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California Fumbles Game Away to Oregon

November 17, 1996|From Associated Press

Incredibly, Oregon has a shot at a bowl game.

The Ducks, given up for dead after five consecutive conference losses, won their second in a row by beating fumble-prone California, 40-23, Saturday at Eugene, Ore.

That left Oregon one of five Pac-10 teams at 5-5 overall. Since a team must win six games to qualify for a bowl, four conference teams are assured bowl appearances and only three teams have winning records, the Ducks' season might not be over if they can beat Oregon State next Saturday.

"If you had told me we'd go 0-5 and then have a chance to go to a bowl game. . . ," Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti said.

Oregon, 2-5 in the Pac-10, hardly missed quarterback Tony Graziani and tailback Saladin McCullough, who sat out the game because of injuries.

Ryan Perry-Smith threw for two touchdowns and the tailback trio of Kevin Parker, Derien Latimer and Jerry Brown combined for 242 yards rushing.

Pat Barnes passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns for California (6-4, 3-4), but the Bears fumbled the ball away four times. Since a 5-0 start, California has committed 15 turnovers.

Oregon State 67, Northern Illinois 28--Quarterback Tim Alexander ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns as the Beavers routed the Huskies at Corvallis, Ore.

Alexander also had a 14-yard touchdown pass to Todd Harris as Oregon State improved to 2-8. Northern Illinois is 1-10.

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