Ducks Walk The Walk

AP/SF Chronicle, Deanne Fitzmaurice
Call it the 11-minute victory margin.

Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington kept the ball 11:04 longer than Washington's Marques Tuiasosopo on Saturday to lead the No. 20 Ducks to a 23-16 victory over the No. 6 Huskies.

"It gave us confidence," Harrington said of the difference in possession times. "We've been able to get a drive when we need to, and a score when we need to."

It's also a statistic that has predicted just about every game for Washington (3-1, 0-1 Pac-10) which led the Pac-10 in ball control last season with an average of 32:57. The Huskies won all six games when they had the ball longer than an opponent last year, and lost five of the six games they didn't.

Tuiasosopo blamed himself for not moving the ball in the first half against Oregon, leaving the Huskies trailing 17-3 at halftime.

"We lost because of our inefficiency and ineffectiveness on offense in the first half," he said.

Washington coach Rick Neuheisel also blamed poor field position, with the Huskies starting on average from their 17 while Oregon began from its 47, on average.

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Game Summary

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  • "It was an uphill battle all day," Neuheisel said. "I didn't think we were playing that poorly."

    Oregon (4-1, 2-0 Pac-10) has won 18 straight at home, the longest active streak in the Pac-10.

    Oregon led all the way before a home crowd of 46,153, the third-largest ever at Autzen Stadium.

    Otherwise, it was a fairly even game, with Oregon dominating the first half and Washington threatening to take it away in the final quarter. The total offense was 348 yards for Oregon to 340 yards for Washington.

    Harrington and Tuiasosopo both ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass.

    But Washington got most of its yardage in the air, with Tuiasosopo completing 14 of 37 passes for 229 yards with two interceptions. The Huskies who depend on Tuiasosopo as their leading rusher had only 111 yards on the ground.

    "We took away the option, for the most part, and took away the run," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "Our defense played very well."

    Oregon on the other hand, picked up its yardage on the ground, with 229 yards rushing including 152 yards from Maurice Morris on 31 carries.

    "The offensive line has done an excellent job opening holes for me," said Morris, who averaged 4.9 yards per carry and nearly broke free on a 39-yard run.

    Harrington finished with 119 yards passing, completing 9 of 22, including the opening touchdown for Oregon on a 13-yard post up the middle to tight end Justin Peelle at 8:53 into the first quarter.

    But Harrington had to drive the Ducks 88 yards in nine plays after a 70-yard punt return by Keenan Howry was called back for an illegal Oregon block.

    Howry nearly scored three times on punt returns in the first half including the first for 70 followed by 35 and 23 yards, only to have all three called back on penalties.

    Howry also was hit before the ball got to him on another punt, drawing a Washington penalty, and made the tackle to stop a fake punt on fourth down during the first Washington possession of the second half.

    John Anderson kicked a 38-yard field goal to put Washington on the scoreboard with 2:37 left in the first quarter but Oregon led 17-3 at halftime.

    Both Washington touchdowns came in the final quarter. Tuiasosopo ran seven yards at 4:08 into the quarter to cap a 98-yard drive in 14 plays.

    He completed the second Washington scoring drive in just five plays, including a 59-yard pass to tight end Jerramy Stevens that set up an 8-yard TD pass to tailback Willie Hurst.

    Josh Frankel kicked a 32-yard field goal for Oregon but missed three more, from 46, 38 and 23 yards, along with an extra point.

    Sophomore tailback Allan Amundson got the other Oregon touchdown, bulling his way into the end zone from 6 yards out with 2:05 left to play in the first half.

    Oregon linebacker Matt Smith had an interception and batted down a fourth-down pass by Tuiasosopo with 1:52 to play that ended the last real chance for the Huskies to score.

    Washington had one last play after Oregon tried to run out the clock on the ground, but Tuiasosopo's final pass intercepted in a crowd of defenders playing deep at midfield.

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