Ryan Perry-Smith threw for two touchdowns and Kevin Parker ran for two more Saturday as Oregon posted a 40-23 Pac-10 football win over fumble-prone California.
Oregon (5-5, 2-5 Pac-10) scored three touchdowns in less than three minutes late in the second quarter, then held off the Bears in the second half.
Pat Barnes threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns for California (6-4, 3-4), but the Bears fumbled the ball away four times. After a 5-0 start, California has committed 15 turnovers in losing four of their last five games.
After five straight losses, the Ducks have beaten Arizona and Cal by a combined score of 89-54. They can clinch their third consecutive winning season, and have an outside shot at a bowl berth, if they beat Oregon State next week.
Cal also remains in the hunt for a bowl, since it is one of only three teams in the Pac-10 with a winning record. Four teams in the conference are assured postseason appearances, and five teams are 5-5.
Oregon had seven sacks. Three were by Derrick Barnes, who forced two fumbles and recovered another, returning it 42 yards to set up a touchdown.
Rain fell throughout the game until midway through the final quarter.
Perry-Smith, starting in place of injured Tony Graziani, had a 24-yard touchdown pass to Blake Spence and a 4-yard scoring pass to Damon Griffin. Even though standout tailback Saladin McCullough sat out the game with a pulled hamstring, Oregon rushed for 235 yards, led by redshirt freshman Derien Latimer’s 104.
Trailing 24-3 at halftime and 30-17 after three quarters, California had first-and-goal at the Oregon 2 early in the fourth quarter, but Deltha O’Neal, who rushed for 126 yards, fumbled the ball away for the second time. The Ducks’ Kenny Wheaton recovered at the 1 just as the ball was headed out of bounds.
Oregon used up 8-1/2 minutes to drive 98 yards to the California 1 before settling for Joshua Smith’s 21-yard field goal to make it 33-17 with 5:55 to play. Cal scored again, but Barnes was sacked on a two-point conversion try.
After California’s Ryan Longwell tied the score at 3 with a 44-yard field goal with 6:04 left in the first half, Pat Johnson returned the kickoff 40 yards. Aided by a facemask penalty, the Ducks went 57 yards in seven plays, all on the ground, with Parker scoring on a 1-yard run.
Moments later, O’Neal fumbled but Derrick Barnes fielded the ball like a shortstop. Three plays later, Parker scored on an eight-yard run to make it 17-3 1:08 before halftime.
On Cal’s next play, Marc Vera fumbled and Oregon’s Reggie Jordan recovered at the Bears’ 33. A 15-yard personal foul penalty pushed the Ducks back to the 48, but Perry-Smith completed three of four passes, the last one 24 yards to a wide-open Spence for a touchdown, to put Oregon up 24-3 with 16 seconds left in the half.
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