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Masoli, Oregon run past Oklahoma State

Dec 31, 2008 - 5:34 AM SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- One of the most highly anticipated non-BCS bowl games of the season lacked the expected scoring punch in the first half. Jeremiah Masoli and Oregon more than made up for it after the break.

The sophomore quarterback ran for three touchdowns and threw another in the second half to lead 13th-ranked Oregon past No. 14 Oklahoma State, 42-31, in the Holiday Bowl on Tuesday.

Masoli ran for 106 yards, threw for 258 and connected with Jaison Williams on the go-ahead 20-yard touchdown pass with 10:26 left in the fourth quarter for the fifth and final lead change of the second half.

Jeremiah Johnson had 119 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries as the Ducks (10-3) collected 301 yards on the ground. LeGarrette Blount's 29-yard touchdown run with 3:01 remaining put the game away for Oregon.

Masoli exploded for three third-quarter rushing touchdowns to put the Ducks ahead, 31-28, heading into the fourth after they trailed by 10 at halftime, 17-7.

On his second touchdown that gave Oregon its first lead at 21-17, Masoli broke a pair of tackles to get into the secondary and ran over safety Quinton Moore en route to a 41-yard score.

Kendall Hunter and Masoli traded touchdowns late in the third quarter, setting the stage for a dramatic final 15 minutes.

After Zac Robinson put the Cowboys (9-4) back in front on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the final period, Masoli capped of a six-play, 79-yard drive by hitting Williams in the left corner of the end zone.

The Ducks defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but the Cowboys' unit stood tall, stopping three consecutive runs from the 1-yard line to get the ball back with 5:32 left in the fourth.

However Robinson threw three consecutive incomplete passes and, after Oregon took over near midfield, Blount hurdled one defender and carried two others into the end zone for the knockout punch.

Robinson had 326 yards passing and connected with Dez Bryant on a 33-yard touchdown pass for the Cowboys (9-4). Bryant, who set a Holiday Bowl record with 13 catches, had 168 yards but was limited in the second half after injuring his left knee late in the second quarter.

Hunter, who paced the Big 12 in rushing with 1,518 yards and 24 touchdowns, scored a pair of rushing touchdowns but was limited to a season-low 36 yards.

In a matchup of two high-powered offenses, it was both teams' defensive units that controlled the first half.

Bryant caught a quick slant from Robinson, broke a tackle and took it the distance to give Oklahoma State a 10-0 advantage. But the Ducks answered quickly as Johnson took the first play to the house, scoring on a 76-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.

Both teams were surprisingly held off the scoreboard in the second quarter, but Walter Thurmond III provided an instant spark for Oregon to open the second half.

Thurmond, who made a spectacular interception late in the second quarter, took the opening kickoff 91 yards to the Oklahoma State 3-yard line. Masoli scored two plays later and pulled the Ducks within three at 17-14.