Oregon 23, California 7
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Oregon tailbacks Ricky Whittle and Dino Philyaw each rushed for over 100 yards Saturday as the Ducks beat California 23-7, knocking the Bears out of a share of the Pac-10 lead.
Oregon (4-3, 2-1 Pac-10) dominated, especially on defense, after spotting the Bears an early 7-0 lead.
California (3-3, 2-1) managed only 162 yards and just 43 yards rushing. Kerry McGonigal, starting at quarterback after Dave Barr broke his collarbone a week ago, completed 11-of-32 passes for 119 yards.
The Ducks’ defense forced a safety on a blocked punt and set up the only touchdown of the second half with an interception.
Whittle, who had missed the last two games with a pulled right hamstring, gained 177 yards on 24 carries. Philyaw had 130 yards in 21 attempts. His 62- yard run in Oregon’s first scoring drive was the Ducks’ longest in two years.
Oregon had just 27 yards rushing and 97 total yards in last week’s 21-7 loss to Washington State. But the Ducks rushed for 304 yards against the Bears, who had been giving up only 98 yards per game.
Duane Jones fumbled the ball on Oregon’s first play from scrimmage and California’s James Stallworth recovered at the Ducks 42.
McGonigal completed passes of 10 and 30 yards to Iheanyi Uwaezuoke, then Reynard Rutherford scored on a 4-yard run up the middle to put Cal ahead 7-0. The Bears got no closer than the Oregon 38 again.
Philyaw’s 62-yard run set up Danny O’Neil’s 11-yard scoring pass to Josh Wilcox that tied the game 7-7 with 7:50 left in the first period.
Oregon took the lead for good on its next possession, driving 69 yards in 10 plays with Whittle scoring on a 1-yard run on fourth down.
In the second quarter, Oregon’s Mark Schmidt sacked McGonigal on the Cal 1- foot line, forcing Ryan Longwell to punt from the edge of the end zone. Nose tackle Silila Malepeai burst through the middle and pushed blocker Tim Manning into the punter, and the deflected kick went out of the end zone for a safety.
Cal, which had won five straight Pac-10 games dating back to last season and rallied from a 30-0 deficit to beat Oregon 42-41 a year ago, had no comeback this time.
Kenny Wheaton’s leaping interception and 26-yard return to the Cal 15 set up Philyaw’s 4-yard touchdown run that wrapped up the scoring with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.