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Pair of first-half miscues keep points off the board for Washington State

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 26, 2019

Oregon's Verone McKinley III, left, intercepts a tipped pass intended for Washington State's Brandon Arconado, center, as WSU's Rodrick Fisher moves in at right during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Eugene, Ore. (Chris Pietsch / AP)
Oregon's Verone McKinley III, left, intercepts a tipped pass intended for Washington State's Brandon Arconado, center, as WSU's Rodrick Fisher moves in at right during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Eugene, Ore. (Chris Pietsch / AP)
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

EUGENE – Washington State moved the ball efficiently in the first half Saturday night against Oregon, but two misplays by receivers potentially cost the Cougars two touchdowns.

The first came on their opening drive. After back-to-back holding calls backed them up from the 3-yard line to the 23-yard line, the Cougars sat on a third-and-goal from the 19. Anthony Gordon lofted a pass to Rodrick Fisher around the 5-yard line but an Oregon defender got just enough of the ball to change its spin.

The redshirt freshman Fisher couldn’t make the catch, after which he would have had a path to the end zone. The Cougars settled for a 36-yard Blake Mazza field goal.

Two drives later, again in the red zone facing 2nd-and-10 at the Oregon 15, Gordon landed a pass over another Oregon defender and into the hands of Brandon Arconado. But the senior couldn’t hang on.

Verone McKinley III caught the bobbled ball for an Oregon interception, his third of the season. After leaving the field, Arconado slammed his helmet to the ground.

In their last two games, against Arizona State and Colorado, the Cougars scored on all nine of their red-zone visits, including five touchdowns and four field goals.

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