UCLA-OREGON GAME TRACK
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
EUGENE - Well, it's a game for a Rose Bowl berth and, like it or not, 6-6 UCLA had a chance to beat 10-2 Oregon on Friday at Autzen Stadium.
The winner of the Pac-12 championship game advances to the Rose Bowl, opposite Wisconsin or Michigan State.
The Bruins hoped to get some offense from QB Kevin Prince, running backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman and receiver Nelson Rosario.
The Ducks hope to produce points behind QB Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James and the rest of the UO arsenal. Oregon won the regular-season matchup 60-13 last season.
Oregon was seeking its third consecutive league title.
Here's a quarter-by-quarter track of the Pac-12 championship game:
Franklin fumbled on the game's second play, with UO's Dewitt Stuckey recovering at the UCLA 39.
James scored on a 30-yard TD run - the 50th TD rush of his career.
Taylor Hart knocked Prince for a loss, and Prince threw incomplete on third down. UCLA punted.
De'Anthony Thomas coughed up a fumble after a reception, and UCLA recovered at the Duck 43. On fourth-and-1 at the UO 23, the Ducks stuffed Coleman, with the Bruins being hairs away from the first down.
But Darron Thomas' third down pass bounced off Kenjon Barner's hands and into the arms of Patrick Larimore, who scored from 35 yards out on the interception return, evading Mark Asper's tackle attempt along the way. Tie game, 7-7.
The Ducks bounced back. James ran for 16 yards. QB Thomas and Josh Huff connected for 31 yards. And, QB Thomas ran for a 10-yard TD, putting UO ahead 14-7.
Prince and his teammates missed on two pass plays and the Bruins punted.
The Ducks went three-and-out, and UCLA had the ball at about midfield. But Tony Washington forced Franklin to fumble, with Michael Clay recovering at the UO 48.
James ran for 17 yards and Barner 8, 7 and 13 and QB Thomas hit Colt Lyerla on a 7-yard TD pass, making it 21-7, Oregon.
The Bruins, led by Prince, moved up field and scored on a pretty flea-flicker play. Coleman took the handoff, pitched back to Prince, who found Rosario running wide open for the 37-yard TD pass. UCLA drew within 21-14.
The Ducks and James scored again. Thomas hit David Paulson for 20 yards on third down. James ripped through the UCLA defense on a 25-yard run. And, he capped the drive with a 3-yard TD run, as UO led 28-14.
James passed USC's Marcus Allen for third on the Pac-12 all-time rushing list, ranked only behind USC's Charles White (6,245 yards) and OSU's Ken Simonton (5,044). James had 4,812 yards midway through the second quarter.
A second trick play attempt blew up for the Bruins. Coleman tried a reverse lateral to Josh Smith, but the ball dropped on the turf and UO's Terrell Turner recovered. A UO penalty put the ball at the UCLA 32.
The Ducks made the Bruins pay, with QB Thomas and Daryle Hawkins hooking up on a 25-yard TD pass. UO led 35-14.
James achieved his third 1,500-yard season, a first in the Pac-10/Pac-12. Thomas has thrown 62 TD passes, tying him with Danny O'Neil atop UO's all-time list.
On third-and-6 in UO territory, the Ducks' Dion Jordan stormed in untouched and floored Prince. Wow.
With the Ducks trying to score in the half's waning moments, Thomas threw incomplete.
Prince hit Joseph Fauria on a long pass and Tyler Gonzalez hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired, making it 35-17, Oregon leading, at halftime.
The Ducks punted, UCLA returned and got a personal foul penalty on the Ducks, to start the UO 43. The Bruins looked jacked up on the sideline. Coleman ran 36 yards to the UO 7.
Prince scored on a 1-yard TD run, and it was 35-24, Oregon leading.
But, the Ducks responded again. James ran for 16 yards. Thomas hit Huff for 20 yards. James scored his third TD on a 5-yard run. Oregon led 42-24.
UCLA punted, and Darron Thomas made history. He ran for a career-long 40 yards and, later, he threw a 22-yard TD pass to Paulson - the 63rd TD pass of his career, breaking the tie atop UO's all-time list. It was 49-24.
With about 11 minutes to go, Prince was sent to the sidelines after a hit in the backfield by Oregon's Michael Clay. Richard Brehaut took over at QB, and the Bruins immediately drew a false-start penalty.
After a completion for short yardage, UO cornerback Terrance Mitchell picked off a deeper pass near the sideline.
James - yes, still in the game - ran for 43 and 19 yards to get the Ducks into the red zone. James survived an ankle tackle that appeared to come out of bounds.
But from the 8, on fourth-and-3, the Ducks came up a yard short on Barner's attempt up the middle.
UCLA drove patiently against a content Oregon defense, getting to Oregon's 41 with just over four minutes remaining.
The Ducks forced a third-and-10 at the 39, and UCLA threw for eight yards. The Bruins called timeout with 2:25 left. UCLA got the first down easily on a run up the middle.
With 1:51 left, Nelson Rosario hauled in a touchdown pass of 19 yards - from Prince, back in the game - making the score 49-31.
Bryan Bennett came in at QB for Oregon for the final two minutes, and took a knee as the Ducks just moved to run out the clock.