Washington (6-0, 3-0) and Washington State (6-0, 3-0) took advantage of lopsided victories and No. 3 Oklahoma's 38-31 loss to unranked Iowa State to advance in the weekly Associated Press college football rankings released Sunday. That team finished 10-2.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Taylor Alie stepped in after Herbert went down and completed nine of his 13 passes for 41 yards and one interception.
Meanwhile, Oregon is struggling to find its way. The Ducks aren't getting any big plays, the kind that used to get some excitement and rhythm going as OR did all the time with De'Anthony Thomas and Charles Nelson.
"I thought our defense played well". "... I do think Braxton or Taylor or whoever we put in there can go in there and run our offense".
James Williams ran 11 times for 48 yards and Jamal Morrow had three carries for four yards, though he did his best work in the passing game, catching five balls for 46 yards, including his 41-yard touchdown.
OR is off to a decent start to the season, losing only a 37-35 game at Arizona State two weeks ago.
It's a distinct indicator that the power base of the Pac-12 Conference is firmly in the Evergreen State at the halfway point of the season. "Our offensive line is our bread and butter. and we weren't executing", Taggart said.
"I'm really excited to play an away game, I'm not gonna lie", Morrow said. The big play came on third-and-19 from the Cougars' 16-yard line, when Falk converted a first down on a 29-yard back-shoulder throw to Johnson-Mack. That was the only completion longer than 14 yards to a wide receiver.
Without question, the most discouraging news from the weekend was the loss of starting quarterback Justin Herbert. "We were more consistent in the second half".
OR got on the board with a 20-yard field goal after a drive that started on the Cougars' 40-yard line. Washington State also must be careful to guard against an emotional letdown after giving its all to beat USC. OR would start the drive at their own 37 yard line. "You can't give up 33 points and expect to win".
The Ducks are averaging 49.6 points per game but could be hard-pressed to keep pace with the Cougars' Air Raid offense without quarterback Justin Herbert, who will miss the next several weeks due to a fractured collarbone. Up to this point, the senior back had rushed for that many yards all season - and on 15 carries. He was sacked four times.
"I mean it's great to play at home, the atmosphere has been great", he said, "but I'm really excited to hear a couple boos when we run out on the field". This game will be a test to see exactly how good this OR team is. After a first down, the drive stalled when facing a fourth-and-1. Washington State recovered and again the Oregon Defense was there to contain Washington State and hold them to a field goal and a 23-10 Cougars lead.
Falk needed just one play to get the Cougars on the board.
Tate entered the game after Brandon Dawkins took a late hit out of bounds on the opening drive.
Less cheering is the memory of the last time Falk faced the schemes of Jim Leavitt, who's in his first season coordinating the OR defense. The Cougars are second only to the Ducks among Pac-12 teams in both categories. The second of them led to Burmeister's 30-yard TD throw to Jacob Breeland to give the Ducks a 10-7 lead. Bell had three receptions for 45, including his first career score - a 10-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Washington State looked better in person than it does on television. Powell then gave the Cougars a 13-10 lead when he drilled a 52-yarder midway through the quarter.
Burmeister, playing as a true freshman like Herbert a year ago, showed his athletic ability, but other than the Breeland TD reception, he didn't throw well downfield.
That will be especially important at Autzen, where the fans are especially noisy and the Ducks are 43-8 this decade. Oregon WR Charles Nelson (ankle) went through warmups fully dressed but determined that he wasn't able to go.
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