The image of Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli icing his knee after leaving the rout of Washington State surely stirred some bad memories among Duck fans.
But Masoli was adamant that his right knee was no big deal. When asked if he could have returned if the game was closer, he emphatically said he could.
There was no need. Oregon led 35-0 late in the first half Saturday night when Masoli was replaced by Nate Costa and the Ducks went on to beat the Cougars 52-6.
As a result, Oregon (4-1, 2-0 Pacific-10 Conference) jumped three spots Sunday in the AP poll to No. 13.
A few years ago, Oregon was making a run for a possible national championship bid when quarterback Dennis Dixon, a Heisman candidate, blew out his knee.
Masoli and this season's Ducks were coming off a breakthrough 42-3 victory against then-No. 6 Cal the week before, a game in which the offense finally put together a complete performance. The Ducks were easily dominating Washington State when Masoli was sacked on the Cougars' 1-yard line.
"We would have taken him out anyway," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. "He played that last series and he was done."
Although Masoli said doctors were going to examine the knee on Sunday, he jogged off the field after the game Saturday night and had no apparent limp.
"I don't know what really happened; it's just a little sore right now," he said.
In just short of a half of football, Masoli completed 14 of 18 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 52 yards and a score.
He was complemented again by the stellar play of Ed Dickson, who was a Pac-10 player of the week for his three touchdown catches against California.
Dickson caught seven passes for 103 years and a touchdown against the Cougars. He now has 104 career catches, surpassing Josh Wilcox for most career receptions for an Oregon tight end. Wilcox (1993-96) had 103.
There was also attention on a pair of Ducks who didn't play: cornerback Walter Thurmond III and suspended running back LeGarrette Blount.
Thurmond, a senior and a team captain, was injured on the opening kickoff against Cal and will need season-ending knee surgery.
A key to the Ducks' defense, there were questions about how the rest of the group would respond. Oregon held the Cougars to 158 total offensive yards. They forced three fumbles and sacked Washington's two quarterbacks four times.
Thurmond, wearing street clothes, joined his teammates for the coin toss before Saturday's game.
Blount wasn't seen at the game.
On Friday, first-year coach Chip Kelly announced that there was a possibility the running back could return this season if he met certain conditions.
Blount was suspended for the season for punching a Boise State player in the aftermath of Oregon's 19-8 season-opening loss to the Broncos. He was allowed to stay on scholarship and practice with the team.
Kelly said Blount must meet academic and behavioral conditions before his possible reinstatement, which would not occur until Oregon's Nov. 7 game at Stanford at the earliest.
"People from the outside might view it as a distraction, but you know, LeGarrette is still on our team as a regular person," Masoli said. "It's not a distraction for us."