The Washington State Cougars gave the Oregon Ducks a rude welcome to Pullman on Saturday, October 1. Dominating in every facet of the game, WSU continued its winning streak against the struggling team from Oregon. This WSU vs. Oregon game served as the Pac-12 opener for the Cougars, giving the team a chance to bounce back from some tough non-conference results. WSU had been 1-2 up to this point, with Oregon coming in at 2-2 this season.
Oregon started the night with the ball, but after WSU stopped them on defense, the game started to shift in a big way for the Cougars. There wasn’t much looking back after that, as WSU took a commanding 28-14 lead into halftime. Quarterback Luke Falk completed his first 10 passes, taking full advantage of the Oregon secondary at every turn. The conservative approach to the passing game worked very well for WSU, as they continuously picked apart the Ducks.
WSU had trouble getting the offense going in the third quarter, but also limited Oregon to just six points on the other end of the field. It was in the fourth quarter where the game started to become a complete blowout. WSU scored its fourth rushing touchdown of the game, something that the team hadn’t done since the 2008 college football season. Oregon was also completely overwhelmed on offense, but did make some noise on a late kickoff return.
Trailing 44-20, Charles Nelson returned a kickoff from the end zone for the Oregon Ducks. He broke a run of 100 yards all the way back for a touchdown, cutting into the lead and giving the Ducks a major highlight for the evening. The team came up short (again) while going for a two-point conversion, leaving the score at 44-26 with just eight minutes left in the game.
The WSU Cougars would end up winning the game 51-33. WSU quarterback Luke Falk finished the game with 371 yards, completing 36-of-48 passes (75 percent) on the night. Jacob Morrow ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, James Williams ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns, and Gerard Wicks ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Morrow added seven catches for 68 yards, while receiver River Cracraft led the team with 73 yards through the air.
During the 2015 college football season, the Washington State Cougars eliminated the Oregon Ducks from having any chance at making the College Football Championship. With the game taking place in Autzen Stadium, WSU scored late to force the game into overtime. Both teams scored in the first overtime to send it to a second extra installment. WSU scored a touchdown right away in the second overtime and then shut down Oregon on defense to clinch a 45-38 victory that got the Cougars going in Pac-12 play.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Washington State Cougars, as the team heads out on the road for a game against the Stanford Cardinal next weekend. The game is in primetime again, with a 7:30 p.m. PT start on Saturday, October 8. Stanford had a rough loss to the Washington Huskies this week, meaning the team could be amped up to get back on the winning track.
Following the game against Stanford, WSU is back at home to play UCLA on October 15. Then they have two road games against Arizona State (Oct. 22) and Oregon State (Oct. 29) to wrap up the month. Game times have not yet been released, as it will depend on how the Pac-12 decides to schedule the games for television. The Washington State Cougars will want to string together some victories soon, as the season ends with a very tough game against the Washington Huskies on November 25.
[Featured Image by Washington State University]