Oregon snaps losing streak with a sign of relief
EUGENE, Ore. -- They've been called the human highlighters, but maybe the Oregon Ducks should consider wearing their bright yellow uniforms every game.
Donned in "lightning yellow," Oregon stopped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 35-0 blanking of Stanford.
That makes the yellows 2-0.
"I would love to stay in the lightning yellows, or even mix them up a bit," free safety Keith Lewis said.
Oregon will keep fans guessing until next week when the Ducks (5-3, 2-2 Pacific-10) head to Washington, which lost 43-23 to Southern California on Saturday.
"Every game from here on out is a huge win for us," said Kellen Clemens, part of Oregon's' rotating quarterback system. "The way the Pac-10 is going right now, with two losses you're still in it."
Stanford (2-4, 0-4) hosts UCLA next week.
"There is a lot of football left to be played," said Cardinal free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. "I just feel like we have to keep working hard and it's going to happen for us."
Terrence Whitehead ran for 172 yards and two scores for Oregon, which saw their first shutout of a Pacific-10 opponent since 1992, when they beat Oregon State 7-0.
Clemens completed 15 of 17 passes for 149 yards, while fellow quarterback Jason Fife was 8-of-10 for 115 yards for the Ducks. Fife also ran for a score, as did Dante Rosario.
Stanford, with its fourth straight loss, couldn't manage to score when it got to the Oregon 1 with a first down early in the fourth quarter. The drive ended after some back-and-fourth and seven snaps when the Cardinal turned the ball over on downs.
"The stand at the goal line was maybe one of the greatest things I've ever seen," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said.
Stanford used fifth-year senior QB Chris Lewis rather than freshman Trent Edwards, who had unseated Lewis as starter after the opener against San Jose State. But Edwards went down with a slight concussion and a shoulder sprain last week in Stanford's 24-14 loss to Washington State, and Lewis got the nod against Oregon.
Lewis completed 12 of 25 throws for 188 yards, but had three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Mark Bradford had seven receptions for 153 yards for the Cardinal.
Clemens started and led Oregon on an 80-yard drive that ended with Whitehead's 3-yard scoring run. The Ducks' defense then shook off any cobwebs left over from last week's bye when Kevin Mitchell intercepted Lewis' pass meant for Justin McCullum and ran it back 9 yards for a touchdown.
Stanford had further trouble when Michael Sgroi's 39-yard field goal attempt went wide.
Fife made an appearance in the second quarter and capped his first drive with a 9-yard keeper to put the Ducks up 21-0. It was his fifth rushing touchdown this season.
"I thought Oregon played with a lot of emotion," Lewis said. "We had a lot of opportunities in the first half to put the ball in, and that changed momentum."
Whitehead ran 44 yards for another score to open the second half. Rosario capped it off with a a fourth-quarter 1-yard TD dash for Oregon, which opened the season with four straight victories and was ranked as high as No. 10 before it went on the three-game slide, punctuated by a 59-14 rout by Arizona State.
Bellotti said Saturday's victory was a group effort.
"Our offense did well early, running the football. Terrence Whitehead, a huge game. Our quarterbacks were very efficient; I'm extremely pleased with what they did. Special teams played really well," Bellotti said. "So, overall, that was a total team victory and one we certainly needed."
Oregon lost cornerback Steven Moore in the first half with a sprained left ankle. X-rays didn't show any serious damage, and Bellotti said Moore would be evaluated as the week progressed.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Source: Ex-judge to conduct Winston hearing
- Sources: Syracuse to face NCAA Oct. 30-31
- Michigan to drop price of student tickets in '15
- No. 18 East Carolina holds off upstart UConn