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Oregon unleashes blitz after halftime

EUGENE, Ore. — Now the Ducks can have their turkey.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly said this week he didn't want his top-ranked team to partake in the traditional Thanksgiving meal because it might make them lethargic against No. 20 Arizona.

The Ducks were anything but that Friday night in a 48-29 victory. Oregon earned at least a share of its second straight Pac-10 title and stayed on course for a trip to the BCS national championship game.

Darron Thomas passed for 148 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another, and running back LaMichael James ran for 126 yards and two scores for the Ducks (11-0, 8-0), who trailed 19-14 at halftime.

"Yeah, we finally get to eat turkey," cornerback and return specialist Cliff Harris said.

The Ducks have won 11 games in a season once before, when Joey Harrington led them to the Fiesta Bowl in 2001.

The Ducks can lock up an outright conference title and a spot in the national title game in Glendale, Ariz., next week with a victory at Oregon State.

It was the third straight loss for Arizona (7-4, 4-4), which ultimately couldn't keep up with the Ducks' spread option.

"They've been a second-half team all along," Arizona coach Mike Stoops said. "You can slow them down, but you can't stop them."

Arizona's Nick Foles passed for a career-high 448 yards and three touchdowns, including an 85-yard score to Juron Criner. It just wasn't enough.

Thomas completed 14 of 24 passes for 148 yards and an interception. Oregon finished with 537 yards total offense. Arizona put up 506.

Oregon played catchup the entire first half and trailed for just the second time this season at the break. But the Ducks bounced back early in the second half with Josh Huff's 85-yard scoring run, the longest play from scrimmage for the Ducks this season. The point-after conversion attempt failed, but Oregon had a 20-19 lead.

Nebraska routs Buffs to lock Big 12 North

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska is off to the Big 12 title game, routing Colorado 45-17 to lock up the Big 12 North without quarterback Taylor Martinez.

Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini was the focus of the week after his foul-mouthed sideline rants during a loss at Texas A&M earned him a rebuke from the Nebraska chancellor.

"A lot of people tried to tear this team apart," Pelini said, referring to the media attention he attracted. "We weren't going to let it happen."

Running back Rex Burkhead passed for two touchdowns and ran for 101 yards and another score in Nebraska's final meeting with Colorado before they head to different conferences.

Nebraska (10-2, 6-2) will go to Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 4 hoping to win its third Big 12 title, and first since 1999, before going to the Big Ten next year.

Colorado (5-7, 2-6), which played its third game under interim coach Brian Cabral, will join what will be the Pacific-12.

With Martinez out because of injuries to his right ankle and left foot, the Huskers relied on Burkhead to take pressure off quarterback Cody Green. Burkhead took handoffs and pitches from Green, and directed snaps in the wildcat formation.

"Nothing Rex Burkhead does surprises me," Pelini said. "He's what a football player is supposed to be."

Burkhead, who played quarterback as a high school sophomore, gave Nebraska a 17-3 halftime lead after he took a pitch and ran to his right. He pulled up and lofted a spiral into the hands of Brandon Kinnie for a 26-yard touchdown.

UCF wins C-USA slot

Nice night for the Knights, and they didn't even have to get dirty. UCF won the Conference USA East Division late Friday when Tulsa eliminated Southern Miss. The Knights (8-3, 6-1), who play Memphis today, host the title game against Southern Methodist (7-5, 6-2) on Dec. 4 at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Tulsa 56, S. Miss 50: G.J. Kinne passed for 406 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for two scores as the host Hurricane (9-3, 6-2 Conference USA) outlasted the Golden Eagles (8-4, 5-3). Willie Carter scored three touchdowns for Tulsa, which tied Southern Methodist for the West Division title, but SMU gets the league title-game berth because it owns the tiebreaker with a 21-18 victory over Tulsa.

SMU 45, E. Carolina 38, OT: Zach Line scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime and Richard Crawford followed with a sealing interception as the Mustangs (7-5, 6-2 Conference USA) beat the host Pirates (6-6, 5-3) to clinch a spot in the league title game against UCF. The Mustangs rallied from a 14-point deficit and blew a 14-point lead. After Line's OT score, Crawford stepped in front of Lance Lewis to catch Dominique Davis' slant throw.

Arizona St. 55, UCLA 34: Backup Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and hit Aaron Pflugrad on two of his four touchdown passes, helping the host Sun Devils (5-6, 3-5 Pac-10) keep their bowl hopes alive with a win over the Bruins (4-7, 2-6).

Oregon unleashes blitz after halftime 11/26/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 27, 2010 12:41am]
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