Originally created 09/22/03

Both Michigan and Oregon look to put game away



EUGENE, Ore. -- For different reasons, Oregon and Michigan want to put their last game behind them.

The Ducks, displaying a nearly impenetrable rushing defense, upset Michigan and its celebrated offense 31-27 Saturday.

As a result, Oregon (4-0) jumped from No. 22 to 10th in the rankings, while Michigan (3-1) dropped from third to No. 11.

Ducks coach Mike Bellotti, who called the victory the biggest non-conference win of his career, said his team must now turn toward next week's Pacific-10 Conference opponent, No. 21 Washington State.

"We'll celebrate for maybe 24 hours, maybe not, and then we're going to look ahead and see what it is we need to do for the next game," Bellotti said.

While the Ducks might already be moving on, defensive end Igor Olshansky hopes everyone else remembers this one.

"We expect national recognition and respect now," he said.

The Wolverines, meanwhile, move on to host Indiana next Saturday.

"Michigan will be back, that's a guarantee," Wolverine defensive end Larry Stevens said. "There are guys with their heads down, but we'll pick them up. We will be back."

Saturday's game was dominated by Oregon's defense.

The Ducks held Michigan's Chris Perry, the nation's leading rusher going into the game, to just 26 yards. Michigan's rushing offense, which averaged more than 307 yards through its first three games, lost three yards on 19 carries.

Jason Fife, half of Oregon's quarterback tandem with Kellen Clemens, ran for one touchdown, and tailback Terrence Whitehead rushed for another before 59,023 fans, the largest crowd in Autzen Stadium's history.

The Ducks also got a 61-yard punt return from Steven Moore and Jordan Carey and recovered a fumble in the end zone.

"We have no excuses. We just made too many mistakes to win the game," Michigan's coach Lloyd Carr said.

Michigan was the highest ranked non-conference opponent that the Ducks have beaten at home.

Michigan, making its first road trip of the season, put on the pressure in the second half and cut its deficit with John Navarre's 36-yard TD pass to Steve Breaston with 2:18 left, but couldn't get any closer.

"Our goal is still the national championship," Wolverines wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. "I've seen teams go to the national championship with one loss - and we're going to get there."

Navarre completed 28 of 55 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns - throwing for three scores in the second half.

Clemens, who started for Oregon, was 15-of-23 for 160 yards, while Fife was 5-of-8 for 93 yards. For the fourth straight game, the pair did not throw an interception.

Michigan, a perennial Big Ten force, authoritatively shut down Notre Dame 38-0 at home before facing the Ducks. But the Wolverines have lost four straight road openers.

The Ducks, who routed Arizona 48-10 to jump into the Top 25 last week, are 20-0 in non-conference play at Autzen under Bellotti.

"It was everything you dream of as a kid. You're 5 or 6, you're a senior in high school, everything you dream of, today was it. It was unbelievable," Clemens said about the victory.

That said, Oregon's starting QB was already looking ahead.

"We go back to the Pac-10 now," he said. "This was a huge win but we need to come out and stay fired up and continue to play well."