EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon took control of the Pac-12's North Division with an impressive 35-31 comeback win at Washington last weekend. The 11th-ranked Ducks, who have won six in a row since a season-opening loss to Auburn and still have an outside shot for one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff, next will try to snap a four-game losing streak against visiting Washington State on Saturday night.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Oregon -14
Oregon's losing streak to the Cougars has covered three head coaches starting with Mark Helfrich (45-38 in double OT in 2015, 51-33 in 2016), Willie Taggart (33-10 in 2017) and current head coach Mario Cristobal last season (34-20). "We've always played extremely well against them," Washington State coach Mike Leach, who is 4-3 all-time against the Ducks and 2-1 at Autzen Stadium, told the Eugene Register-Guard. "I think we have played complete games against them." Washington State is coming off a 41-10 romp over Colorado for its first Pac-12 win of the season and leads the nation in passing (440.7 ypg), is fourth in total offense (532.7) and eighth in scoring (42.7). "We recognize the fact that we have not done a good enough job against Washington State for the past four years," Cristobal said. "They have a super high-powered offense with some impressive skill players and a great offensive line. And their defense has made it really difficult for years with all of the movement and all of the stemming that they have done."
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)
Senior quarterback Anthony Gordon leads the NCAA with 2,981 passing yards and 29 touchdowns while wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. is second in the conference with 47 catches and fifth nationally with nine TD catches. Sophomore running back Max Borghi adds balance to the Air Raid attack, ranking third in the Pac-12 with an average of 119.4 all-purpose yards and six rushing TDs. The defense, despite an embarrassing collapse in a 67-63 home loss to UCLA, is tied for second in the Pac-12 with 13 turnovers forced and is led by linebacker Jahad Woods, who is third in the conference with 66 tackles, and defensive end Nnamdi Oguayo, who has 15 quarterback hurries, four quarterback hits and a sack in 126 pass snaps.
ABOUT OREGON (6-1, 4-0)
Strong-armed senior quarterback Justin Herbert is in the conversation for being the No. 1 pick in next April's NFL draft and was named the Pac-12's offensive player of the week on Monday after completing 24-of-38 passes for 280 yards, four TDs and no interceptions in the win in Seattle, the 35th consecutive game he has thrown a TD pass, the longest active streak in FBS. Junior wide receiver Jaylon Redd, who has caught 42 passes for 379 yards, is one of 14 different Ducks to have scored a touchdown with eight and has caught a scoring pass in six consecutive games, tied for the longest streak nationally. Sophomore nickel back Jevon Holland, a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, has eight career interceptions and also leads the nation in punt return average (21.67) while senior linebacker Troy Dye has 351 career tackles.
1. Herbert has thrown just one interception in his last 277 pass attempts.
2. Gordon has thrown for 400 or more yards in a game five times this season, three more than any other quarterback in the country.
3. Oregon is averaging 44.5 points in Herbert's 19 career starts (16-3) at Autzen Stadium.
PREDICTION: Oregon 41, Washington State 24