Preview: Oregon at Washington State

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History hasn’t been kind to Washington State in its annual game against Oregon. The Ducks have won seven straight by an average score of 52-20.

With Oregon a 24-point favorite, Vegas thinks a similar result is in store for Saturday. The No. 2 Ducks have certainly looked like a national championship contender in averaging 52 points per game this season.

If you like quarterback play, Saturday’s game is a must-watch. Marcus Mariota has established himself as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner. He has completed 50 of 71 pass attempts for 806 yards, 8 touchdowns and no interceptions. His quarterback rating is an eye-popping 203.0.

Statistically, Connor Halliday is the nation’s best passer with 488 yards per game. He had six touchdowns in last week’s 59-21 win over Portland State, giving him a nation-high 12 on the season.¬† Isiah Myers leads all Pac-12 receivers in receptions (26) and receiving yards (423). He was added to the watch list for the Beletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver.

Oregon has shown itself to be vulnerable against the pass, allowed 627 passing yards and four passing touchdowns. That’s the reason the Vegas over-under is 75 points, the highest of any NCAA FBS game this weekend.

That puts the spotlight on Oregon’s secondary, led by potential NFL first-rounder Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Erick Dargan, who has three interceptions this season.

 

Oregon at Washington State

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Martin Stadium, Pullman

TV, radio: ESPN, AM-750 (Oregon), AM-1330 (WSU)

Records: Oregon (3-0), Washington State (1-2)

Key to game: Oregon’s offensive line is still banged up, as starting tackles Jake Fisher and Andre Yruretagoyena are out with injuries. Oregon gets in trouble when it can’t run effectively, so the play of fill-in tackles Matt Pierson and Tyrell Crosby is worth watching.

Quotable: “That’s like PlayStation numbers, what he did.” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich on Connor Halliday going 41 of 62 for 544 yards with six TDs against Portland State.

Prediction: Oregon 54-28

Micah Rice

Micah Rice

Columbian Sports Editor Micah Rice is the author of Tailgate Talk: College football from a Clark County perspective.

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