SEATTLE - As Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe addressed the smattering of fans who remained after the Demon Deacons' Seattle Bowl victory, his voice was caught briefly with emotion.
"We're so happy to get an opportunity to win a bowl game," he said, overcome after Wake Forest beat Oregon 38-17 on Monday.
Wake Forest (7-6) finished with a winning record for the second straight year. The Deacons haven't had consecutive winning seasons since 1987-88.
James MacPherson completed 9 of 16 passes for a season-high 241 yards and two touchdowns - both to Jason Anderson - as the normally grounded Deacons uncharacteristically took to the air.
"Going into the game, I knew there were going to be opportunities to throw a couple of deep passes on them and maybe score a few touchdowns," the senior quarterback said. "Luckily, we were able to do that."
The Ducks (7-6) started the season 6-0 and were ranked as high as No. 6, but they simply weren't the same without quarterback Joey Harrington, a 2001 Heisman finalist last year. The team lost five of its last six, a year after going 11-1 and winning the Fiesta Bowl.
Entering Monday's game, Wake Forest was ranked eighth nationally in rushing offense, averaging 239.9 yards a game. The Deacons ran for 256 against Oregon, even with their early emphasis on the passing game.
"We're a running football team that throws off of play action, so we knew we had to hit a couple of big passes to have a chance to win," Grobe said. "Jason Anderson did a nice job of getting open and James put the ball where he could catch it."
The Ducks opened the game at Seahawks Stadium with Jared Siegel's 45-yard field goal, but Wake Forest answered with Ovie Mughelli's 1-yard run.
MacPherson fared better, hitting Anderson with a 57-yard scoring pass early in the second quarter to push Wake's lead to 14-3. MacPherson added a 1-yard touchdown dash with 2:40 left before halftime.
With 26 seconds left in the half, Kellen Clemens hit Samie Parker with a 7-yard scoring strike to make it 21-10.
Matt Wisnosky had a 43-yard field goal for Wake Forest before Oregon's Matt Floberg narrowed it to 24-17 on a 1-yard run with 5:39 left in the third quarter.
MacPherson, who had just six touchdown passes going in, closed the third quarter with his 63-yard touchdown pass to Anderson. Chris Barclay added a 12-yard TD run late in the game for the final margin.
Anderson caught three passes for a career-best 157 yards.
Clemens, a red-shirt freshman who came off the bench late in the first quarter when starter Jason Fife wasn't effective, finished 19-of-31 for 161 yards.
"We attacked them - but I don't think we attacked them enough," said Oregon receiver Keenan Howry, who had five catches for 50 yards.
Oregon tailback Onterrio Smith, who missed three of the last four games with an injured left knee that required surgery in late November, gained 62 yards on 18 carries in what would be his final college game if he declares himself eligible for the NFL draft. In nine regular-season games, Smith ran for 1,079 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Barclay led the Deacons with 82 yards on 19 carries. Tailback Tarence Williams, who rushed for 550 yards in his last five games, had 53 yards on 16 carries.
The second annual Seattle Bowl marked the first meeting between the Ducks and Demon Deacons since Wake Forest won the Independence Bowl 39-35 on Dec. 31, 1992, in Shreveport, La.