|Oregon's defense makes a statement against Washington State|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 14 October 2007 23:52|
``It seemed like every time we sat down, we got right back up because the defense kept them down or turned the ball over,'' running back Jonathan Stewart said.
Oregon (5-1, 2-1 Pacific-10) defeated the Cougars 53-7 on Saturday. Quarterback Dennis Dixon threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, and the defense sacked Washington State quarterback Alex Brink six times, forced him to fumble for a turnover and intercepted him twice.
Oregon defensive end Nick Reed had nine tackles, six unassisted, and 3 1/2 sacks.
``We talked last week about shutting people out,'' linebacker Kwame Agyeman said. ``If we want to be a championship team, a championship defense, we need to shut people out. This is what you can expect from now on.''
With the victory, and a couple of key upsets Saturday, the Ducks moved up two spots in the AP Poll to No. 7 - the highest ranked team from the Pac-10.
California, which had defeated the Ducks at Autzen Stadium on Sept. 29 and was ranked at No. 2, dropped to No. 10 following their 31-28 loss to Oregon State. USC fell three spots to No. 13 with a difficult 20-13 victory over Arizona. Arizona State beat Washington 44-20 to remain undefeated and move up two spots to No. 12.
``We feel like we're on a roll, like we have something special this year,'' Agyeman said.
Dixon completed 21 of 28 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored on a 1-yard keeper. Jaison Williams had four catches for 108 yards and a score.
But the victory was costly.
Receiver Cameron Colvin broke his ankle early in the game, and running back Jeremiah Johnson - half of Oregon's dangerous rushing tandem with Stewart - injured his right knee after scoring two touchdowns.
Colvin is out for the rest of the season and it appeared Johnson's knee injury was serious.
The Cougars (2-5, 0-4) were without receiver Brandon Gibson, who suited up but did not play. Gibson was leading the Pac-10 with 6.5 catches and 94.5 yards per game.
Brink, who grew up in Eugene and led Sheldon High to a state title but wasn't recruited by the Ducks, completed 15 of 33 passes for 251 yards. He had never appeared on-field at Autzen.
``It's frustrating for me on a person level because I definitely wanted to come home and play better in Eugene, but that's not the most important thing,'' Brink said. ``The most important thing for me is that as a team we got a loss, and now we're even farther away from our chances of going to a bowl game. We need to regroup as a team and stay together.''
Washington State has a bye week before hosting UCLA.
Oregon, ranked No. 10 in the BCS standings, heads to Washington next Saturday for a rivalry game against the Huskies (2-4, 0-3).
``We need to continue to stay within ourselves, not worry about the hype and play the way we've been playing,'' Dixon said.