PULLMAN — The 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks overcame three turnovers and a 12-point first-half deficit to beat the Washington State Cougars 43-29 on Saturday for their first win in Pullman since 2014.
After the Cougars (1-1) pulled within a touchdown on a Deon McIntosh score with 4:40 left in the game, the Ducks (2-0) responded with a six-play, 75-yard drive to push their lead back to 14 points with 1:40 left.
True freshman Jayden de Laura threw for 321 yards on 25 of 39 attempts and had two touchdowns with zero interceptions. Renard Bell caught 10 of those passes for a career-high 158 yards and a touchdown.
Behind two fumble recoveries and an interception from another true freshman, Ayden Hector, the Cougars defense held the Ducks to seven points on their first five drives. That was enough to help the Cougars offense take a 19-7 lead.
But the Ducks scored a touchdown 3 seconds before halftime to make it 19-14, and they scored 29 second-half points to burst past the Cougars.
Junior CJ Verdell led the Ducks’ rushing attack with 18 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 36 yards.
McIntosh, a senior running back starting in place of injured Max Borghi, led the Cougars with 92 rushing yards on 16 carries. – Dan Thompson, For The Spokesman-Review
Pac-12 Networks / YouTube
6:48 – Oregon 7, WSU 0: The Ducks get on the board first as DJ Johnson hauls in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Shough.
Oregon went 92 yards on the drive, converting a fourth-and-2 at the WSU 26 and avoiding and interception in their own territory when two Cougs got their hands on a pass but couldn’t bring it in. On second-and-10 at the Oregon 23, Shough’s pass went through the hands of linebacker Jahad Woods but into the path of safety Daniel Isom, who also got two hands on the ball but couldn’t catch it.
Shough threw for 76 yards on the drive, completing 8 of 11 passes.
The Cougs picked up a first down on their opening drive when receiver Travell Harris picked up 10 yards after to contact on a screen pass to move the chains.
3:00 – Oregon 7, WSU 6: The Cougars answer back with Mead High grad Lucas Bacon catching an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jayden de Laura.
Bacon found himself behind the cornerback on the left sideline and de Laura dropped a pass on him just in front of the end zone. Bacon was able to do the rest as he quickly dove in for the score. The Cougs went for two after the touchdown, but couldn’t convert on a pass play.
De Laura went 3 for 3 on the drive and now has thrown for 74 yards in the game.
The big play of the drive involved running back Deon McIntosh, who is starting in place of the absent Max Borghi again. McIntosh caught a well-called shovel pass from de Laura and raced 29 yards downfield to get the ball in the red zone.
0:48 – WSU 13, Oregon 7: Washington State takes advantage of an Oregon giveaway to quickly strike and take the lead.
After a failed onside kick attempt by the Cougs, Oregon started their drive at the own 45. Two plays later, Travis Dye fumbled and Cougars freshman Ayden Hector recovered at their own 47.
WSU attacked on its first play of the drive, with quarterback Jayden de Laura connecting with receiver Renard Bell for a 44-yard completion. De Laura and Bell would connect again three plays later, as Bell got loose in the back of the end zone and de Laura found him for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
0:21 – WSU 13, Oregon 7: Washington State freshman Ayden Hector gets his second takeaway of the game, this one an interception after the Cougs blew up the Ducks attempt at a wide receiver screen.
9:38 – WSU 16, Oregon 7: The Cougars extend their lead as they capitalize on another Oregon turnover with kicker Blake Mazza making a 39-yard field goal.
The Ducks turned the ball over on their third consecutive possession and Cougar defensive back Ayden Hector was right in the middle of it again. Oregon zipped down the field and had the ball on the WSU 28 when star running back CJ Verdell was hit in the backfield and fumbled the ball. Hector was in pursuit and ran the ball down and the Cougs took over at their own 44.
Deon McIntosh had two nice runs on the drive (17 and 20 yards) to move WSU into field goal range.
0:20 – WSU 19, Oregon 7: The Cougs put together a near-perfect, end-of-half drive as they took 6:19 off the clock before Blake Mazza made a 49-yard field goal.
WSU went 59 yards on 13 plays, leaving the Ducks with less than 30 seconds to respond.
0:03 – WSU 19, Oregon 14: The Ducks go 60 yards in 17 seconds to trim the Cougars lead to 5.
A 39-yard kick return by Mykael Wright started Oregon at its own 40. Quarterback Tyler Shough hit Jaylon Redd for a 57-yard completion on the first play before CJ Verdell powered in on a 3-yard touchdown run.
3:48 – Oregon 21, WSU 19: Oregon takes the lead on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Shough to Travis Dye.
Dye ran seam route out of the backfield and Shough hit him in stride for the score.
The Ducks needed just five plays to go 68 yards for the TD. Running back CJ Verdell went 40 yards down the right sideline on the first play of the drive to get Oregon to the WSU 28.
Verdell has 76 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.
Shough is 16 of 25 for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
The TD came on the second drive of the half for the Ducks. They settled for a 37-yard field goal attempt on their first drive, but kicker Camden Lewis pushed it right.
The Cougs punted on their first drive, which was hampered by a holding call.
14:19 – Oregon 28, WSU 19: The Ducks push their lead to 9 on a Tyler Shough’s third touchdown pass of the game, this one a 2-yard hook-up with Johnny Johnson III.
It was the Ducks third long drive of the half as they have taken control after halftime.
Washington State has gained just 20 yards over two drives in the half. Oregon has 204 yards of offense in the half.
9:59 – Oregon 28, WSU 22: The Cougs chip away at the Ducks’ lead with a 25-yard field goal from Blake Mazza, his third of the game.
Quarterback Jayden de Laura made two big throws on the seven-play, 79-yard drive – a 24-yard pass to Renard Bell and a 28-yard toss to Travell Harris. De Laura has 243 yards on 18-of-30 passing.
8:25 – Oregon 36, WSU 22: Tyler Shough connects with Travis Dye on a 71-yard touchdown pass on third down and the Ducks have opened up a 14-point lead.
On third-and-6 from the Oregon 29, the Cougars brought a blitz, including linebacker Jahad Woods. Woods couldn’t get to Shough in time and the QB floated a pass down the right sideline for Dye, who had outrun his defender, defensive end Ron Stone Jr.
The Ducks were successful on a two-point conversion when Shough kept it on a QB draw.
Shough has 312 yards passing with four touchdowns.
4:40 – Oregon 36, WSU 29: The Cougars get it back to a one-possession game as Deon McIntosh squeezes into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Cougars went 74 yards in 3:45. Quarterback Jayden de Laura threw for 55 yards during the drive. The Cougs also benefited from a targeting penalty on the Ducks’ Nick Pickett.
McIntosh has 92 yards on 16 carries.
1:40 – Oregon 43, WSU 29: For the fourth consecutive possession, the Oregon offense finds the end zone.
Cyrus Habibi-Likio did the honors this time with a 1-yard run touchdown run.
The Ducks picked up 75 yards on the drive, all coming on the ground. Travis Dye converted a third-and-3 at the WSU 46 when he got outside the defensive end and ran for 24 yards.
Oregon has gained 354 yards in the half.
Pac-12 Networks / YouTube
For the second straight week the Cougars will go with a one-color look. This week WSU will be clad in crimson helmets, jerseys and pants for its home opener. Last week the Cougs wore all white at Oregon State.
Oregon will counter the host Cougs look with white jerseys and pants topped with green helmets.
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