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Oregon's Smith earns honor for big game

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 29, 1998
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After leading Oregon to a 63-28 win over Stanford, quarterback Akili Smith was named the Pacific 10 Conference's offensive player of the week.

Adam Archuleta of Arizona State and Deltha O'Neal of California won the defensive and special teams awards, respectively.

Smith, a senior, finished the game 18 of 29 for 357 yards and four touchdown passes, all of which were in the first half.

Archuleta, a sophomore for the Sun Devils, had 11 tackles, five of which were for a loss, including a quarterback sack. He also recovered a fumble while leading ASU to a victory over Oregon State, 24-3. The ASU defense limited the Beavers to nine yards rushing and only 232 yards of total offense.

O'Neal, a junior for the Bears, played a major role on the special teams as well as on defense in Cal's 24-14 win over Washington State. He had 212 total yards with six punt returns for 87 yards, a kickoff return for 40 yards and a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Other nominees for player of the week for offense were Keith Smith of Arizona and wide receiver Leaford Hackett of Washington State. On defense there was Arizona inside linebacker Scooter Sprotte, Chris Vandiver of Oregon, Steve Gleason from Washington State, Chris Claiborne of Southern Cal and Mawuko Tugbenyoh from Cal. Special teams nominees were kickers Stephen Baker from ASU and Adam Abrams of Southern Cal.

Duck attack

Oregon's 63 points against the Cardinal were the most points the Ducks scored since their 97-0 defeat of Willamette in 1916. It was also the most points given up by the Cardinal since the inception of its football program in 1891.

Offense was the name of the game for the Ducks as they had 664 yards in offense on their way to the blowout win.

Running back Reuben Droughns rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns to go along with Smith's big day. Droughns has become the first player in Duck history to rush for 200 yards in a game twice in a season.

This rivalry has historically been a wild offensive contest as in the previous five games they had a combined average of 930 yards and 71 points. Stanford won 58-49 last year as the teams combined for 1,108 yards and a Pac-10 record 107 points.

Pac-10 Heisman Watch

Cade McNown, UCLA: Had an unscheduled bye week due to Hurricane Georges as the Bruins were supposed to play at the University of Miami, Fla. but the two schools agreed playing the game would endanger the players, coaches and fans in attendance.

The game is supposed to be rescheduled for Dec. 4. This Heisman candidate continues his season for the fourth-ranked Bruins this Saturday at home against Washington State.

Akili Smith, Oregon: There is not much more that head coach Mike Bellotti could ask for from his senior quarterback. Against Stanford this past Saturday he was 15 of 21 for 313 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone.

For the season he is an impressive 58 of 97 for 1,138 yards, 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions for the 4-0 Ducks. This weekend Smith will get to rest his arm as the Ducks have a bye, but he will be back in action Oct. 10 to face Washington State.

Chris McAlister, Arizona: He was again a major factor in the defensive backfield in the Wildcats' eighth victory in a row as they defeated San Diego State, 35-16 last Thursday. Aztecs quarterback Brian Russell tried to keep him away from the ball but McAlister did manage to come up with an interception, a pass broken up and two tackles. McAlister will try and help the Wildcats continue their winning ways in Seattle Saturday as Arizona will face Washington in a rematch of last year's 58-28 Huskie drubbing at Arizona Stadium.

On the bubble: Brock Huard, Washington.

His bubble has popped: J.R. Redmond, Arizona State.

Daily Wildcat projected leader: Surprise, surprise - Akili Smith.

Dan Rosen can be reached via e-mail at