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Tale of the tape: Oregon 51, WSU 26

COUGARS

FROM SEATTLE -- Our postgame coverage will be without video tonight, for the simple reason that there just wasn't enough time to do any -- these late games are killer with deadlines and all that. But we do have our capsulated look at tonight's game. Read on.

w Su Oregon Quotes

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Hard to argue with Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, who rushed for 195 yards on 20 carries and also tallied three touchdowns. When a back carries the ball 20 times and averages nearly 10 yards per touch, that's probably an indication that his team is winning the battle up front. And that's what Oregon did. Barner's 80-yard run was more or less icing on the cake in the fourth quarter, but certainly helped pad his stats too. Regardless, he was a big part of Oregon controlling the game in the second half.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Could go to anyone on Oregon's front seven, it seems, as the Ducks racked up seven sacks and hit Connor Halliday hard enough to knock him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Deone Bucannon also intercepted Marcus Mariota twice.

PLAY OF THE GAME -- An easy one -- Avery Patterson's 34-yard interception return for a touchdown of a Connor Halliday pass in the third quarter. Oregon had just scored and led 30-19 at the time, and Patterson's easy score was the turning point. WSU didn't respond and didn't score again until it trailed 51-19, by which point it was obviously much too late.

STAT OF THE GAME -- The Cougars tallied 21 total carries for a total of negative-8 yards, a reflection of the yardage they lost on Oregon's seven sacks (Halliday wound up losing 46 yards on eight "carries"). The teams' total yardage numbers look pretty similar as it is, but they'd be even closer without those big losses.

QUOTABLE -- "(Quoting a scene from the movie Patton) 'Well, why do you think they’ll be fine?' And he says, 'because they’re trained to be.' Well, we train it all the time. We need to go out there and expect to make plays. We’re happy we made plays, but we need to get the mindest here where it’s a little more expected." -- Mike Leach, addressing his team's mentality

WHAT WE LEARNED -- Oregon is still Oregon, and the Ducks won this game because, quite simply, they're a better football team across the board. But WSU also appears to have a little more fight in it. Yes, things got away from them in the second half. But it appeared as if the first half was going to go the same way, with the Cougars trailing 20-3 early on and looking as if they might not recover. That's exactly what they did, though, cutting the lead to 23-19 (and missing on a few opportunities to put more points up than that, too). Again, mentality remains a concern, with some WSU players saying afterward that they felt the Cougars were a little too content with where they stood at halftime. That appears a work in progress.

NEXT UP -- Another tough one, as the Cougars travel to Corvallis to face No. 18 Oregon State -- which won a wild one over Arizona in Tucson tonight -- on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple




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