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Oregon Wins a Wild One

No. 18 Ducks rally for two late touchdowns, helped by a successful onside kick, and pin a stunning 34-33 loss on No. 15 Oklahoma.

September 17, 2006|From the Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — In a wild final 72 seconds, Dennis Dixon and the Oregon Ducks had everything go their way.

Dixon rallied for two late touchdowns, with the help of a successful onside kick, and the No. 18 Ducks blocked a field-goal attempt on the final play to seal a 34-33 victory over No. 15 Oklahoma on Saturday.

"This shows the nation we can play with the big boys," Oregon rover Patrick Chung said. "We beat Oklahoma, No. 15 in the nation, and now you have to watch out for Oregon."

Dixon's 16-yard keeper with 1:12 left brought the Ducks within 33-27 and set up the onside-kick attempt.

The Ducks (3-0) recovered the bouncing kick on their own 48, but Oklahoma (2-1) argued that an Oregon player touched the ball before it went the required 10 yards, which would have given the Sooners possession. Officials delayed play for an instant replay review, but the call stood and Dixon went to work.

After a pass interference call on Oklahoma again had Sooners Coach Bob Stoops shaking his head on the sideline, Dixon threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Brian Paysinger with 46 seconds left to give Oregon the lead.

Oklahoma wasn't done, though, as Reggie Smith returned a squib kick 55 yards to the Ducks' 27.

With no timeouts, the Sooners ran one play, into the line by Adrian Peterson, then spiked the ball with a second left. Garrett Hartley's 44-yard field-goal attempt wasn't high enough to clear the line and the Ducks celebrated.

"I was just praying we would get that onside kick," said Sooners tailback Adrian Peterson, who ran for 211 yards. "Once we didn't get it, things got really ugly from there."

The onside kick was made by Luke Bellotti, Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti's son.

"The thing about coaching your son it that it is pretty difficult sometimes. Some positions require judgmental things that are fairly subjective. Kicking is not, it's very objective," the elder Bellotti said.

"He's the best guy for that type of kick on the football team. Obviously, I'm very pleased for him, first of all because he's my son, and secondly because it gave our team a chance to win. That's a total team thing."

Oregon had jumped out to an early lead, but Peterson's 17-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter put Oklahoma ahead, 27-20. Peterson ran it 34 times and gained 145 yards in the fourth quarter. It was his fifth career game with more than 200 yards.

"Words can't express how I feel right now," Peterson said. "Fought hard for four quarters and came up short."

Dixon completed 26 of 41 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

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