Oregon is riding high after a rivalry win over the Washington Huskies last week on a cold and rainy night in Seattle. This week, they'll return home to Eugene to play in front of their fans at Autzen Stadium.
The Ducks will face a Washington State (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) team that has rattled off four straight Pac-12 wins and could be on a five-game winning streak if it wasn't for a fumbled extra point against BYU. The Cougars are also coming off a bye, which makes them extra dangerous.
Here are our final score predictions.
Max Torres (@mtorressports)
Washington State is one of the most dangerous teams in the Pac-12 seemingly every year. Even without the Pirate running the show anymore in Mike Leach, and this team is playing its best football of the year under interim Head Coach Jake Dickert.
WSU has one of the stronger passing attacks in the conference that could give the Ducks fits if they aren't able to get pressure on the young and fiery Jayden de Laura. I'll have my eye on the secondary, as it looks like they'll be without a key piece in Steve Stephens IV.
Oregon knows they have a chance to lock in a spot in the Pac-12 title game, and as a result we see one of the more complete games this year. With a dangerous Cougars team coming off a bye, turnovers are going to be a factor here and Oregon's offense will pick up where it left off in Seattle and dominate on the ground, but hopefully do some more damage through the air as well.
Prediction: Oregon 38 Washington State 21
Dylan Mickanen (@DylanMickanen)
In what's seemingly the Pac-12 North Championship, the No. 3 Oregon Ducks will host the Washington State Cougars who have won four straight games to control its destiny to win the conference.
The Cougars have given the Ducks fits for years, including every season of the Mario Cristobal era. I expect Saturday to be no different for at least the first half given the nature of not just this Oregon team but Pac-12 After Dark, too. I project the Ducks defense to play well all game but the offense takes awhile to get going, similar to the game in Seattle last weekend.
With the Cougars trailing by less than a possession at halftime, the Ducks take care of business in the second half thanks to a timely turnover gifting the offense favorable field position. From then on, the teams trade scores before the game ends with Washington State covering the 14.5-point line.
Prediction: Oregon 38 Washington State 27
Dylan Reubenking (@drksportsnews)
Washington State always plays the Ducks tough regardless of whether it's in Eugene or Pullman. This is a tough Cougars team that should not be slept on. Jayden de Laura is proving that he's the guy at quarterback, their receivers are borderline elite, and they have a nice balance on offense.
But this Oregon team is finding its stride. The defense was dominant last week, and the offense can win games in multiple ways. I think both the offense and defense will put together their most complete performances and the Ducks will get a big win to strengthen their resumé.
Prediction: Oregon 38 Washington State 24
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John Rustik (@j_rustik)
If there’s one team that gives Oregon a ton of problems other than Stanford, it’s the Cougs. Washington State is a lot better than their record suggests and after surviving a coaching change the Ducks are going to have to fight for this one.
Once again, Oregon's defense will have to step up and make some big stops against WSU at the end and ball security will be a must on offense. That said, Oregon does just enough to scrape out a win.
Prediction: Oregon 28 Washington State 20
Nick Battey (@nickbat22)
The Ducks now have a clear path to the College Football Playoff: win your remaining games and you're in. For Washington State, the Cougs have a clear path to the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl: win their remaining games.
A lot will be at stake Saturday night at Autzen Stadium and with the way Washington State has played against the Ducks in recent years, adding in the fact that they've won four straight conference games and are coming off a bye week, the Ducks will have their hands full in this one.
As Lee Corso says, “closer than the experts think.”
Prediction: Oregon 34 Washington State 27
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