It was a sight incredibly familiar to San Diego fans — a quarterback named Leaf throwing an intercepted pass. This time it happened...
SAN DIEGO — It was a sight incredibly familiar to San Diego fans — a quarterback named Leaf throwing an intercepted pass.
This time it happened in the Holiday Bowl and it was by Brady Leaf, younger brother of Ryan Leaf.
With No. 6 Oregon in position to at least tie the score with a field goal, Oklahoma’s Clint Ingram made a leaping interception at his 10-yard line with 33 seconds left to preserve the Sooners’ 17-14 victory over the Ducks on Thursday night.
Leaf had thrown a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tim Day with 3:30 left to pull the Ducks to 17-14.
Oregon’s defense held, and Leaf began another drive at his 22 with 3:04 to play. He threw a 38-yard pass to Terrence Whitehead, who zigzagged to the Oklahoma 34. On third-and-14 from the 39, Leaf rolled right, was flushed back to the left and dodged a tackler before side-arming a pass to Jeremiah Johnson for a 19-yard gain.
Two plays later, Ingram got in front of Demetrius Williams for the interception.
“It was a good call, I just underthrew the ball a little bit,” Leaf said. “There is not much more to it. Ingram made a nice play.”
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said, “I’m proud we came back and had a chance to win this game, not just tie it up. We just didn’t make the play right there.”
Leaf was booed when he came in for Oregon’s third possession of the game, and again when a scoreboard graphic noted he was Ryan Leaf’s younger brother. Ryan Leaf, an ex-Washington State quarterback who played for the Chargers, was among the biggest draft busts in NFL history.
Of the crowd reaction, Brady Leaf said, “I tried to block that stuff out. I’m not trying to pay attention to the crowd too much. I’m focused on the team.”
Leaf had helped rally the Ducks (10-2) in three of their final four regular-season games.
The Sooners (8-4) have won six of seven. They were coming off consecutive losses in BCS championship games.
It appeared the Ducks and Sooners would play the lowest-scoring Holiday Bowl ever. It turned out to be the second lowest. The Holiday Bowl has a reputation of wild finishes and high scores, with an average of 57 points being scored in the first 27 editions.
Oregon led 7-3 after the lowest-scoring first half in Holiday Bowl history, but its offense was a no-show for most of the second half.
Leaf finally got it going on a 13-play, 78-yard drive that was extended when Oklahoma’s Eric Bassey was called for pass interference on a fake field goal. Leaf, the holder for placements, took the snap and threw to Day, who collided with Bassey at the 3. One play later, Leaf hit Day for the 3-yard TD.
Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson heated up in the second half, finishing with 84 yards on 23 carries. Peterson cut his forehead in the third quarter after he hit it on a teammate’s helmet while celebrating a play that later was called back.
Peterson was treated on the bench. “I was bleeding pretty bad,” he said.
Rhett Bomar threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to fullback J.D. Runnels for a 10-7 Oklahoma lead with 9:20 to play in the third quarter.
Late in the third, Peterson’s backup, Kejuan Jones, scored on an 8-yard run to make it 17-7.