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Washington State learns kickoff time for Oregon game; Ducks could be missing key players

UPDATED: Sun., Oct. 1, 2017, 5:59 p.m.

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws against Arizona State during the first half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) ORG XMIT: AZRS105 (Rick Scuteri / AP)
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws against Arizona State during the first half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) ORG XMIT: AZRS105 (Rick Scuteri / AP)

PULLMAN – The Pac-12 finalized times and television slots for Saturday’s slate of games and announced that the game between No. 11 Washington State and Oregon will kick off at 5 p.m. at Autzen Stadium.

Fans at home will be able to watch the Cougars (5-0, 2-0) and Ducks (4-1, 1-1) on national television. The game will air on Fox.

Washington State is aiming to beat its Pac-12 North foe for the third consecutive time and the prospect of doing that doesn’t look as difficult as it did before six UO players left Saturday’s game against Cal with injuries.

That included starting quarterback Justin Herbert, who suffered a broken collarbone according to a handful of media outlets, and star running back Royce Freeman, who left the game with an arm injury.

“There’s no update right now. I’m sure I’ll find out more after this. I haven’t talked to the doctors yet about any of those guys,” Oregon coach Willie Taggart said Sunday.

The Ducks were already playing the Golden Bears without the versatile Charles Nelson, who also missed a game against Arizona State with an ankle injury.

Herbert and Freeman were the most important Ducks to drop in a 45-24 win over Cal, but they weren’t the only ones. Oregon’s reserve quarterback, Taylor Alie, was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an injury, while starting receiver Dillon Mitchell, starting right guard Jake Pisarcik and starting middle linebacker Kaulana Apelu were all sidelined with ailments of their own.

Herbert, a sophomore, has emerged as the next great Oregon quarterback and threw nine touchdowns while accumulating more than 1,200 passing yards the first four weeks of the season. He’s also rushed for three touchdowns. Freeman is Oregon’s workhorse in the backfield and has already rolled up 593 yards on the ground to go with 10 touchdowns.

Should any or all of the aforementioned players miss Saturday’s game against the Cougars, it would mark the second time in as many weeks that WSU’s opponent is at half strength.

USC didn’t have the services of one starting offensive lineman and the second-leading receiver when the Trojans came to Pullman on Friday. Then during the game, the Trojans saw a starting tackle and a starting guard exit the game without returning.

Cougars linebacker Isaac Dotson limped off the field in the first quarter and never did check back into the game.