Pac-10 Notebook: Walter Goes Ballistic at Autzen To Hand Ducks First Loss

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No. 14 Oregon had all kinds of reasons to be confident heading into last weekend's game with No. 23 Arizona State-the second-longest winning streak in the nation at 11 games, 29 wins in its last 30 at Autzen Stadium, and three straight home wins against the Sun Devils.

But Andrew Walter didn't seem to care.

The ASU quarterback's record-setting performance against the Ducks was just one of the highlights from an eventful weekend in the Pac-10. Underdogs notched victory in two of the four games and the conference race became even closer.

For the second time this year, this weekend's Pac-10 schedule will feature a full slate of games. Just like last week, there will be chances for more momentous upsets.

However, it is unlikely that any other Pac-10 game this year will be as shocking as the Sun Devils' road defeat of Oregon (6-1, 2-1 in the Pac-10) after the Ducks held a 21-0 lead.

QB Andrew Walter passed for 536 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Sun Devils to a 45-42 win, breaking Paul Justin's ASU and Pac-10 record of 534 yards.

"You dream about getting a win in a place like this," Walter said.

Despite the offensive slugfest, the game was decided by clutch field goals. ASU kicker Mike Barth nailed two field goals in the fourth quarter to keep the Sun Devils (6-2, 3-0) on top.

ASU will have a chance to validate its new top-25 ranking this Saturday against Washington, who fell out of the poll after losing 41-21 to No. 16 USC.

The Trojans (5-2, 3-1) never trailed against the Huskies (4-3, 1-2). USC running back Sultan McCullough gained just 37 yards on 22 carries, but QB Carson Palmer quelled the Trojans' poor rushing output with a magnificent passing performance.

Palmer completed 21 of 34 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns, his highest total of the season.

While USC has no chinks in its home armor, their road mettle will be tested this Saturday when they face the Ducks in Eugene, Ore.

Four of the last five meetings in this series have been decided by less than four points. Oregon has also won four of the last five games.

Washington comes out of Los Angeles with serious symptoms of homesickness.

The Huskies are 4-1 in Seattle, but 0-2 on the road, where they get to face the red-hot Sun Devils this week.

Stanford has been lodged at the bottom of the Pac-10 for most of the year, but began to climb the ladder after last weekend's 16-6 win over Arizona. The Cardinal (2-4, 1-2) relied on a strong ball-control offense to beat the Wildcats (3-4, 0-3). Stanford only scored 16 points, but held the ball nearly 14 minutes longer than Arizona. "Emotionally and mentally, this was a huge step for us," Stanford coach Buddy Teevens said.

With a conference win finally under its belt, the Cardinal will look to pull off a road upset against UCLA (4-3, 1-2) this Saturday.

The Bruins will be without QB Cory Paus, whose college career ended after suffering a broken ankle against Cal.

The Bears (5-3, 2-2) are on the road against Oregon State (4-3, 0-3). The Beavers are coming off a bye week and are one of only two Pac-10 teams without a conference win.

The other winless team is Arizona, who will play No. 9 WSU Saturday. The Cougars (6-1, 3-0) have won four straight games, which is currently the longest streak in the Pac-10 after Oregon's loss to ASU.

If WSU and the Sun Devils both win this weekend, the stage will be set for a Nov. 2 battle between the Pac-10's only unbeaten teams.


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