No. 15 Oregon Ducks (2-1) with Washington State Cougars (3-0)
When: 1 p.m. PT Saturday, September 24
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, Washington.
Trainer: Dan Lanning, first year (2-1); Jake Dickert, first year (6-3)
Last line: Oregon through May 6th
TV channel: FOX
To broadcast: Radio on 1080 “The Fan” in Portland, KUGN-AM 590 in Eugene
How to watch live streams online: You can Watch this game live for FREE with DirecTV Stream (free trial) or with fuboTV (Free trial period). You can also start this game Sling TV (Promotional Offers) if you are out of fuboTV trials or simply prefer these platforms and their pricing plans. You can also watch this game live on FOX Sports Live using your cable or satellite provider credentials.
What’s at stake: In the opening weekend of conference play, half the league finishes 1-0 and the other half 0-1, but the early rise in the standings and holding a tie-break are less pressing than the bigger picture. Oregon can hardly afford another loss if it makes a New Year’s Six Bowl that isn’t the Rose Bowl, and whatever chance there is of a college football playoff berth absolutely requires a win. A loss would completely remove the Ducks from the national conversation until mid-November when they are still fighting for a spot in the Pac-12 championship game. Washington State could pick up a second win over a ranked opponent, jump into the top 25 and become a major factor in the conference race.
Oregon Attack vs. Washington State Defense
The Ducks began to make their mark against BYU by using pace, running after big bodies, and scattering in long passes. The same could work against Washington State, but the Cougars cause a lot of chaos with their front seven. How offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham attacks will be interesting because he’s been there multiple times so far. Oregon could continue to rely on his tight ends to unbalance defense between run and pass. Dillingham could also field more receivers to force Washington State to field more defensive backs and choose which of its top seven front players to take off the field, particularly on early downs, which could result in more manageable third downs. The Cougars are excellent against the run and generate a lot of pressure. To counter this, you can either get very big or shoot over the top.
Oregon Defense vs. Washington State Attack
The Coug Raid doesn’t require Oregon’s defenders to stay under cover all day, but the pace is still up and the ball will still be in the air a lot. Cameron Ward is nimble and it’s up to Oregon’s line of defense to keep him in the pocket as his ability to extend plays opens up many opportunities. Oregon’s pass defense got off to a bad start, especially in third place, but Ward was poor in third place. The Ducks need to capitalize and force him to make mistakes at these points.
Did you know?
- Cameron Ward is the first Cougars quarterback to win his first four starts at WSU since 1975.
Matchup to watch: Oregon’s defensive backs vs. Washington State’s receivers
The Ducks are having a very difficult time in coverage, aside from Christian Gonzalez. The Cougars have approached nine different receivers in two of their first three games and always use a variety of targets. Oregon’s situational awareness hasn’t been good and allowing cross-field throws for conversions can’t continue when UO is set to fight for a conference title.
They said it: “(Bo Nix) is really in command of their offense and I think he has all the keys to the car. They don’t see that they’re trying to impede an ability. He throws deep balls, short balls, medium balls. I see a good football player who has really helped his football team.” — Jake Dickert, Washington State Coach
Ranked teams from Oregon are 6-2 to unranked teams from Washington State in Pullman, losing in 2006 and 1996.
Forecast: Oregon 31, Washington State 21
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