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Matchup: Washington State vs. Oregon, at CenturyLink Field
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.
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.