Connor Halliday and the Washington State Cougars will try to end a six game losing streak to the No. 2 Oregon Ducks on Saturday night at the Autzen.
Over the past 10 years, the Ducks have gone 8-2 against Washington State, with the only home loss coming in 2003. The Cougars have gone 1-2 in the last three weeks, but can play the role of spoiler for an Oregon squad possibly looking beyond to next week’s matchup with undefeated UCLA.
Marcus Mariota and the Ducks have lit up opponents for 56.8 points per game, second most in the nation, and are complemented by a stingy defense surrendering 13.8 points per game.
The offense comes mainly from the ground, generating 324 yards per game thanks to Mariota and running backs Byron Marshall and DeAnthony Thomas. The trio have combined for 20 of the Ducks 27 rushing touchdowns, while receivers Josh Huff and Bralon Addison each have 27 receptions, for a total of 1,054 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Oregon defensive end Tony Washington is fourth in the Pac-12 with 4.5 sacks, and junior linebacker Derrick Malone is tied for fourth with 52 total tackles in the conference. Last week the defense let up 24 points to Washington, the most for the Ducks last seven games dating back to last season.
They’ll try to take down Halliday who is second in the Pac-12 with 2,241 passing yards, but first with 13 interceptions. His main target is Gabe Marks. The sophomore has posted 46 receptions, second most in the Pac-12, for 512 yards and four touchdowns.
The Cougars don’t have the benefit of three dominant rushers, gaining 66.4 yards per game, ranking 123 rd in the country. Running backs Marcus Mason and Teondray Caldwell have only hit pay dirt twice this season, but together are averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month the Ducks, using their long-term partnerhsip with NIke, will wear pink cleats, socks, gloves, and helmets.
“Cancer has touched so many lives and hopefully, together with Nike and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, we can help create awareness and help raise money for the fight against women’s cancers” Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said to The Oregonian.
Point Spread: Oregon is favored by 39.5 points.
Over-Under: 72 points
Kickoff Time: 10 PM Eastern Time
TV Channel: Fox Sports 1
Channel Finder: The channel’s official site allows viewers to search availability here.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Washington State 20
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.