(3) Oregon 43

(6-0, 3-0 Pac-12)

Washington St 23

(1-5, 0-3 Pac-12)

5:00 PM ET, October 9, 2010

Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA

1 2 3 4 T
#3ORE 15 14 7 743
WSU 14 3 6 023

Top Performers

Passing: J. Tuel (NTL) - 245 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: L. James (ORE) - 25 CAR, 136 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Maehl (ORE) - 10 REC, 119 YDS, 1 TD

Oregon-Washington St. Preview


Behind the nation's best offense, Oregon is steadily moving into contention for a spot in the BCS title game.

The third-ranked Ducks could have the chance for another impressive performance when they travel to face one of the FBS' worst defensive teams in Washington State on Saturday.

Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) leads the FBS with 569.2 yards and 56.6 points per game, and used that powerful offense to break away from then-No. 9 Stanford for a 52-31 home victory last Saturday.

After trailing by seven at halftime, the Ducks scored four unanswered touchdowns, including LaMichael James' 76-yard run late in the fourth quarter. Oregon has outscored opponents 114-7 in the second half this season.

"Coach (Chip Kelly) just preached finishing," said quarterback Darron Thomas, who rushed for a career-best 117 yards and threw for 238. "So we came out and finished."

James finished with a career-best 257 yards on a career-high 31 carries, and he has a 178-yard average, placing him second in the FBS behind Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (181.0).

The Ducks finished with more than 600 yards for the third time this season with 626 and moved up one spot in the Top 25 on Sunday. The Ducks jumped into the No. 4 spot a week earlier, but coach Chip Kelly said those moves don't mean too much right now.

"We have not talked about the polls. I say that every day. We've never talk about a poll," Kelly said. "You tell me who was second, third or fourth in the country last year in the second week of October? ... Because it means nothing."

Oregon might not overtake top-ranked Alabama or No. 2 Ohio State this week, but the Ducks could keep piling up the points and yards against Washington State (1-4, 0-2).

The Cougars rank 118th of 120 FBS teams in yards allowed per game (509.8), 116th in scoring defense (42.8 points per game) and 117th in average rushing yards allowed (255.2).

In their four matchups with FBS schools this season, they've been outscored 192-82. They were beaten 50-16 by then-No. 20 Southern California in their previous game at Martin Stadium on Sept. 25 after defeating FCS opponent Montana State 23-22 on a late field goal in their home opener Sept. 11.

Washington State is 4-26 in coach Paul Wulff's two-plus seasons and has dropped 19 of 20 conference games, including last Saturday's 42-28 defeat at UCLA in which it allowed 437 rushing yards.

Sophomore Jeff Tuel continued a strong start with a season-high 311 passing yards and a pair of TDs.

Tuel has been a bright spot for the Cougars in helping them become the No. 31 passing offense in the FBS at 253.4 yards per game. He's also accounted for eight of his team's 12 touchdowns.

"I think Jeff has a lot of experience and he's one of the really good young quarterbacks in this league," Kelly said. "He's a classic quarterback where he's looking to throw, but he can beat you with his feet."

Oregon has outscored Washington State 168-27 in winning the last three meetings, including a 63-14 victory in Pullman in 2008, and has won five of the last six matchups. The Ducks will try to keep rolling while searching for their sixth straight Pac-10 victory and 14th in 15 tries.

In last season's 52-6 win, the Ducks finished with 318 yards and six TDs on the ground. James had 81 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries as his team outgained the Cougars 514-158.


Passing Leaders

M. Mariota68.34454424
J. Lockie75.020710
C. Halliday67.338733211
L. Falk64.21859137

Rushing Leaders

R. Freeman25213655.418
M. Mariota1357705.715
J. Morrow873514.00
G. Wicks622343.84

Receiving Leaders

B. Marshall74100313.66
D. Carrington3770419.04
V. Mayle106148314.09
I. Myers7897212.512