Dixon has 3 TDs in No. 19 Oregon’s 52-21 win over Fresno State
EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—This time, Dennis Dixon left the dramatics to Jonathan Stewart.
While Dixon threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Jonathan Stewart ran for 165 yards and No. 19 Oregon beat Fresno State 52-21 on Saturday night.
Stewart scored two touchdowns, including a flashy 88-yard dash to the end zone, and the Ducks (3-0) outrushed the Bulldogs 307-60.
“The sky’s the limit right now. This offense is really clicking,” Dixon said.
While not posting the gaudy numbers he did in Oregon’s 39-7 victory over Michigan the previous weekend, Dixon was solid, completing 14 for 20 passes for 139 yards and running for 59 yards.
The win was Mike Bellotti’s 100th as coach at Oregon and the school’s suspended mascot even got to watch—though not from the field.
The Duck, suspended a game for beating up the Houston Cougar in the opener, did make a brief appearance in one of the television booths and received rousing applause from fans at Autzen.
Tom Brandstater was 18-of-32 for 219 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs (1-2), who faced their second straight ranked team on the road. Last week, they lost 47-45 in three overtimes to Texas A&M.
“How many times do I have to say it? We got dominated in all three phases. We got beat pretty good today. That doesn’t happen at Fresno State very often. Today we got beat by a better football team,” Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. “They took it to us. End of conversation.”
After Dixon got sacked twice on the opening series, the Ducks became more efficient and scored on the next with Stewart’s 9-yard scoring run.
Oregon went up 14-0 when rover Patrick Chung forced a fumble, which was picked up and returned to the end zone by Walter Thurmond III. It was the sophomore right corner’s first career touchdown.
Before the end of the first quarter, Fresno State narrowed it with Lonyae Miller’s 1-yard TD run. The extra point was blocked to make it 14-6.
Oregon answered on the next series with Dixon’s 35-yard scoring pass to Jeremiah Johnson. Dixon also found Ed Dickson with a 2-yard TD pass to make it 28-6.
Stewart’s 88 yard scoring run was the longest ever at Autzen Stadium, and it was the longest for a Ducks player for a TD since Bob Smith ran 92 yards for a score against Idaho in 1938.
“It was great for him to get out and to trust his speed,” Bellotti said. “Once he got through the line he didn’t try and cut back like he has in the past. I think that shows his maturity.”
Dixon added a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 42-6. In Oregon’s victory over the Wolverines, Dixon had 368 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.
Brandstater found Vince Pascoe with a 1-yard pass for Fresno State before halftime, and Clifton Smith ran in for the 2-point conversion.
Andre Crenshaw ran 2 yards for a touchdown to make it 49-14 early in the fourth quarter, and Ducks fans headed to the parking lot. Dixon was spelled by backup Brady Leaf.
After Daniel Padilla added a 22-yard field goal for Oregon, Ryan Matthews scored on a 1-yard run for the Bulldogs.
It was the Ducks’ third straight game with 300 or more yards rushing, and the third game that rushing yards topped passing yards—a first in Bellotti’s tenure as coach.
“It’s never enough. You can never rush for too many yards. Coach Bellotti preaches that every game. If you can rush the ball for that many yards every week, you’re going to go places,” center Max Unger said.
Fresno State tight end Bear Pascoe, who had three touchdowns against Texas A&M, was held scoreless by the Ducks.
The Bulldogs were also hurt by seven penalties for 58 total yards.
“A lot of penalties always hurt a team,” Fresno State running back Clifton Smith said. “You can’t have that many penalties against a 19th-ranked team in the country, they’ll eat you alive every time.”
Fresno State defensive end Jason Roberts injured his right leg during the game and was carted off the field. Later team officials said he broke his leg and was likely out for the season.
The Bulldogs have lost six straight in the series with the Ducks.