Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 62° Clear
Sports

Washington State at Oregon

Time: 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.

TV: Fox Sports 1

Records: WSU (4-3, 2-2 in Pac-12); UO (6-0, 3-0 in Pac-12)

Last time: Oregon defeated Washington State 51-26, in Seattle (2012)

The line: Oregon by 38

What it means for WSU: The Cougars need to bounce back from their ghastly fourth quarter against Oregon State. While it will be tough to show improvement against a team that will likely play for a national championship, if the Cougars can keep it respectable in the first half then that will be an accomplishment in and of itself.

What it means for Oregon: The Ducks can’t afford any hiccups during the season if they want to challenge Alabama’s throne. No. 4 Ohio State is also undefeated and has a clear path to the final BCS Championship game. It’s likely that for Oregon this game is just another opportunity to pad its gaudy stats and showcase its breakneck offense to recruits. But there is a danger: Even letting the Cougars keep it close could be enough to drop Oregon a spot in the polls, and derail the Ducks’ national championship hopes.

Key matchup: Marcus Mariota vs. WSU’s secondary

Oregon’s quarterback is a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy and it’s easy to see why. Halfway through the season the talented signal-caller has yet to throw an interception. What’s really scary is that he’s arguably more of a threat as a runner than as a passer. For the Cougars to have any chance to upset the Ducks they’ll need to corral Mariota and force him into some bad passes. WSU’s secondary ranks sixth nationally with 11 interceptions, so they may be up for the challenge.

Jacob Thorpe

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.