Ducks Put Bruin Hopes into Hibernation
By Eric Lambkins II
Sentinel Sports Writer
EUGENE, Oregon—The Ducks were clearly the best team Thursday, and arguably the nation, as the Oregon cruised to a 60-13 rout over UCLA.
Oregon’s defense stymied and dashed any and all hopes that UCLA entered the game with. UCLA looked to match the plans they had when they upset the Texas Longhorns, when they squared off in front of a noisy Autzen Stadium Thursday night. It took Oregon less than two minutes to score their first of eight touchdowns. The Ducks answered an early 1st quarter interception by John Boyett off UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut, who filled in for an injured Kevin Prince, with an 8 play 90-yard touchdown scoring drive.
Heisman hopeful, Oregon RB LaMichael James, scored the Ducks first touchdown of the day when he dashed up the middle of the Bruin defense for an 8-yard touchdown. James also spent a portion of the 1st quarter on the sideline with an injury but would later re-enter the game and finish with 20 carries for 123 yard and two touchdowns.
While James nursed his injury, Remene Alston Jr. filled in and ran for a 1-yard touchdown, one of his three scores on the day. Nate Costa compounded the frustration of the Bruins, when he put the Ducks up 15-0 after running in a two-point conversion that caught UCLA defenders off guard.
UCLA kicker Kai Forbath hit one of his two field goals on the day, when he booted a 25-yard chip shot through the uprights. Forbath continues to kick his way closer into collegiate immortality, as he only needs seven to tie the record set by Billy Bennet in 2003.
Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas was surgical with his passing attack, as he carved up the Bruin defense, completing his first 11 passes for 153 yards. Thomas connected with wide receiver Josh Huff for a 22-yard touchdown and tight end David Paulson for a 6-yard touchdown strike to put the Ducks up 29-3. Oregon would enter halftime 32-3 as they scored on each of their first five possessions.
Oregon has scored at least 24 points in the 1st half of 6 of their 7 games this season.
Thomas added a second half touchdown pass to Jeff Mahel for a 3-yard laser in the back of the end zone. Thomas would finish the day passing 22 of 31, a career-high 308 yards, and three touchdowns.
The Ducks managed to overwhelm the Bruins in every facet of the game. Oregon outperformed and outmatched UCLA in every possibility fathomable. The Ducks were too fast, too powerful, and too bright, as Oregon adorned their yellow jerseys in front of an all yellow crowd. UCLA’s Pistol offense fired blanks all around as the Oregon swarmed to the ball on defense. The Bruins entered the game ranked 13th in the nation in rushing yards per game at 223 but were held Thursday to 131 yards rushing.
Brehaut, who led UCLA to a 42-28 victory over Washington State earlier this season, finished the day completing 16 of 23 passes for 159 yards and ran for a 6-yard touchdown against Oregon’s replacement defense.
UCLA (3-4, 1-3 Pac-10) will prepare to bounce back against a strong Arizona Wildcat team, when they square off in Pasadena on October 30th.
Oregon (7-0, 4-0 Pac-10) will travel to Los Angeles next week as they seek to continue their undefeated run against USC at the Coliseum.