Washington State was no match for No. 2 Oregon and the Ducks exploded for a 62-38 victory against the Cougars.
Outside of three forced fumbles, WSU's defense was no match for the Ducks. Oregon scored early and often, ripping off huge chunks of yardage against Cougars. The Ducks jumped out to a 13-0 lead, racking up 147 yards in just 12 plays. Oregon scored each of its first eight touchdowns on drives taking 2:13 or less. The only thing that kept Oregon from putting the game away in the first half were three forced fumbles by WSU, including one the Cougars scooped and took back for a defensive touchdown.
That was one of a few highlights for Mike Leach and the Cougars. Quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 557 yards, but crucial mistakes were once again an issue for the redshirt junior. Halliday threw four interceptions, including three while deep in Oregon territory. Halliday's fourth interception of the game was returned for a touchdown by Terrance Mitchell. Washington State likely needed to play close to a perfect game to have a chance against the Ducks and with Halliday's interceptions and a few other costly mistakes, the Cougars were far from perfection.
On the other side, Marcus Mariota was extremely efficient, slicing through the WSU defense both through the air and on the ground. Mariota got the Ducks on the board early, breaking free for a 57-yard touchdown run. He lost two fumbles, but completed 23-of-32 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns while rushing eight times for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Even without De'Anthony Thomas, the Ducks gashed the Cougars on the ground, finishing with 383 rushing yards. Byron Marshall led the way with 192 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Thomas Tyner was also extremely effective in carrying seven times for 99 yards.
The Ducks finished with 719 total yards and did most of their damage in the first three quarters. While the defense allowed a lot of passing yards, the Oregon front seven continued to play well, holding the Cougars to two rushing yards. The passing yardage was in large part to Halliday attempting 89 passes which set a new FBS record.
Box Score Hero:
Take your pick from any number of players on Oregon's offense. Mariota and Marshall were both extremely impressive. In addition to his 192 rushing yards, Marshall also caught two passes for another 54 yards.
Halliday set a FBS record for pass attempts and tied the record for completions. He completed 58-of-89 passes for 557 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
Although Washington State briefly made it a game, Oregon was likely impressive enough to hold onto the No. 2 spot in the pols.
But Did They Cover?
The Ducks opened as a 37-1/2-point favorite. Oregon appeared to be on its way to covering before a pair of late WSU touchdowns.
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Next Week's Schedule:
Washington State will have a week off to prepare for a Halloween matchup against Arizona State.
The Ducks will remain at home for a matchup with No. 9 UCLA.