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Arizona State's Upset of Oregon Is 'Huge'

Walter's school-record 536 passing yards leads Sun Devils in 45-42 win that ends No. 6 Ducks' winning streak at 11.

October 20, 2002|From Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter tried to come up with words to adequately describe his team's upset of No. 6 Oregon, and he kept going back to one in particular.

"You dream about getting a win in a place like this," Walter said after the Sun Devils' 45-42 victory Saturday night. "It huge. It's huge for the program and it's huge for the team."

Walter threw for a school-record 536 yards and four touchdowns, and Arizona State rallied from a 21-0 second-quarter deficit.

The Sun Devils (6-2 overall, 3-0 in the Pacific 10) are one of only two unbeaten teams -- idle Washington State is the other -- left in the conference.

The loss sended an 11-game overall winning streak for the Ducks (6-1, 2-1). It was the second-longest streak in the nation behind Miami's 28. Oregon had also won six consecutive Pac-10 games.

"Unfortunately we just couldn't control the game; we couldn't corral it, turn it our way," Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti said.

Walter , whose yardage topped Paul Justin's 534 yards against Washington State in 1989, completed 31 of 53 passes and Arizona State had 590 total yards.

"Wow. I'm stunned," Oregon free safety Keith Lewis said. "You can never give up 500 yards, I don't care who you are."

Shaun McDonald had 12 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown for Arizona State, which ended a losing streak to Oregon at four.

"I've played against the Ducks for five years now and hadn't beaten them. So if I didn't do it this time, I would never have the chance again," linebacker Mason Unck said.

Oregon's Jason Fife, who entered the game ranked third nationally in passing efficiency, completed 21 of 32 for 288 yards and three touchdowns.

Onterrio Smith, the conference's leading rusher, gained 172 yards in 27 carries and scored three touchdowns for the Ducks.

Arizona State took a 39-35 lead early in the fourth quarter on Walter's 58-yard touchdown pass to Justin Taplin.

The Sun Devils extended their lead on Mike Barth's 44-yard field goal.

Oregon, which built a reputation for comeback victories in recent years and did it twice this season, tied the game with 6:55 left. On third and 11 at the Arizona State 12, Fife passed to Samie Parker for a touchdown.

Walter, a sophomore, calmly moved the Sun Devils back downfield, but overthrew McDonald on third and five at the Oregon 12, and Arizona State settled for Barth's 29-yard field goal with 1:58 left.

Oregon's final series ended when Arizona State safety Brett Hudson intercepted Fife's pass.

It was Arizona State's first victory over a ranked team since defeating No. 10 Washington, 44-31, on Nov. 1, 1997.

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PASSING ZONE

Andrew Walter broke Arizona State's passing yardage record by two yards in the Sun Devils' 45-42 upset of Oregon. The top Arizona State passing yardage totals:

*--* Yards Player Opponent Year 536 Andrew Walter Oregon 2002 534 Paul Justin Washington State 1989 532 Jeff Van Raaphorst Florida State 1984 511 Ryan Kealy Arizona 1998 474 Paul Justin Houston 1990 466 Mike Pagel Stanford 1981 437 Jeff Van Raaphorst Arizona 1986

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