Oregon 35, Colorado State 28
Sep. 15, 1996
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Ryan Perry-Smith, starting for injured Tony Graziani, completed 27-of-46 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns as Oregon beat Colorado State 35-28 on a wet Saturday.
Tight end Josh Wilcox caught both of the Ducks' touchdown passes, a 12-yarder to put Oregon (3-0) ahead 28-7 eight seconds before halftime and a 25-yarder for the Ducks' lone second-half score with 10:19 remaining. In all, Wilcox had 10 catches for 180 yards, his biggest day since he caught 11 for 135 yards against Penn State in the Rose Bowl two seasons ago.
The 395 yards passing for Perry-Smith, a fifth-year senior in his second start, ranks fifth on Oregon's all-time list. The Ducks had 586 total yards, 427 through the air. That's the most passing yards for Oregon in a regular-season game since 1990.
The Ducks' 33 first downs tied a school record set against Utah in 1970.
Colorado State (1-2) was down 28-7 at halftime but cut the lead to seven twice, the last time at 35-28 on Moses Moreno's 85-yard touchdown pass to Geoff Turner 5:45 to play.
The Rams would have gotten the ball back for one final try with 1:01 remaining. But Colorado State was called for a personal foul on the Ducks' punt, giving Oregon an automatic first down. The Ducks ran out the clock deep in Rams' territory to pick up the victory.
The late penalty was one of several crucial calls that went against Colorado State. The most glaring came on Oregon's first TD drive, when the official ruled that Dameron Ricketts had caught a 37-yard pass on third-and-11 when replays clearly showed he never had possession.
The play set up the first of Saladin McCullough's two TD runs of 1 and 5 yards. The junior-college transfer rushed for 101 yards in 20 carries before leaving the game with a sore hamstring on the first series of the second half.
Colorado State, already without two offensive linemen because of injuries, lost tackle Adam Wallace with a broken left leg in the first quarter. As a result, the Ducks got pressure on Moreno much of the day, sacking him four times.
Moreno was 15-of-37 for 254 yards and two TDs but had several passes dropped. Jeremy Calhoun had eight catches for 92 yards and Turner four catches for 141 yards.
Oregon outscored the Rams 18-0 in the decisive second quarter. In that period, Perry-Smith was 11-of-14 for 163 yards. Graziani is expected to be out four to six weeks with a torn ligament in his right leg.