(Saturday, November 14th)
Final Score: (14) Oregon 44, Arizona State 21
Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - LaMichael James rushed for 150 yards and a trio of scores as 14th-ranked Oregon remained atop the Pac-10 standings by throttling Arizona State, 44-21, at Autzen Stadium.
Jeremiah Masoli threw for a pair of touchdowns for the Ducks (8-2, 6-1 Pac-10), who bounced back from a 51-42 loss at Stanford and remained a half- game ahead of the Cardinal in the standings. The Ducks, who have played one less game than the Cardinal, are also a game ahead of Oregon State. Oregon plays at Arizona (4-2 Pac-10) next Saturday before finally completing the season December 3 at home against the Beavers.
Earlier in the week, the Ducks reinstated running back LeGarrette Blount. He was suspended for punching a Boise State player following the opening game of the season on September 3. Blount dressed for Saturday's game, but didn't play.
Masoli connected on 10-of-20 passes for 120 yards and was picked off once.
James recorded his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game and seventh overall this season. He ran his freshman school record to 1,193 yards.
"He had a great game, and continued to show he is one of the best backs in the league," said Oregon coach Chip Kelly. "He has confidence and speed; he is a dangerous guy. It is tough to knock him off of his feet and he understands the game offensively."
Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler left the game in the second quarter with an injury and was replaced by Samson Szakacsy. The Sun Devils (4-6, 2-5) have lost four in a row. Osweiler finished 5-of-10 through the air for 14 yards with an interception, while Szakacsy was 13-of-22 for 113 yards with a score. Dmitri Nance rushed for 77 yards and a TD in a losing effort.
"Brock could have come back," said ASU coach Dennis Erickson. "It was a coach's decision to keep him out partially because of how Samson was playing. I think without a doubt it (brings up a situation at quarterback) for the team going forward."
Down by 24 at the half, ASU started to rally in the third. Szakacsy scored on a one-yard run to culminate a 14-play, 78-yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes off the clock.
Oregon fumbled away the ensuing kickoff and Szakacsy's 15-yard TD pass to Kyle Williams drew the visitors within 31-21 with 2:55 left in the third.
Oregon stemmed the tide, though when Masoli threw 21 yards to Jeff Maehl for a score and the Ducks' defense came up big early in the fourth, stopping Nance for no gain, on third and fourth down.
That gave the Ducks the ball at the ASU 43, and Morgan Flint kicked a 43-yard field goal. He later added a 41-yarder to cap the scoring.
James scored on a four-yard run early in the opening quarter and added a two- yard TD burst later in the period before ASU finally scored on Nance's two- yard run on the first play of the second.
Oregon then exploded for 17 consecutive points to make it a momentary blowout. Flint kicked a 27-yard field goal, and after Osweiler was picked off, James found the end zone from four yards out with 10:21 left in the half.
The lead ballooned to 31-7 when Ed Dickson caught Masoli's nine-yard scoring pass.
The Sun Devils play at UCLA next week before hosting Arizona to conclude the season...Oregon has won the past five meetings against ASU by a combined score of 212-94...The matchup pitted Oregon's conference-leading rushing offense (233.6 yards per game) against the Pac-10's best rushing defense in ASU (87.4 ypg). The Ducks finished with 268 yards rushing to 84 for ASU...The Ducks have won nine straight games at Autzen Stadium, the third longest streak in the facility's history.
11/15 03:16:00 ET