Oregon Escapes Tempe With Hard-fought Win over Arizona State, 42-31

Tempe, AZ (Sports Network) – Darron Thomas threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score, as fifth-ranked Oregon opened its Pac-10 slate with a 42-31 win over Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium.

LaMichael James rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Ducks (4-0, 1-0 Pac-10), who beat the Sun Devils for a sixth straight time. Thomas finished 19-of-33 for 260 yards with two TDs and an interception.

Steven Threet connected on 30-of-53 passes for 387 yards with three TDs and four interceptions for Arizona State (2-2, 0-1), which had seven turnovers. Deantre Lewis rushed 11 times for 127 yards and a score for the Sun Devils, who had nearly 600 yards of total offense.

Thomas threw 12 yards to Jeff Maehl for a TD with 2:21 left in the second quarter, getting Oregon within 24-21. Following a punt, Thomas threw 61 yards to David Paulson, setting up Thomas’ go-ahead four-yard scoring run with 48 seconds remaining in the half.

The problems continued for ASU as Cameron Marshall fumbled at the Oregon two, and Thomas threw a 54-yard TD pass to Josh Huff with 8:12 to go in the third.

Marshall fumbled again later in the third and Boseko Lokombo rumbled 31 yards to the end zone for a 42-24 difference.

Threet threw 15 yards to Mike Willie for a score with 2:25 left in the third, but turnovers continued to plague ASU as Lewis fumbled the ball away later in the quarter. Threet was intercepted by Talmadge Jackson III in the end zone with nearly 10 minutes to play. Threet was picked off by Casey Matthews deep in Ducks territory with about seven minutes left.

Thomas Weber missed a 47-yard field goal try on the game’s opening drive for the Sun Devils, but Lewis scored on a 53-yard run midway through the quarter for a 7-0 lead.

James busted off a 40-yard TD run with 6:14 left in the first, and Oregon went ahead with a 39-yard interception return by John Boyett for a score less than a minute later.

The Ducks’ defense came up big when Marshall was sent to a loss on a 4th-and-1 play from the Oregon six later in the first. Threet, though, tied the game midway through the second with a 10-yard TD pass to Willie.

Weber made it 17-14 with a 34-yard field goal with 4:10 left in the half, and Omar Bolden’s interception of Thomas on the ensuing play set up ASU’s next score. On the following play, Threet threw 28 yards to Kerry Taylor for a 24-14 ASU advantage.

Oregon hosts nationally ranked Stanford next Saturday night, while the Sun Devils play on the road against Oregon State…Gerell Robinson had seven catches for 94 yards for the Sun Devils.

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