TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Oregon took a cue from No. 1 USC and
unleashed the running game against Arizona State. The result was
Kellen Clemens threw for 279 yards and Terrence Whitehead ran
for 122 to power No. 25 Oregon to a 31-17 victory over the No. 17
Sun Devils on Saturday night.
"The offensive line was winning at the line of scrimmage, so I
felt like we could run all day," Whitehead said.
He also caught nine passes for 100 yards for the Ducks (5-1, 2-1
Pac-10), who scored 24 consecutive points after the Sun Devils took
a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
"When he's healthy," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said of his
running back, "he's one of the best all-around football players in
The Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2), coming off an emotional, bruising
38-28 home loss to No. 1 USC, lost to Oregon for the first time in
"It's nice to climb back in this Pac-10 race," Bellotti said.
Sam Keller was 31-of-56 for 277 yards and two touchdowns. He
threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Clemens was
20-of-39. He threw for two touchdowns and was picked off twice.
Whitehead scored on a 6-yard reception and a 1-yard run.
The Ducks rushed for 234 yards to 53 for Arizona State.
"I thought our ability to move the football, run the football,
was probably the difference in the game," Bellotti said. "We
thought going in we would have a good chance to do that."
USC came back from a 21-3 halftime deficit to literally run over
the Sun Devils in the second half. The Ducks obviously were
"We did have problems stopping the run, and Oregon did a nice
job," Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said. "It's the first time
they've lined up with two tight ends and consistently run the ball
with Whitehead. We wondered if they would try to do more of that
after what happened with 'SC and they did."
Keller, operating behind an injury-riddled line, was too beat up
to talk to reporters after the game.
"Tonight we got outcoached and we got outplayed," Koetter
said. "It's not a fun feeling."
Matt Evensen, a walk-on freshman kicking in place of injured
Paul Martinez, kicked three field goals, including a 51-yarder as
the first half ended to put the Ducks ahead 13-10.
Evensen's 42-yard field goal early in the third quarter made it
16-10, then Nick Reed blocked Chris MacDonald's punt and recovered
at the Arizona State 1. Whitehead scored from there, then Clemens'
tossed a shuffle pass to James Finley for the two-point conversion,
and Oregon led 24-10 with 7:33 left in the third quarter.
Arizona State needed only 1:25 to go 69 yards in six plays.
Keller was 4-for-5 on the drive, capped by a 1-yard scoring pass to
Zach Miller that cut it to 24-17 with 6:08 left in the third. But
it was the only glimpse of the Sun Devils' usual high-powered
offense all night.
"We didn't show up tonight," Sun Devils wide receiver Derek
Hagan said. "It seemed like guys' minds weren't into the game too
much. Some guys were there, some guys weren't."
An interception by Zach Cantanese had Arizona State threatening
for the tying touchdown. But Justin Phinisee picked off Keller's
pass and returned it 51 yards to the Sun Devils 33.
The Ducks drove to the 1, but Arizona State held.
The Sun Devils couldn't capitalize though, and Clemens' 34-yard
touchdown pass over the middle to Demetrius Williams put Oregon
ahead 31-17 with 11:27 to play.
On Oregon's' first possession, DeWayne Hollyfield blocked
Evensen's 55-yard field goal try and Arizona State took over at the
ASU 43. Five plays later, Keller threw to a wide-open Derek Hagan
for a 20-yard scoring play that made it 7-0.
With the reception, Hagan tied the school record with 25 career
Oregon's first touchdown was set up by a spectacular
flea-flicker play. Clemens handed off to Whitehead, who pitched it
back to the quarterback. Clemens let fly with a pass that traveled
at least 60 yards in the air. Williams caught it, a 61-yard play to
the Arizona State 6, setting up the TD toss to Whitehead.
"I just threw it as hard as I could," Clemens said. "I know
my arm almost fell off."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Oregon converted a blocked punt it recovered at the SUn Devils' 1-yard-line, then added a two-point conversion. That gave the Ducks a 24-10 lead with 7:33 left in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Terrence Whitehead ran for 122 yards and caught nine passes for 100 more.
Stat of the game... Derek Hagan tied the Arizona State school record with his 25th career touchdown catch.