"We got some great plays by our special teams," Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti told the Oregon Sports Network after the game and special teams play made the difference. The Ducks capitalized on a school record setting 59-yard field goal by sophomore place kicker Jared Siegel at the end of the first half to give the Ducks a 24-21 lead. The Ducks also had a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown by senior Keenan Howry and a pivotal blocked extra point by freshman defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.
Offensively the Ducks were very workmen like in a consistent and for the most part error free performance. The Ducks did not turn the ball over and quarterback Jason Fife led his teammates in a solid offensive outing. Fife was 14 of 18 for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Fife's first touchdown pass was to tight end George Wrighster in the first quarter. Wrighster wound up with five catches for 62 yards and the one score. Fife also hooked up with Howry at the beginning of the fourth quarter when scrambling out of danger, then the quarterback connected to a wide-open Howry for a 74-yard scoring play. Howry had three receptions for 87 yards. The Ducks flourished with the running game. Junior tailback Onterrio Smith established a new school record by rushing for his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game. Smith battered the Burins all day long and finished with 152 yards on 25 carries. Freshman Terrance Whitehead gave a glimpse of the future for the Oregon running game as he carried the ball twice for 43 yards including a 37 yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Ducks battled UCLA's ability to score on big plays. Oregon gave up three long touchdown pass plays. UCLA's quarterback Cory Paus hit Tad Perry on the first play of UCLA's first possession on a 59-yard strike. Paus would also connect with Craig Bragg for a 71-yard scoring pass play in the second quarter and a 46-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Bragg also had a touchdown reception of 53-yards resulting from a trick play on a pass thrown by wide receiver Jon Dubravac, who had taken a direct snap. Bragg ended the day with a massive 230 yards receiving on nine catches and three touchdowns. Perry ended the afternoon with seven catches for 126 yards and one touchdown. Paus was 17 of 31 for 316 yards, three touchdowns but also gave up three interceptions. Oregon freshman cornerback Aaron Gipson had two picks while his corner mate junior Steven Moore had one interception. UCLA redshirt freshman Tyler Ebell recorded a back-to-back consecutive 100-yard game finishing with 119 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Bellotti did not have an injury report after the game.
The win gives Oregon a 6-0 record for the season and 2-0 in the Pac-10 race. UCLA drops to 3-2 for the season and 1-1 in Pac-10 competition. Oregon will face Arizona State next week at Autzen Stadium.