- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

NO. 2 OREGON (3-0) at WASHINGTON STATE (1-2), 10:30 P.M., ESPN

Line: Oregon by 23 ½.

Series Record: Oregon 46-38-7.


Oregon’s quest to make the four-team playoff at the end of the season would likely not survive a loss to Washington State, which is still in a rebuilding mode under third-year coach Mike Leach. Washington State is hoping to keep it close. A victory would be arguably the program’s biggest since upsetting No. 1 UCLA in 1988.


Washington State QB Connor Halliday, the nation’s leader in yards passing, against Oregon cornerbacks Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Erick Dargan. Last year Halliday attempted an NCAA record 89 passes against Oregon in a 62-38 loss. He threw for 557 yards but was intercepted four times. Halliday must have an outstanding day for Washington State to have a chance to win. Another key is Oregon’s rushing attack against WSU’s front seven.


Oregon: QB Marcus Mariota was sacked three times and lost two fumbles against WSU last season, but he is tearing opponents apart this year. Mariota has thrown for 806 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions, while completing 70 percent of his passes. He’s also rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 7.8 yards per carry.

Washington State: WRs Isiah Myers (11 catches for 227 yards last weekend), Dom Williams (four catches for 112 yards) and River Cracraft (seven catches for 88 yards) lead a deep corps of receivers that produced a Pac-12 record 630 receiving yards last weekend versus FCS Portland State.


Oregon has won the past seven games in the series, dating to WSU’s last victory in 2006 … Oregon averages 52 points per game, compared to 25.5 for Washington State … Oregon averages 243 rushing yards per game, compared to 22 yards for Washington State … The game is sold out at 33,000-seat Martin Stadium and WSU was selling standing-room tickets this week.

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