3:30 PM ET, September 30, 2006
Sun Devil Stadium, TEMPE, AZ
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The 14th-ranked Oregon Ducks wanted to answer critics who called their controversial victory over Oklahoma two weeks ago a fluke.
Oregon did more than that in a 48-13 rout of Arizona State. On a 95-degree afternoon in the desert, the Ducks (4-0, 2-0) also stamped themselves a contender for their first Pac-10 title since 2001.
"I thought our players played with great purpose today," said Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, whose team set up a Top 25 showdown against California next Saturday in Berkeley. "I told our players that we have to understand we are the hunted."
It was Oregon's first game since the officials erroneously awarded them possession of an onside kick in a 34-33 victory over Oklahoma Sept. 16 -- a mistake that resulted in Pac-10 suspensions of on-field officials and two replay officials.
All week Bellotti had said his team didn't receive credit for its play against the Sooners. That will change after the Ducks used a balanced attack and a relentless defense to overwhelm the Sun Devils (3-2, 0-2).
The defense registered six sacks and limited the once-potent Arizona State attack to 175 yards and a pair of field goals. Terry Richardson returned a kickoff 100 yards for ASU's only touchdown.
"As a team on defense, we were able to dominate the line and really put some pressure on the quarterback," said Ducks defensive end Dexter Manley II, who had three sacks.
Arizona State suffered its worst home loss in six seasons under coach Dirk Koetter, and its worst defeat in Sun Devil Stadium since a 59-23 loss to UCLA Nov. 12, 1994. Koetter fell to 2-18 against Top 25 opponents.
Koetter called the loss "horrendous."
"I apologize to our fans," Koetter said. "We should be paying them for making them sit through that."
Arizona State, after being ranked 22nd two weeks ago, has been outscored 97-34 over the last two Saturdays.
Sun Devils quarterback Rudy Carpenter, who led the nation in passing efficiency last season, continued his recent struggles. Carpenter completed 6 of 19 passes for 33 yards and threw an interception in the end zone.
Junior tailback Ryan Torain, who ran for 113 yards, was ASU's lone offensive bright spot.
Offense was only part of the problem for the Sun Devils. After a 49-21 loss at California last weekend, the Sun Devils had pledged to shore up their defense after that humiliating loss.
But they had no answer against a balanced Oregon attack directed by Dixon, a junior who leads the conference in total offense. Dixon was 19-of-30 for 215 yards and three touchdowns and did not throw an interception.
"If the running game is not there, you've got to be able to throw the ball too," Dixon said. "Having that combination is deadly."
The running game was there on this day. Despite being slowed by an ankle injury, Stewart gained 142 yards on 12 carries, an 11.8-yard average, while back-up Jeremiah Johnson rushed for 89 yards on six carries, a 14.8-yard average.
"Me and J.J. have been producing, especially today," said Stewart, whose 63-yard run was the longest by an Oregon player in five years. "We both saw eye-to-eye and said, 'We're doing it today.' "
Using a mix of short passes and misdirection runs, Oregon marched 76 yards on nine plays on its first possession, with Dixon throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Williams.
On the next series, Oregon cornerback Terrell Ward, making his first college appearance, intercepted a Carpenter pass in the end zone. Then Dixon connected with Williams again to give Oregon a 14-0 lead with three minutes to go in the first quarter. That capped an eight-play, 80-yard march.
Williams, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, caught seven passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the first 12 minutes.
"I just think that all facets of our offense are coming together right now," Williams said.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... QB Dennis Dixon and Jaison Williams connected for two touchdowns to give Oregon an early 14-0 lead.
Gameball goes to... Dixon, who led the Ducks with three touchdowns on 20-for-31 passing for 214 yards. He also rushed for 31 yards in the 48-13 win.
Stat of the game... 44.4: Rudy Carpenter, one of the nation's most efficient passers as a freshman, completed just 44.4% of his passes against Oregon.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-13||1-13|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||1-3|
|TD||10:19||JAISON WILLIAMS 13 YD PASS FROM DENNIS DIXON (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||3:00||JAISON WILLIAMS 33 YD PASS FROM DENNIS DIXON (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||6:36||JESSE AINSWORTH 33 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||3:46||CAMERON COLVIN 3 YD RUN (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||0:00||PAUL MARTINEZ 33 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 20 yards.
|TD||10:38||JEREMIAH JOHNSON 4 YD RUN (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 70 yards.
|TD||10:19||TERRY RICHARDSON 100 YD KICK RETURN (JESSE AINSWORTH KICK)||31||10|
|FG||1:56||JESSE AINSWORTH 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 42 yards.
|TD||12:07||JORDAN KENT 2 YD PASS FROM DENNIS DIXON (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||5:47||DAN KAUSE 13 YD PASS FROM BRADY LEAF (PAUL MARTINEZ KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 73 yards.
|FG||2:38||PAUL MARTINEZ 20 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 14 yards.