November 22, 2009 in Sports

Watershed win

Ducks rally past Arizona, control BCS destiny
Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Arizona’s David Douglas fumbles the ball after being hit by Oregon’s T. J. Ward, bottom, in the first half.
(Full-size photo)

Jeremiah Masoli tied it with a touchdown pass to Ed Dickson with six seconds left, then won it with a 1-yard run in the second overtime as No. 11 Oregon defeated Arizona 44-41 at Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday night and took a big step toward the Pac-10 title.

Masoli threw for three scores and ran for three more as the Ducks rallied from a 24-14 deficit early in the fourth quarter.

The Ducks (9-2, 7-1 Pac-10) will earn a Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl berth with a victory over No. 20 Oregon State in a winner-take-all Civil War on Dec. 3 in Eugene.

Nick Foles threw four TD passes for Arizona (6-4, 4-3), which was eliminated from Rose Bowl contention.

After Masoli hit Jeff Maehl for a 4-yard score on Oregon’s first overtime possession, Foles hit Juron Criner with a 3-yard strike to tie it at 38-38.

Alex Zendejas kicked a 41-yard field goal to give Arizona a 41-38 lead in the second overtime. But Oregon answered quickly.

Masoli hit Dickson for 22 yards, and three plays later the quarterback bulled over from a yard out.

Oregon tied it at 31-31 when Masoli hit Dickson in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard score.

That came after another minor miracle for the Ducks. Oregon had tied it at 24-24 midway through the final quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Morgan Flint — a line-drive kick that hit the crossbar and bounced through the uprights.

Arizona took a 31-24 lead midway through the fourth quarter on a 71-yard screen pass from Foles to Criner, who outraced the defense to the end zone, fighting off two defenders over the final 10 yards.

Arizona appeared ready to run the clock out on its next possession. But Oregon’s Talmadge Jackson III picked off a pass in the end zone, giving the Ducks one last shot.

They took over at their own 20 with 3:11 to play. With red-clad Arizona students ringing the sidelines, Masoli guided the Ducks downfield in 15 plays and 3:05, scoring with six ticks to spare.

California 34, (14) Stanford 28: Shane Vereen ran for a career-high 193 yards and three touchdowns on 42 carries and Mike Mohamed intercepted a pass from Andrew Luck at the 3 with less than 2 minutes left as the Bears spoiled the Cardinal’s Rose Bowl hopes with a victory in the Big Game at Stanford, Calif.

What was billed as the biggest Big Game in years lived up to the pregame hype, with Stanford’s Heisman Trophy contender Toby Gerhart rushing for 136 yards, four touchdowns and carrying defenders on a 29-yard reception that set up Stanford (7-4, 6-3 Pac-10) at the Cal 13 with less than 2 minutes left.

Luck then threw an incompletion on first down and was intercepted by Mohamed on second with 1:36 to go, setting off a wild celebration on the Cal sideline. After Kevin Riley took three knees, the Cal students rushed the field and Stanford Stadium as the Golden Bears (8-3, 5-3) won the coveted Axe for the seventh time in eight years.

UCLA 23, Arizona St. 13: Redshirt freshman Kevin Prince passed for 161 yards, the defense accounted for two touchdowns and set up a field goal and the Bruins (6-5, 3-5 Pac-10) beat the Sun Devils (4-7, 2-6) at Pasadena, Calif., to become bowl eligible with their sixth win.

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