The Oregon Ducks (6-0, 3-0) return to Autzen Stadium for the first time in a month this Saturday to take on the Washington State Cougars (4-3, 2-2) in an important Pac-12 conference game for both teams.
Oregon, ranked No. 2 in the polls, were supposed to face their first real test of the 2032 season last weekend in Seattle. On many levels, they did just that and passed with flying colors. For the first time in 2013, Marcus Mariota took a fourth quarter snap.
What was once a close seven point contest ended in another blowout win with the Ducks taking the 45-24 decision over the Huskies
The Cougars, meanwhile, are licking their wounds after a tough 52-24 loss to Pac-12 North contender Oregon State. The Cougars had their chances leading the Beavers heading into the fourth quarter before a 35 point fourth quarter onslaught buried the Cougars.
A porous pass defense and a slew of turnovers in that fourth quarter spelled doom for a Washington State team that was favored and looking to get their fifth win of the season.
Despite an injury on the opening kick of the Cal game to running back De'Anthony Thomas, the Ducks have been able to weather the storm of three consecutive games without his presence in the game plan.
In his stead, Byron Marshall has reeled off three consecutive 100 yard performances including 106 yards against the Huskies last Saturday.
This week, we continue our Inside Edge series to cover both sides of the ball in one article. We show the starting lineups for both teams and discuss our thoughts as to which team has the edge at each match-up.
Both teams will bring an explosive offense to Autzen Statdium for this tough match-up. The Cougars, who have lost six consecutive games to Northwest rival Oregon look to be improved on defense, though, having held opponents to a Pac-12 conference best 141.7 rushing yards per game this season.
What the Cougars have done is grown in their understanding of Mike Leach's Air Raid offense to the tune of 347 passing yards per game.
What do the match-ups look like for this game? Take a look at the latest edition of DSA Inside Edge.
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DSA Inside Edge: Washington State