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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.