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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Coach suggests Oregon QBs Justin Herbert, Dakota Prukop competing for start

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon coach Mark Helfrich suggested that quarterbacks Dakota Prukop and Justin Herbert are competing to start against No. 5 Washington on Saturday.

Prukop has started this season for the Ducks, who have lost their last three games. Last week in a 51-33 loss at Washington State, Herbert led Oregon on its final drive, capping it with a 4-yard keeper for a touchdown.

Helfrich commented on the competition during his weekly press conference Tuesday, following a report on that Herbert, a freshman, would start against the Huskies.

When asked whether Prukop remained the team’s starter, Helfrich said, “Um, yeah, I mean we’re still competing, we’re still competing.”

Prukop, a graduate transfer from Montana State, has thrown for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns this season with two interceptions.

He completed 14 of 22 passes for 132 yards and one interception against Washington State. The week before, he threw an interception in the end zone on the final drive of Oregon’s 41-38 loss at Autzen Stadium to Colorado.

Herbert has appeared in two games, competing 3 of 5 passes for 70 yards. But he turned heads against the Cougars when he led the eight-play, 85-yard final drive that ended with his touchdown.

A local prospect out of Sheldon High School in Eugene, Herbert worked his way up the depth chart in fall camp. He beat out Terry Wilson and Travis Jonsen for the backup job.

“Everywhere across the board there’s competition,” Helfrich said. “Naturally that position (quarterback) gets a lot of blame and a lot of credit,” Helfrich said. “We’re making adjustments everywhere.”

Oregon has won 12 straight games against Washington, which is undefeated and coming off a statement-making 44-6 victory over Stanford on Friday night.

Helfrich also addressed the situation with safety Troy Dye, who did not make the trip to Pullman. Because Oregon doesn’t address injuries, there was some speculation that it was a disciplinary action.

“There’s no discipline of any kind. I don’t know how this got out there. If a guy is disciplined we’ll announce it and make a note,” Helfrich said. “By the same token, we don’t talk about injuries and availability, so you can probably put two and two together on that one.”