With Kellen Clemens, the heart of Oregon's offense, on the bench with a broken ankle, the Ducks' defense took over. Linebacker Brent Haberly returned...
TUCSON, Ariz. — With Kellen Clemens, the heart of Oregon’s offense, on the bench with a broken ankle, the Ducks’ defense took over.
Linebacker Brent Haberly returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and No. 15 Oregon beat Arizona 28-21 yesterday despite the Ducks’ top two quarterbacks being knocked out of the game.
Haberly couldn’t believe when he saw the ball come out of Mike Bell’s arms.
“I was going to put a hit on him, and then I saw the ball,” Haberly said. “My eyes lit up, and I grabbed it. I saw the quarterback [Willie Tuitama] out of the corner of my eye, and I knew I had to make him miss, and I did.”
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The Ducks (7-1, 4-1) won for the fourth straight time since losing to No. 1 USC.
Haberly’s score 2:46 into the fourth quarter came after the Wildcats knocked out Clemens and backup Dennis Dixon on consecutive possessions in the third.
Clemens was unable to put weight on his left ankle after a hard sack by Arizona’s Copeland Bryan with about eight minutes left in the third, and coach Mike Bellotti doesn’t expect him back until the postseason.
“There’s a slight chance he’ll be back for a bowl game,” Bellotti said. “He is scheduled to have ankle surgery tomorrow.”
Oregon built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, which included a 4-yard scoring run by Timberline High graduate Jonathan Stewart.
Tuitama, his redshirt season ended with four games to go, went 18 for 34 and two TD passes and an interception in his debut.