After a slow start in the first half against the Washington State Cougars, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks turned on the afterburners in the second, leading to a 51-26 victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) led by 23-19 at halftime, though the Ducks got on track with a De'Anthony Thomas' 4-yard touchdown run to start the second half, followed by a inerception from WSU quarterback Connor Halliday for a touchdown on the Cougars very next drive. Kenjon Barner would add two more rushing touchdowns for the Ducks, sealing Mike Leach's squad's fate once and for all.
Barner would finish the game with 20 carries 195 yards and three rushing touchdowns, as well as three catches for 37 yards and another touchdown for Oregon. Quarterback Marcus Mariota finished the game 21-32 for 169 yards, two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and two interceptions.
The Ducks now look ahead to their meeting with the Washington Huskies next Saturday from Autzen Stadium.
Here's something Oregon doesn't see often, a slim lead over their opponent. After pummeling Arizona last week 49-0, they hadn't been challenged in a while. Mike Leech and his Washington State Cougars are proving quite the challenge for Chip Kelly and the Ducks. At the half, Oregon holds a slim 23-19 lead over Washington State.
Oregon freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota is a double threat. He was 11-for-17 in the air for a total of 106 yards and one touchdown. Mariota is also second on the team in rushing with 44 yards on five carries. The only blemish on his night so far has been one interception. That interception turned into a field goal for the Cougars.
Washington State quarterback Conner Halliday was shaky in the first half. He went 17-for-30 passing and ran the ball six times for a net of negative-47 yards. On top of that, he's been sacked six times.
After the first quarter, the Cougars were down 20-9 to Oregon. They began to slowly chip away at the Ducks' lead in the second, bringing them within four at the half.
The Washington State Cougars and Oregon Ducks meet on Saturday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Mike Leach and the Cougars (2-2) will be looking to pull the upset of the No. 2 Ducks (4-0).
CenturyLink was the site of an upset on Thursday night when Washington knocked off No. 8 Stanford there and the Cougars will look to do something similar on Saturday. Oregon is looking to continue it's undefeated season rolling after a 49-0 win over Arizona last week.
It is the second conference game of the season for each team. The Ducks are 1-0 thus far in Pac-12 play, while the Cougars are looking for their first conference win under Leach.