Arizona at Oregon

No. 3 Oregon hammers Arizona wire reports

EUGENE, Ore. -- For all the talk about the Oregon's quick-striking offense, the credit for the conference-opening win over Arizona goes to the Ducks' defense.

No. 3 Oregon held the No. 22 Wildcats out of the end zone in a 49-0 victory on Saturday night, and the defense helped with two touchdowns of its own off interceptions.

"The defense did an unbelievable job. To hold them to zero points says enough about what they did," Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said.

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It was the Ducks' first shutout in conference play since a 35-0 victory over Stanford on Oct. 25, 2003.

The game was billed as an offensive juggernaut between the Pac-12's two fastest and highest-scoring offenses, but Oregon's D thwarted the Wildcats in the red zone six times and forced four Arizona turnovers.

"I'll say we didn't expect this," Oregon safety Brian Jackson said. "But I'm not surprised it happened."

Oregon came in averaging 54 points per game, while Arizona wasn't far behind at a little more than 46 points. Much was made about the meeting between the speedy Ducks under Chip Kelly and Arizona's spread offense under no-huddle, up-tempo pioneer Rich Rodriguez.

But the Ducks (4-0, 1-0) held just a 13-0 lead at the break before finally finding their stride in the second half. Arizona never found it.

"Offensively, it was a tale of four bad quarters. Disappointing we didn't execute better, especially in the red zone. You can't afford to do that against anybody, let alone Oregon," Rodriguez said.

Mariota threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yard scoring pass to freshman Bralon Addison. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Tory Hill each returned interceptions for scores.

Matt Scott passed for 210 yards for Arizona (3-1, 0-1) but was intercepted three times. Scott left the game for a few minutes in the first quarter and although he appeared to be fine when he sprinted back on the field, Rodriguez later revealed that Scott had hurt his hip.

Oregon held Arizona to 332 total yards in offense, well off the Wildcats' average of 605 yards going into the game.

Things got off to a sloppy start Saturday as Oregon failed on fourth down and each team turned the ball over before Mariota found Daryle Hawkins with a 17-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter.

Arizona got as close as the 2-yard line on the next series, but couldn't punch it in and turned the ball over on downs. The Wildcats' struggles' continued when John Bonano's 31-yard field goal was blocked early in the second quarter.

Rob Beard hit a 27-yard field goal to increase Oregon's advantage to 10-0. It was the Ducks' first FG of the season. Beard added a 41-yarder late in the first half to make it 13-0 at the break.

Oregon's hybrid 3-4 defense under longtime coordinator Nick Aliotti held the Wildcats to 141 yards in total offense in the first 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Arizona's new 3-3-5 defense kept the normally prolific Ducks from piling on points.

There was more of the same to open the second half, and the first two possessions by both teams ended in punts.

But then the Ducks started rolling. De'Anthony Thomas returned Arizona's third-straight punt 38 yards, setting up a 35-yard pass to Colt Lyerla, who finished it off with a 1-yard touchdown run. The drive took just three plays and 29 seconds.

Kiko Alonso intercepted Scott, leading to Mariota's long TD pass to Addison, before Ekpre-Olomu ran his interception back 54 yards to make it 35-0.

Bryan Bennett added an 8-yard scoring run with 4:02 left in the game and Hill intercepted Scott's backup, B.J. Denker, for a 29-yeard touchdown and the final margin.

"It's our job to make the score on the other side as low as possible," Oregon's Jackson said. "And tonight we made it as low as possible."

Arizona opened coach Rodriguez's tenure with a victory over Toledo before upsetting then-No. 18 Oklahoma State 59-38 in their second game. Last weekend in a 56-0 win over South Carolina State, the Wildcats ran a school-record 102 offensive plays.

The Wildcats were the first big test for Oregon, which opened the season with victories over Arkansas State, Fresno State and lower-division Tennessee Tech.

Before this season, Arizona hadn't been ranked in the AP Top 25 since November 2010, when the No. 20 Wildcats were knocked out with a 48-29 loss to the then-No. 1 Ducks.

Last season, Oregon defeated Arizona 56-31 in Tucson.

Oregon's last shutout of Arizona came in 1964, when the Ducks won 21-0 at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Oregon's last overall shutout was a 69-0 victory over Portland State in 2010.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Oregon has plenty of reason to celebrate after quickly turning a close game into a rout against Arizona.  (Getty Images)
Oregon has plenty of reason to celebrate after quickly turning a close game into a rout against Arizona. (Getty Images)

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Scoring Summary
OREGDaryle Hawkins 17 yd pass from Marcus Mariota (Rob Beard kick)
OREGRob Beard 27 yd FG
OREGRob Beard 41 yd FG
OREGColt Lyerla 1 yd run (Rob Beard 2pt pass from Jackson Rice)
OREGBralon Addison 55 yd pass from Marcus Mariota (Rob Beard kick)
OREGIfo Ekpre-Olomu 54 yd interception return (Rob Beard kick)
OREGBryan Bennett 8 yd run (Rob Beard kick)
OREGTroy Hill 29 yd interception return (Rob Beard kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1925
Third Down Efficiency6-179-19
Fourth Down Efficiency0-41-2
Plays-Net Yards84-33289-495
Passing Yds243267
Kick Return Yds1163
Punt Return Yds038
Time of Poss.26:2733:33
Individual Stats
ARIZ: Ka'Deem Carey 21-79, Matt Scott 5-9, Daniel Jenkins 3-4, B.J. Denker 1-3, Richard Morrison 1-1, Kyle Dugandzic 1--7
OREG: Kenjon Barner 20-86, Colt Lyerla 7-63, De'Anthony Thomas 12-48, Marcus Mariota 5-17, Bryan Bennett 3-12, Byron Marshall 3-10, Ayele Forde 2-8, Team 1--16
ARIZ: Matt Scott 22-44-210-3, B.J. Denker 5-8-33-1
OREG: Marcus Mariota 20-35-260-1, Bryan Bennett 1-1-7-0
ARIZ: David Richards 7-50, Austin Hill 6-50, Ka'Deem Carey 4-37, Dan Buckner 3-42, Johnny Jackson 3-34, Richard Morrison 2-14, Tyler Slavin 1-9, Daniel Jenkins 1-7
OREG: Dwayne Stanford 5-41, Bralon Addison 3-83, Colt Lyerla 2-53, Kenjon Barner 2-29, Daryle Hawkins 2-25, Will Murphy 2-13, Eric Dungy 2-11, De'Anthony Thomas 2-11, Keanon Lowe 1-1
Arizona6th Pac-12 South1-83-9
Oregon6th Pac-12 North2-74-8

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