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Working Extra Pays for Oregon

November 05, 2000|From Associated Press

PULLMAN, Wash. — Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was able to joke about the Ducks' latest overtime victory.

"I'm sure it's good for the ratings," Harrington said Saturday after No. 7 Oregon beat Washington State, 27-24. "I'm sure it's not good for the heart or the hairline."

Josh Frankel kicked a career-best 47-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime for Oregon, 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the Pacific 10 Conference, which beat Arizona State, 56-55, last week in double overtime.

It was the third overtime loss this season for the Cougars (3-6, 1-5), who also lost starting quarterback Jason Gesser to a broken left leg.

After Frankel's kick, Jed Boice blocked Anousith Wilaikul's 39-yard field-goal attempt.

"It would be nice to blow a team out once in a while, but a win's a win," Boice said.

Oregon's defense, which came close to blocking kicks all game, made a blocking change that allowed Boice to slip through and get a hand on Wilaikul's kick.

"I don't know where it was going, but I'm certainly glad Jed got it," Duck Coach Mike Bellotti said. "We were talking about a block, and Jed has become a force this year. That was obviously a huge play."

Harrington credited the defense with coming up with a big play when it was needed.

"That's what separates us from a lot of other teams. We're a really tight team," he said. "If one side doesn't do well, the other side steps up."

The Ducks trailed, 17-16, at the half, but Harrington threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Marshaun Tucker, then hit Maurice Morris for the two-point conversion to tie it at 24-24 with 9:08 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The game was billed as a meeting between the top quarterbacks in the Pac-10, but Harrington was left to battle Cougar backup Matt Kegel after Gesser broke the tibia in his left leg as he was sacked with 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Harrington completed 18 of 39 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown as the Ducks moved a step closer to the Rose Bowl, with games left against California and Oregon State.

Kegel, who had a one-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter, completed 10 of 20 for 107 yards in relief of Gesser, who was two of 10 for 35 yards and an interception.

Washington State led, 17-16, after Dave Minnich's two-yard touchdown run that capped a 54-yard drive with 1:47 left in the first half.

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