Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart, right, breaks away from USC's Terrell Thomas on his way to a touchdown in Saturday's win over the Trojans. Oregon is ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 5 in the Bowl Championship Series rankings this week. - AP

Ducks await undefeated Sun Devils

EUGENE — The Oregon Ducks wouldn't dare dream about BCS bowls or possible national titles just yet. They've got Arizona State looming.

"Rose Bowl, national championship. You can't look ahead though," Oregon right tackle Geoff Schwartz said. "We gotta take it game by game, which is what we've been doing. We got ASU this week. Our goal is always to win the Pac-10, and we're on the road for that."

Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pacific-10) defeated USC 24-17 at Autzen Stadium on Saturday. As a result, they hopped up a spot in the AP poll to No. 4. The Trojans dropped from No. 9 to No. 13.

Arizona State (8-0, 5-0) defeated California 31-20 in Tempe Saturday night and took over first place in the conference. The Sun Devils jumped a spot in the rankings, too, to No. 6.

In the BCS rankings, which use a combination of factors, Arizona State is four and Oregon is five. The top two teams in the BCS ranking on Dec. 2 will play in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans.

"We still have a lot to prove, and I think we're ready to prove it," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said.

Arizona State's victory put the national spotlight on this Saturday's game at Autzen Stadium. It also helped give the Sun Devils national credibility, running back Dimitri Nance said.

"It was great because they doubted us and we weren't getting a lot of respect," he said. "They didn't think we were going to win the game. It is a great feeling to have."

Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon knows the Ducks can't sneak up on opponents any longer.

"Now we put a big target on our back. Everyone wants a piece. As a team, we gotta enjoy this and then get ready to go for Arizona State because they're a great team as well," Dixon said.

Picked by the Pac-10 media to finish in the middle of the conference, the Ducks and Sun Devils instead find themselves in the middle of the chase for the BCS title. Neither team was ranked in the preseason. Reporters assigned to the conference pegged ASU to finish fourth in the Pac-10, two slots above the Ducks.

"We're just a bunch of guys who nobody thought was very good," Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said. "It's kind of scary, starting to read our name in the paper every week now."

Oregon, meanwhile, checked off the Trojans and were looking ahead to Arizona State.

"Right now, we think of the BCS a little, but not all the way because we want to win one game at a time," said Oregon safety Matthew Harper, who sealed the victory over USC with his second interception of the game in the dying seconds. "And once you win one game at a time, it won't put nothing behind you. Hopefully we'll keep doing this every week. "

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