WSU Cougars Hang Tough But Fall To UO Ducks, 43-23

The Oregon Ducks, ranked No. 3 team in the nation, defeated the Washington State Cougars on Saturday in Pullman. For everything Cougars, head over to SB Nation's CougCenter.

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Cougars Hang Tough But Fall To Ducks, 43-23

Pullman, WA (Sports Network) - LaMichael James carried the ball 25 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns and also added a receiving touchdown as third- ranked Oregon outlasted Washington State, 43-23.

Darron Thomas completed 8-of-12 passes for 153 yards and a score before leaving with an apparent shoulder injury before Nate Costa came on to go 13- for-15 for 151 yards and a touchdown for the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10), who are off to their first 6-0 start since 2002.

Jeff Maehl made 10 catches for 119 yards and a score while James made two grabs for 87 yards for Oregon, which has won six of the last seven meetings and now leads the all-time series, 43-38-7.

Jeff Tuel connected on 25-of-40 throws for 245 yards and a touchdown while Jared Karstetter caught 10 passes for 106 yards for the Cougars (1-5, 0-3), who have lost four straight games.

The Ducks scored on their first possession of the game, marching 80 yards on 13 plays in less than four minutes to take the lead on James' one-yard scoring run and Dion Jordan's run for the two-point conversion.

James Montgomery's 26-yard scoring run capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive that pulled the Cougars to within 8-7 with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the opening quarter.

Kenjon Barner fumbled on the ensuing kickoff after a hard hit and the hosts recovered at the Ducks six-yard line. The sophomore running back was down on the field for almost 10 minutes before walking off under his own power. He was then taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Logwone Mitz carried to the one on the first play and then plunged in to the end zone on the next play to give the Cougars a 14-8 advantage less than a minute later.

The Ducks regained the lead on an 84-yard catch and run by James with just under three minutes to go in the period. Cliff Harris then brought back a punt 67 yards for a touchdown that pushed the Ducks' advantage back to eight with 8:25 to go in the half.

The Cougars responded with an 11-play, 48-yard drive that was finished off by Nico Grasu's 50-yard field goal that sliced the lead to 22-17.

James capped off the next drive with another one-yard scoring run to give the Ducks a 29-17 lead with just under 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Costa stepped in for Thomas and directed the eight-play, 83-yard march.

The teams traded third quarter touchdowns, as Costa ran in from 18 yards away to extend the lead to 19 before Tuel tossed an 11-yard touchdown to Daniel Blackledge to make it 36-23 with just over 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

Costa connected with Maehl on a 34-yard scoring pass 3:15 into the final quarter to complete the scoring.

Game Notes

Oregon has allowed only 13 second half points this season and none in the fourth quarter...James has 13 100-yard rushing games in his career, one shy of the all-time record set by Jonathan Stewart from 2005-07. He has now run for 2,394 yards to pass Bobby Moore and Jeremiah Johnson to move into sixth place all-time on the Ducks list...James has scored in all five games this season and has 23 touchdowns in 18 career games. Five of his last 10 touchdowns have gone for 50 yards-or-more...Maehl has 132 career catches and moved past Ed Dickson, Bob Newland and Moore into seventh place on the Ducks' all-time list. He has caught a pass in 27 straight games...Costa's 13 completions were a career-high as were his 84 yards rushing...Harris has returned three punts for touchdowns in 2010, a Ducks single-season record...Mitz carried 15 times for 55 yards while Montgomery added 50 yards on 11 totes...Blackledge caught three passes for 27 yards while Marquess Wilson hauled in four balls for 57 yards in defeat...Washington State has lost four of the last five games in Pullman to Oregon.

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PREVIEW: Washington State Cougars Host No. 3 Oregon Ducks On Saturay

The Sports Network

GAME NOTES: The Oregon Ducks have climbed to the third position in the most recent AP poll, and they are heavily favored in this weekend's Pac-10 Conference clash with the Washington State Cougars.

The Ducks got off to a bit of a slow start against Stanford last weekend, but they eventually got in gear and cruised to a 52-31 win over a very strong football team. Oregon is now 5-0 overall, including 2-0 in Pac-10 action, and all five of their wins have come by double figures. The Ducks have been explosive, scoring no fewer than 42 points in any contest.

As for Washington State, it has suffered three consecutive losses to fall to 1-4 overall. The lone victory to date came by one point over Montana State, an FCS program, and the four losses have all come by double figures. Last weekend, the Cougars fell to UCLA on the road by a 42-28 final.

Oregon owns a 42-38-7 series edge over Washington State, which includes three straight wins over the Cougars.

The Ducks are racking up 56.6 ppg and 569.2 total ypg, staggering numbers that undoubtedly concern Washington State heading into this weekend's affair. The strength of the Oregon offense is the ground attack, which accounts for 331.0 ypg at a clip of 6.6 ypc. The offense has already scored 31 touchdowns, and 18 have come on the ground.

