Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fifth-ranked Ducks overpower Sun Devils

Oregon Ducks 42

Arizona State Sun Devils 31

Oregon expected its biggest test of the season Saturday, and got it. Ultimately, the fifth-ranked Ducks maintained their perfect record, beating Arizona State 42-31 in Sun Devil Stadium to open Pac-10 play this season. The Ducks (4-0, 1-0 Pacific-10 Conference) trailed by 10 points in the second quarter before striking in the second and third quarters with four unanswered touchdowns to seize control before sealing a 42-31 victory.

Oregon runningback LaMichael James, right, alludes the tackle attempt by Arizona State safety Keelan Johnson, left, as he rushes for a touchdown in the first quarter of an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

On offense, Oregon's trademark running game was a no-show for most of the night. The Sun Devils overcommitted to stopping LaMichael James on the Oregon's zone runs and option plays, forcing the Ducks to go to the air to move the ball. James topped the century mark with 114 yards, but it took 28 bruising carries to get there.

Arizona State held the nation's second-leading rushing team to 145 yards -- 235 below its average -- and used its up-tempo offense to build a 10-point lead late in a first half. The national leader in total and scoring defense, Oregon gave up plenty of yards: 597, Arizona's most since 2000.

Oregon rallied behind Darron Thomas' arm, scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:21 and blowing it open with two more scores in the third quarter. Thomas completed 19 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a pair of scores. In the end, Thomas did what he had to do to move the Ducks, secure the victory before a crowd of 60,326 and set up a pivotal game against 16th-ranked Stanford (4-0, 1-0) next Saturday in Autzen Stadium.

The highlight is taken fromOregon Duck Soup

Go Ducks!

NEXT: #4 Oregon Ducks vs #9 Stanford Cardinals, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon

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