Washington State was down 20-3 near the end of the 1st quarter and all was looking “as it should”, when the Cougars decided they weren’t going to get embarrassed on National Television. A terrific kickoff return, an interception, some solid tackling and some emotion from the home team and all the sudden Wazzu was upset minded, trailing 19-23 at the half. But then Oregon did that thing that they do in the 3rd quarter and put it away with tempo and efficiency.
Oregon came out just like expected, as Marcus Mariota, Kenjon Barner and Co. scored quickly to make it 6-0 after a missed 2 point conversion. Wazzu responded though, just like they would for much of the night, with a long drive that ended in a field goal after being stopped at the 1 yard line. The theme for the game was set in many ways when they couldn’t get into the endzone though, coming up just short. Oregon then rolled to 3 straight scores, including 1 touch and 2 field goals to take a 20-3 lead midway through the 1st.
Washington State wasn’t done being spirited though, closing the gap to 23-19 and moving to the Oregon 17 yard line with a minute to go in the half, trying to take an unexpected lead. Unfortunately, 3 sacks later the Cougs were out of range to even attempt a field goal and had promptly squandered their opportunity. Oregon marched out to a touchdown to start the 2nd half with a demoralizing 18 play drive, then got a pick 6 by their defense to basically break the game open. The collective back of the Cougars was broken as Oregon would score 2 more touchdowns with their tempo control, constant pressure offense. A late score from Washington State would collect the final margin.
Oregon did what they do best, giving Kenjon Barner the ball again and again for 20 carries and 207 yards, with 3 touchdowns. Marcus Mariota also ran for 69 yards and a touchdown while only throwing for 169 yards, 1 td and 2 interceptions. Their defense also came to play, sacking Cougar qb Connor Halliday 7 times and then picking him off for the touchdown early in the 3rd quarter. Meanwhile, WSU did their thing, almost matching Oregon in first downs on the day, and getting the ball to Marquess Wilson 12 times for 182 yards and a touchdown. Wilson became the Cougars’ all time leading receiver during the performance. Brett Bartolone had a nice game as well, catching 9 for 87 and the second quarter touchdown that pulled Wazzu within 4. But in the end, it was too much speed and athleticism for Oregon as they pulled away late.