LaMichael James is a legitimate Heisman candidate, as the explosive tailback has already rushed for 712 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing one of the club's two games. Darron Thomas, the team's quarterback, has played like a proven veteran, rushing for 219 yards and two scores while passing for 1,060 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Jeff Maehl has made 21 catches for 304 yards and four touchdowns.

The Ducks rolled up 626 total yards against Stanford last week, a truly exceptional performance. James rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries, while Thomas added 117 yards and a score on the ground. As a passer, Thomas threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns, overshadowing a pair of interceptions.

"He is a leader every week," says James of Thomas. "When he throws a pick, he bounces back. The thing about him is that he is happier when someone else scores a touchdown than when he does."

Opponents are only managing 15.0 ppg against the Ducks, so while the offense gets all of the attention, the team's defense is obvious formidable as well. Oregon is yielding a mere 3.7 yards per rushing attempt and has posted 11 interceptions versus just five touchdown passes allowed. Cliff Harris has registered four of the 11 picks.

Stanford is one of the better offensive teams in the nation, so the Oregon defensive stats took a bit of a hit last week. The Ducks permitted 518 total yards and four touchdowns, as the defense spent over 33 minutes on the field. Fortunately, the level of competition isn't nearly as high this weekend.

"Our defense did a great job of making adjustments," said head coach Chip Kelly, whose Ducks blanked the Cardinal in the second half. "That's a really good football team (Stanford). They will be a force down the road."

Washington State is scoring 21.0 ppg while posting 339.4 total ypg through the first five outings of this campaign. The Cougars have been unsuccessful running the football, as they are averaging 86.0 ypg at a clip of 2.7 yards per carry. Of the 13 touchdowns scored by the offense, just four have come on the ground. Therefore, a great deal of pressure has fallen on the passing game.

Quarterback Jeff Tuel has completed 57.0 percent of his passes for 1,233 yards with eight touchdowns and only four interceptions. Wide receiver Marquess Wilson registered his third game of more than 100 receiving yards last week at UCLA (118 yards), making him just the second freshman wideout in school history to post multiple 100-yard games in a single season. Tuel completed 20- of-37 passes against UCLA for 311 yards and two scores with no picks.

"We fought and we played like a Pac-10 football team today," said head coach Paul Wulff. "We haven't done that before. It's a tribute to their mission for four quarters and their effort. So there was some growing up out there obviously. There were a lot of really good things that we can work on."

Defensively, the Cougars have struggled mightily, permitting 42.8 ppg and 509.8 total ypg to opponents. They have been consistently weak throughout the course of games, having permitted cumulative totals of 58, 55, 59 and 42 points in the four quarters of their games. Washington State is being victimized for 6.5 yards per rushing attempt and 12.2 yards per pass completion.

Last week, WSU permitted UCLA to make good on 8-of-14 third-down conversion attempts and hold the ball for nearly 35 minutes. The Cougars gave up 565 total yards and surrendered five rushing touchdowns.

There is no reason to expect anything other than a blowout by the Ducks. Oregon is far superior to Washington State in all aspects of the game.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 63, Washington State 14

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Oregon-WSU Officially Live On CSN In Oregon

First it was on TV, then it wasn't. Now, the Oregon Ducks will be televised live on CSN in Oregon as they take on the Washington State Cougars this weekend at 2 p.m. After all the fuss throughout the past week, and Washington States refusal to move the game time because of money issues, the situation is finally resolved.

The official Oregon Ducks football Twitter account confirmed the news moments ago.

Saturday's telecast will now be available LIVE in the State of Oregon on Comcast SportsNet Northwest #goducksless than a minute ago via HootSuite

Fans in Oregon, and Southwestern Washington, will be able to see the game on their local Comcast Sports affilliate. Due to Pac-10 broadcast restriction, the game will not be shown live in the rest of Washington.

For those that miss it, CSN will replay the game at 6:30 p.m.

See? That wasn't so hard, was it?

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WSU-Oregon TV Situation: CSN NW Pulls Announcement, Game Not On TV Again

Hours after triumphantly announcing it would be televising the Oregon-WSU game, Comcast Sports Northwest has pulled the announcement from its website, leaving everyone to wonder what happened. As of now, it appears the game will be only available to those at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

Changing networks, even without changing the game-time, requires a waiver. Instead of just both teams having to agree on it, which shouldn’t be a problem, FSN and the Pac-10 also have to sign off on the Comcast Sports deal. That, apparently, never happened today.

Commence whining and finger-pointing for the millionth time this week...now.

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WSU-Oregon To Be Televised Live On CSN NW In Oregon

Want to see the Oregon Ducks and Washington State Cougars this Saturday live on TV? Good news! After FSN dropped the ball earlier this week, Comcast picked it up and ran with it, choosing to televise the top-ranked Ducks live at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The move allows WSU to keep the start time the same and gives local fans, at least in Oregon, the chance to see their Ducks play.

Take note: the game will not be aired live in Washington, unless you live in Clark County, due to Pac-10 television restrictions.

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