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First look: Washington State at Oregon

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 2, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2017, file photo, Oregon coach Willie Taggart, center, joins his team as they take the field for an NCAA college football game against Southern Utah in Eugene, Ore. (Chris Pietsch / Associated Press)
FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2017, file photo, Oregon coach Willie Taggart, center, joins his team as they take the field for an NCAA college football game against Southern Utah in Eugene, Ore. (Chris Pietsch / Associated Press)

What is it? No. 11 Washington State (5-0, 2-0) travels to Oregon (4-1, 1-1) for the first road game of the 2017 season.

Where is it? Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

When is it? The game will kick off at 5 p.m.

Where can I watch it? FOX will carry the live broadcast.

Who is favored? The Ducks were 1½-point favorites as of Monday morning.

Why WSU will win: When Luke Falk is humming like this, the Washington State Air Raid is virtually unstoppable. The Cougars’ senior has recovered from a slow start – by his standards – to the season and has vaulted WSU to second nationally in passing offense. Falk ranks second nationally in passing touchdowns with 17 and 13 of those have come in the last three games. He’s fifth in the country with 1,718 passing yards, fourth with a 74.5 completion percentage and first in total completions with 164. And maybe best of all? Falk has attempted 220 passes this season and he’s only been intercepted twice.

Why Oregon will win: The Ducks have an established ground game with two running backs – Royce Freeman and Kani Benoit – that respectively rank No. 1 and No. 7 nationally in rushing touchdowns. So Oregon knows how to get into the end zone. The Ducks could choose to shelve Freeman after an arm injury forced him to come out of the Cal game, but if Freeman is good to go, the Cougars will have to stop someone who’s rushed for 592 yards and 10 touchdowns in five games.

What happened last time? The Cougars blitzed the Ducks 55-21 in Pullman last season behind 273 yards on the ground from Jamal Morrow (122), James Williams (91) and Gerard Wicks (60). Each of the three running backs scored two touchdowns and the Cougars were able to stomach a 138-yard, three-touchdown game from Freeman.


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