Brady Leaf's first career touchdown pass was a winning one. Leaf threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to James Finley in overtime and No. 15 Oregon beat No...
EUGENE, Ore. — Brady Leaf’s first career touchdown pass was a winning one.
Leaf threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to James Finley in overtime and No. 15 Oregon beat No. 23 California 27-20 on Saturday.
The Ducks (8-1, 5-1 Pac-10) played their first game without starter Kellen Clemens, who is out for the season with a broken ankle. Dennis Dixon started, but it was Leaf who led them to victory in a game played in constant rain and unpredictable winds.
“They told me I’d get a series here or there, maybe, so I just prepared myself to play,” said Leaf, who got the word as regulation ended that he would be playing in overtime.
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California (6-3, 3-3) had a chance to win, but Tom Schneider missed a rushed, 53-yard field-goal attempt as time ran out in the fourth quarter. The Bears have lost three of their last four games.
Leaf, the younger brother of former Washington State star Ryan Leaf, completed 9 of 13 passes for 93 yards, while Dixon was 15 for 26 for 139 yards and a score. He threw one interception.
“They looked like two young quarterbacks, but Oregon did a good job protecting them and they made some good plays at times,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said.
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti hesitated for a time when asked after the game if Dixon was still his starter after Saturday.
“I would say yes right now. I haven’t seen the film. But my gut feeling is yes,” Bellotti said.
Cal’s Joe Ayoob completed just 10 of 26 passes for 88 yards. He was intercepted three times.
Schneider sent the teams into halftime tied at 10 with a 21-yard field goal with 44 seconds before the break.
Paul Martinez, who missed a 37-yard attempt in the first half in wet and windy conditions, hit a 49-yard field goal to cap the first series of the second half.
After Ayoob fumbled and Oregon recovered on the Cal 18, Terrence Whitehead ran it in on the next play to make it 20-10.
Schneider’s 45-yard field goal narrowed it again for Cal, before Lynch broke away with a 52-yard touchdown run to tie it at 20. Schneider’s miss as time ran out sent the game into overtime, and Cal was unable to move the ball after Oregon scored.