Who to look out for as the Cougars return from their bye week and open Pac-12 play at home against Oregon
Opponent Outlook: WSU vs. Oregon
When/where: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Martin Stadium (Pac-12 Networks)
Coach/record: Mark Helfrich (35-10 at Oregon – fourth season) Spent four seasons as Oregon’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach before being promoted to head coach in 2013.
Early line: Oregon is a 1-point favorite
Last Season: The Ducks finished 9-4 with a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to TCU in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
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Last Week: Oregon was shocked at home by Colorado, losing 41-38 after a last-ditch offensive drive ended when the Buffaloes intercepted a Dakota Prukop pass meant for Darren Carrington in the end zone. The loss dropped Oregon to 2-2, and gave the Ducks their first back-to-back losses in the same season since 2007.
QB Dakota Prukop: The graduate transfer from Montana State has been serviceable for Oregon but not elite. He’s completed 66.7 percent of his passes and has averaged 260 passing yards per game, while throwing eight touchdown passes and only one interception.
RB Tony Brooks-James: With Royce Freeman missing the Colorado game due to an unspecified leg injury he suffered against Nebraska, Tony Brooks-James led the Ducks in rushing, carrying 16 times for a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown.
WR Darren Carrington: The junior receiver caught two touchdown passes in the Ducks’ defeat to Coloardo, and he leads the team with three touchdown receptions this season, averaging 70 receiving yards per game.
LB Troy Dye: Dye, a true freshman, has been a lightning rod for the Ducks on defense. In his collegiate debut against UC Davis, Dye recorded 11 tackles to become the first Oregon freshman since 1996 to finish his first game with double-digit tackles. Dye now leads Oregon with 27 total tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and two sacks.
S Brenden Schooler: Schooler is another true freshman who’s made an early impact for the Ducks on defense. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety leads the Ducks’ secondary with two interceptions this year, including one against Colorado last week.