No. 18 Arizona State falls to No. 9 Oregon 41-27

Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler was already looking

forward to the possibility that he might see Oregon again.

Osweiler threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns, but also tossed

two interceptions in the No. 18 Sun Devils’ 41-27 loss to No. 9

Oregon on Saturday night.

If it plays out, Arizona State (5-2, 3-1) could face the Ducks

again – in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game. Of course,

everything would have to fall in line for both teams.

The Sun Devils have next weekend off to ponder it.

”I felt like there were points left out on the field, so

offensively I think we really need to diagnose the team tomorrow

and this week, throughout the bye week, and see what we missed and

get that cleaned up,” Osweiler said. ”Because we’re all hoping

for another shot at these guys later in the year, and we’ll get

things cleaned up and take care of business then.”

Darron Thomas threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns before he

came out with a left leg injury early in the second half – the

second straight game in which Oregon lost a star player to injury.

Running back LaMichael James dislocated his elbow in Oregon’s

previous outing, a 43-15 win over California.

Kenjon Barner, who started in place of James against ASU, ran

for 171 yards and a touchdown, while freshman De’Anthony Thomas

rushed for 73 yards and two scores for Oregon (5-1, 3-0

Pac-12).

It was Oregon’s 20th straight victory at Autzen Stadium, as well

as the Ducks’ 15th straight win over a conference foe.

Gerell Robinson had six catches for 120 yards and a score for

Arizona State.

The Sun Devils have lost 16 straight games to teams ranked in

the top 10. They were hurt against Oregon by eight penalties for 95

yards and the interceptions, including a key pick just before

halftime.

”We talked about the mistakes; they know. The bottom line right

now for us is we got beat by a good football team, we’ve got five

football games left and we’ve got a bye,” coach Dennis Erickson

said. ”We’ve got a lot left to play for so we’ve got to get back

and correct some of those things next week and get ready to play

five more football games.”

After the bye, the Sun Devils host Colorado.

Without James, Oregon had a tough time getting its vaunted

running game going against the Sun Devils in the first half, but

the Ducks ended up with 327 yards rushing – 269 in the second

half.

On the first series of the game, Barner’s fumble was recovered

by the Sun Devils, who went on to take the early lead with

Osweiler’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Robinson.

Oregon tied it midway through the first quarter when De’Anthony

Thomas ran a pitch from Darron Thomas 16 yards for a touchdown.

The Sun Devils went up 14-7 on Osweiler’s 26-yard pass to Mike

Willie. It looked as though Oregon had evened it again when Barner

broke away with a 59-yard scoring run, but the TD was called back

because of an illegal block.

The Ducks did pull even on Darron Thomas’ 28-yard touchdown pass

to Lavasier Tuinei. The junior quarterback, who had just connected

with Josh Huff on a 45-yard pass, was on the run and looked almost

as if he were throwing the ball away – but he caught Tuinei

streaking across the back of the end zone.

Linebacker Shelly Lyons intercepted Thomas on the 41-yard line

and ran it back to the Oregon 20, putting the Sun Devils in

position to score again. But they settled for Alex Garoutte’s

47-yard field goal to pull back in front 17-14.

It was the 11th interception for Arizona State this season,

surpassing last year’s total.

Oregon answered when Cliff Harris, suspended to start the season

after he was cited for speeding on a suspended license over the

summer, intercepted Osweiler and ran it back 50 yards. The Ducks

went on to score on Darron Thomas’ 16-yard pass to David Paulson

and take a 21-17 lead into halftime.

Arizona State regained the lead early in the second half on

Cameron Marshall’s 4-yard scoring run. But just a few plays later,

Sun Devils linebacker Colin Parker fell on Darron Thomas’ legs, and

the Oregon quarterback did not get up.

Darron Thomas grimaced as he was attended to by team trainers,

but he got up and jogged off the field. He received further

treatment on the sidelines before limping off to the locker

room.

He was replaced by backup Bryan Bennett, who led the Ducks on a

scoring drive that ended with De’Anthony Thomas’ 3-yard touchdown

run.

The Ducks extended their lead to 35-24 on Barner’s 7-yard

scoring run. Alejandro Maldonado had a 37-yard field goal early in

the fourth quarter.

”When one guy goes down the other guy feels like he’s got to

pick up the slack,” Barner said. ”That’s what Bryan did and

that’s what I did.”

After Garoutte added a 30-yard field goal for the Sun Devils,

Maldonado came back with a 24-yarder for the Ducks to make it

41-27.

Darron Thomas, who has thrown a touchdown pass in 19 straight

games, eventually returned to the sidelines with a brace on his

left leg.

”I’m going to be all right, just to let everybody know,” he

said, adding that he didn’t return as a precaution.

The announced crowd was 60,055, the largest ever at Autzen

Stadium.