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WSU at Oregon: Jacob Thorpe’s keys to the game

Sun., Oct. 20, 2013

What went right

While it’s tough to say Washington State’s defense was successful in a game in which it gave up 62 points and 719 yards, the Cougars’ pass rush had more success than any of the Ducks’ opponents this year. WSU sacked dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota three times, and forced him to fumble the ball twice – his first two turnovers of the season.

What went wrong

While the WSU defense forced a couple turnovers, the offense was just as willing to give them away. Receiver Vince Mayle fumbled on the one-yard line, and QB Connor Halliday threw an interception in the end zone, preventing the Cougars from potentially taking a lead into halftime. The struggles continued in the second half and WSU finished the day with five turnovers.

Turning point

The Cougars went into halftime trailing 34-24 thanks to a defensive touchdown and some pretty passes from Halliday. But the Ducks came out of halftime and put together an 80-yard drive that was punctuated by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Keanon Lowe to give the Ducks a 17-point lead, and the Cougars would never get closer.

Difference maker

Byron Marshall may be just a sophomore, and he may be the backup running back, but you’d never think either if you watched him on Saturday night. With starter De’Anthony Thomas out with an injury, Marshall ran roughshod over the Cougars. The talented RB finished the day with 192 rushing yards and 3 TDs on the ground, while adding 54 receiving yards.

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