Lethal Ground Combo Rushes Ducks to Win

Lethal Ground Combo Rushes Ducks to Win

Eugene -- Once again, the vaunted Oregon running game paced the Ducks on a wet Saturday afternoon to the tune of 307 rushing yards, with senior Jeremiah Johnson and junior LeGarrette Blount leading the way to a 35-28 win over Stanford.

(PHOTO) Jeremiah Johnson scores on a 41 yard TD run.(Photo by Chris Wilson)

"No fear," said Blount about the Ducks being down 28-27 with two minutes left in the contest, "we were confident we were going to win. Even with the mistakes we made, the game's not over till it's 0:00."

Blount, who accounted for 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 10 carries, ripped off an inspiring 38 yard touchdown run in the third quarter which saw him break a handful of tackles at the line of scrimmage before he sprinted for the score. This is a description that has become rather commonplace when it comes to illustrating Blount's visits to the endzone.

"Tremendous effort," said Oregon Offensive Coordinator Chip Kelly of Blount's long touchdown run, "once he gets going he's real tough to bring down. He's just a real tenacious kid."

Blount made his presence felt once again in the fourth quarter, with his three-yard touchdown run that ultimately proved to be the game winner with six seconds remaining on the clock.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I was getting in the endzone," said Blount, "Nobody was going to stop me."

While Blount's run hammered the proverbial nail in Stanford's coffin, it was the dynamic play of Johnson that kept the Ducks at arm's length of the Cardinal for most the game. Johnson, who earned his fourth career 100 yard rushing game with a career high 135 yards on the ground, made his presence felt early on with an outstanding 41 yard touchdown gallop in the first quarter. The run flashed equal parts speed and power, as he exploded into the secondary and finished the run off nicely by dragging a Stanford defender with him into the endzone. Additionally, Johnson led all Oregon receivers in receptions with three, though none were much bigger than his eleven yard reception which helped set up Blount's game-winner on the Ducks' final drive.

"We were relaxed," said Johnson of the team's composure during the final moments, "we've been here before and we knew we just had to capitalize on what we do best."

In the end, Johnson and Blount were the catalysts for the Ducks' victory on this soggy Saturday, combining for 225 yards on the ground and earning sufficient praise for their efforts from Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti afterwards.

"Those two guys did a great job," said Bellotti. "That group has resiliency and character and we have to continue to build on this game and on some of the confidence this team gained [with this victory]."

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