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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996

Oregon Loses Graziani in Win Over Nevada

Nonconference: Quarterback suffers knee injury. Former USC recruit McCullough runs for three touchdowns.

September 08, 1996|From Associated Press

Oregon won the game but lost its leader.

Tony Graziani, the Ducks' senior quarterback, left the game with a knee injury Saturday as Oregon beat Nevada, 44-30, in an offensive shootout at Eugene, Ore.

The Ducks (2-0) lost both Graziani and star defensive back Kenny Wheaton in the second quarter.

But back-up quarterback Ryan Perry-Smith and tailbacks Jerry Brown and Saladin McCullough kept the offense moving against the Wolf Pack, a Big West team playing its first Pacific 10 opponent since 1947.

Nevada (0-1) drove to the Oregon eight- and five-yard lines on its final two possessions, but failed to score.

Graziani, eighth nationally in total offense last season, tore a ligament in his right knee with only six seconds left in the first half and is expected be out four to six weeks, Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti said.

Wheaton has a strained tendon in his lower left leg.

Perry-Smith used two big plays to set up the Ducks' final scores. He connected with Josh Wilcox on a 37-yard pass play, then McCullough ran 24 yards to set up his one-yard touchdown run that made it 37-27 with 55 seconds left in the third period.

In the fourth quarter, Perry-Smith threw a pass covering 51 yards to freshman Tony Hartley to set up McCullough's five-yard touchdown run.

Brown, a redshirt freshman, rushed for 97 yards in 15 carries and scored one touchdown. McCullough, former Muir High star and a transfer from Pasadena City College who at one time was headed for USC, ran for 55 yards and three touchdowns.

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