Washington State (2-2); Oregon (4-0) Time: 7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field TV: ESPN2 Radio: 710 ESPN The line: Oregon by 30 ½ The setup...
Washington State (2-2); Oregon (4-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field
TV: ESPN2 Radio: 710 ESPN The line: Oregon by 30 ½
The setup: Oregon tries to maintain its No. 2 status nationally, while the Cougars attempt to shake off blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead last week against Colorado.
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What to expect: Oregon runs its spread-option offense at a blistering pace, with a 63 percent frequency of run to pass keyed by backs Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas. The Cougars operate a spread passing game with Connor Halliday, who threw 60 times last week, likely to make his third straight start at quarterback.
Key matchup: WSU LB Deone Bucannon vs. Barner and Thomas. Bucannon struggled defending the pass down the stretch of the Cougars’ loss last week. He’ll be a key in run support against the Ducks, as will all the WSU linebackers and safeties.
Notes: Ducks have won five straight in the series, never scoring fewer than 43 points. … Ducks have scored 30 or more 17 straight games. … Oregon hasn’t lost a game from weeks 2-8 in Chip Kelly’s four-year tenure. … Ducks QB Marcus Mariota is completing 70 percent of his passes. … Cougars have played UO relatively tough past two years. … WR Marquess Wilson is 45 yards behind Brandon Gibson’s career-leading 2,756 total, but Wilson has dropped four passes in past two games. … WSU, pounded last year by Oregon State 44-21 in the Seattle game, is 5-4 at CenturyLink.
Injuries: Oregon — WR Josh Huff (knee), doubtful; OT Kyle Long (ankle), questionable; DE Arik Armstead (finger), probable. WSU — Slot Rickey Galvin (arm), out; OT Wade Jacobsen (shoulder-neck), doubtful; QB Jeff Tuel (knee), probable.
Upset brewing? Not on this night, unless the Cougars deconstruct Oregon’s top-flight defense and on the other side of the ball, fix assignment errors and tackle better.
Prediction: Oregon 42, Washington State 27.