' first play from scrimmage Kegel hit Devard Darling with a
38-yard scoring pass to make it 17-0.

It was the first interception thrown by an Oregon quarterback
this season, and one of seven the Ducks' two QBs would have in the

The Ducks appeared to swing momentum near the close of the first
quarter when Keith Lewis blocked a Washington State punt for a
safety. Lewis has blocked a punt in each of his last three games.

But Oregon's renewed energy was snuffed when Fife's long pass to
Parker bounced off the receiver's chest in the end zone. Parker
took his anger out on a defender for a 15-yard personal foul, and
Fife's pass was intercepted on his next throw.

Kegel responded by marching the Cougars downfield to set up
Green's 1-yard touchdown run.

"They were getting frustrated," Washington State defensive
lineman Jeremy Williams said. "They were out there, working hard
and we kept getting to them and swatting their passes."

The Cougars went up 31-2 when cornerback Karl Paymah tipped a
pass from Clemens to Parker into the hands of Virgil Williams, who
ran the interception back 40 yards for another score.

A blocked Oregon punt that Bohannon ran back 4 yards into the
end zone made it 38-2 for Washington State at halftime.

Oregon finally found offensive success with Terrence Whitehead's
4-yard scoring run early in the second half.

Green's second touchdown came from 23 yards out with 2:05 left
in the third quarter, but Oregon quickly answered with Clemens'
26-yard TD pass to Demetrius Williams to make it 45-16.

Kegel added a 13-yard scoring pass to Troy Bienemann and Dunning
hit a 45-yard field goal for the final margin.

Oregon's quarterback tandem of Fife and Clemens, who went into
the game leading the Pac-10 in passing efficiency, threw five
interceptions in the first half alone.

Clemens, who started, was 16-of-34 for 232 yards and four
interceptions, while Fife was 8-of-24 for 123 yards and three

"I think our front four were pushing that pocket and tipping
passes," Washington State coach Bill Doba said. "That killed them
as much as anything."

Washington State, which beat Oregon 32-21 last season in Pullman
en route to the conference title, had not been to Eugene since

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's Oregon Ducks Apple Green/Yellow Team Issue Performance PoloShop