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Win column not the only place Oregon achieves firsts

EUGENE ' Firsts came in fistfuls for the Oregon football team Saturday.

The Ducks (1-2) earned their first win, 48-10 over overmatched Idaho (0-3) at Autzen Stadium.

After failing to score in the opening 30 minutes of either of its previous games, Oregon erupted for 34 first-half points, including 27 in the first quarter.

Senior kicker Jared Siegel moved into first place on the Ducks' career scoring list with his first extra point. game's end, his career total stood at 276 points, topping Derek Loville's old record of 272.

Senior defensive end Chris Solomona's first career interception was a pivotal play, as the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder resembled a man half his size in taking it 34 yards to the house for a 27-3 Oregon lead in the first quarter's final seconds.

— Junior tailback Terrence Whitehead gobbled up 115 rushing yards, the Ducks' first 100-yard individual ground performance since Whitehead stomped Stanford for 172 in the middle of last season.

And a bevy of young Ducks received their first extended playing time, including freshman defensive tackle David Faaeteete, who graduated from North Medford High last June.

All the firsts helped Oregon earn some much-needed positive momentum heading into next week's Pac-10 Conference opener against Arizona State in Eugene.

We needed to start fast and finish strong, and I think we did both of those things, said 10th-year head coach Mike Bellotti, whose record with the Ducks improved to 76-36. Every win is a great win, but certainly your first win feels better.

OFFENSE GETS IN GROOVE: In losing to Indiana (30-24) and at Oklahoma (31-7) to start the season, Oregon was offensively inept.

Not only did the Ducks fail to score a first-half point, but they also suffered a string of four straight trips to the red zone without scoring before roasting Idaho. Their 408 yards per game of total offense were undermined by an inability to cash in.

Saturday, in front of Autzen's 32nd consecutive sellout crowd of 57,912, Oregon took steps to remedy its offensive ills.

The Ducks stormed into the end zone on their initial three possessions, added another TD on their fifth and made use of short fields for two third-quarter scores that iced the victory.

We came out fired up and scored pretty fast and pretty quick, said junior quarterback Kellen Clemens, who completed 11 of 19 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Something that I was also excited about is that in the second half, we had a pretty substantial lead and didn't really need to score, but with the exception of the first drive, we came out and executed again.

We were excited just to be on offense and have the opportunity to score because we haven't done as much as we thought we should have over the course of the season.

Clemens hooked up twice for TDs with junior tight end Tim Day, and the second connection, which capped the day's scoring, was much more impressive in person than on paper.

On third-and-goal from the Vandals' 2, Clemens dropped back, stood in the pocket and progressed through his reads from sideline to sideline before finding Day in the back of the end zone. Clemens said Day was the fourth receiver he considered.

That goes to the offensive line, Clemens said. I had time to sit back there and go through all of them, and then Tim made a great catch.

RUNNING GAME IGNITES: The Ducks buried Idaho with their ground game, outgaining the Vandals 227-60 in rushing yards.

After Oklahoma's home win last week in Norman, Sooner defensive linemen were quoted as saying Oregon's offensive line was essentially soft.

Bellotti made sure he relayed that message to his line, and the Ducks took out their frustrations on Idaho.

I wanted Terrence to get 100 yards; that was a goal, said Bellotti, whose team hadn't produced a 100-yard rusher in seven games.

Additionally, redshirt freshman walk-on tailback Andiel Brown from Portland's Cleveland High School collected 47 yards on 10 fourth-quarter carries, the first of his collegiate career.

Sophomore fullback Dante Rosario plunged 4 yards into the end zone on his first rush of the season to start the game's scoring, and Whitehead and senior tailback Kenny Washington pounded to TDs from — and 2 yards out, respectively.

Whitehead also took a shovel pass from Clemens 5 yards to pay dirt as one of his three catches for 44 yards.

As a running back overall, I'm getting a little bit better each day, said Whitehead, a 5-10, 210-pounder from Los Angeles. That was a real big emphasis this week, that we needed to get the running game going. And everything worked out pretty good.

FRESH FACES: Faaeteete, whose first appearance as a Duck came last week at Oklahoma, played the entire fourth quarter. He was credited with one solo tackle and one assist, with the solo also counting as his first tackle for loss, pushing Idaho back — yard.

It felt great, the 6-2, 299-pound Faaeteete said of the extended action. I've just gotta get my pads lower in practice, and if I do get the opportunity to play, make the best of my opportunities.

Faaeteete is one of six true freshmen who have played for Oregon this fall. The others, who all contributed Saturday, are backup quarterback Dennis Dixon (5-for-8 for 71 yards passing and three rushes for 14 yards), wide receiver Cameron Colvin (two catches for 27 yards, his first NCAA receptions), cornerback Jackie Bates (two tackles) and linebackers Kwame Agyeman and Ryan Phipps (one tackle).

The Class 4A defensive player of the year and a first-team all-state offensive lineman last year, Faaeteete said he's still keeping tabs on his Black Tornado.

I'm proud of 'em, said Faaeteete, well aware North is ranked No. — in the state. I try to keep in touch with them, but football here's keeping me pretty busy.

ON TO THE DEVILS: In the middle of Oregon's midseason slump last year was a 59-14 disaster at Arizona State's home in Tempe.

The Ducks are planning revenge when they host the Sun Devils (3-0 and ranked 22nd entering Saturday night's game with Oregon State) next Saturday night at Autzen. Game time is 7:15 p.m., pushed back by a national TV broadcast on TBS.

They torched us last year, Bellotti said. We can look at that film and be very embarrassed about our performance, and hopefully that'll provide some motivation for us to take that next step.

Senior linebacker Jerry Matson, UO's fiery defensive leader, said the Ducks are ready for the Pac-10 slate.

I think this team doesn't lack any confidence or resolve, said Matson, whose six tackles against Idaho featured three for 14 yards in losses. We have a lot of tools, so it's not like we're outmanned. So it's just about coming out and taking action and getting the job done. Don't do things that hurt you like turnovers and penalties. If we limit those two things, we're gonna be in every ballgame this year, and we're gonna win a lot of 'em, if not all eight that are left.