Stewart, Dixon form dynamic duo for Ducks


They could prove to be Oregon's dynamic duo.

Between them, Oregon's Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart accounted for five touchdowns and led Oregon's fast spread-option offense in a 52-21 victory over Fresno State on Saturday.

Stewart really emerged for the first time this season, rushing for 165 yards and two scores &

including an 88-yard touchdown run.

He has steadily upped his numbers, from 67 rushing yards in the season-opener against Houston.

Dixon was again impressive, with two touchdown passes and his own scoring run. But his performance wasn't as dominant as it was the week before against Michigan on national television.

He completed 14 of 20 passes for 139 yards, and rushed for another 59 yards against the Bulldogs to make Oregon 3-0 this season.

In the 39-7 victory over Michigan, Dixon had 368 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, three in the air and one on the ground.

"We're really confident and Dennis is really confident and we need that in him because he is the leader on this team," Stewart said. "He's like a grown man right now, taking things under control like a quarterback should do."

Coach Mike Bellotti was complimentary of Stewart.

"It was great for him to get out and to trust his speed," Bellotti said. "Once he got through the line he didn't try and cut back like he has in the past. I think that shows his maturity."

Against Fresno State Stewart had scoring runs of 9 yards and the 88-yarder, which was the longest ever at Autzen Stadium. It also was the longest rushing TD for a Ducks player since Bob Smith ran 92 yards for a score against Idaho in 1938.

Dixon hit Jeremiah Johnson with a 35-yard scoring pass, and Ed Dickson with a 2-yard TD toss. He also ran a yard into the end zone.

For the Bulldogs (1-2), who have lost six straight against the Ducks, Tom Brandstater completed 18 of 32 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. The Bulldogs were playing their second straight ranked team on the road. The week before, they lost 47-45 in three overtimes to Texas AM.

"This is the best Oregon team I've seen. This team is very, very talented. They're executing very well right now. If they can keep this pace up, they'll be a real contending team in the conference," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. "Their QB made some plays on third down that were unbelievable."

With the victory, Oregon jumped from No. 19 to No. 13 in the rankings.

But things change a bit for the Ducks starting next week, when Pacific-10 Conference schedule gets under way with a game at Stanford. The Cardinal beat San Jose State 37-0 Saturday night.

After that, the Ducks return home to host California, who beat Louisiana Tech 42-12 on Saturday to jump up two spots in the rankings to No. 6. Fresno State has a bye week before hosting Louisiana Tech on Sept 29.

Oregon, meanwhile, is looking at the positives for this season. Last year, Oregon won its first four, but lost six of the next nine.

Stewart harkened back to two seasons ago when Kellen Clemens, now with the New York Jets, ran the offense.

"This year is more like the year I came in with Kellen. You just knew you were not going to lose, especially with Kellen in the huddle," Stewart said.

"He had poise and it seems like a lot of people on this team now have poise."

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