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October 29, 2011

Oregon Second Half Singes Cougars

The Washington State University football team stuck with Oregon for a half but the Ducks woke up in the second half and coasted in for a 43-28 win over the Cougars in Eugene. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 1-4 in conference play and 3-5 overall on the year.

Only 98 seconds into the game, Oregon scored their first touchdown of the game and it appeared it would be the widely expected long day for the Cougars. After a three-and-out on their first offensive possession, Oregon's Avery Patterson blocked Dan Wagner's punt and Boseko Lokombo returned the ball for a touchdown. The Ducks converted a two-point conversion and it was 8-0.

But that was the only touchdown the Cougars would allow until the second quarter as the Wazzu offense controlled the ball and ate up time on the clock to keep the Ducks' prolific offense off the field. Unfortunately for Wazzu, despite the ball control, the offense was unable to score a touchdown and had only Andrew Furney's 40-yard field goal to show for their efforts.



In the second quarter, Oregon scored their second touchdown of the game on a 55-yard touchdown pass from a scrambling Darron Thomas to Lavasier Tuinei to make it 15-3. But with Oregon driving for a final score before the half, sophomore Wazzu defensive back Damante Horton grabbed a tipped pass and sprinted 65 yards down the sideline for a Wazzu touchdown that would close the gap to 15-10 and give the Cougars momentum going into the second half.

But, as against Stanford, when the Cougars held the Cardinal to within three at the half, that did not last long. After the Ducks substituted Bryan Bennett in for a rusty Thomas at quarterback, Bennett took only 44 seconds to lead the Ducks into the end zone on a 48-yard touchdown pass to De'Anthony Thomas for a 22-10 lead.

Wazzu came back with a short six-play drive but could only get a 35-yard Furney field goal out of the possession to cut the lead to 22-13 and Oregon immediately responded with yet another touchdown as Bennett connected with Tuinei on a 19-yard touchdown pass to make it 29-13 midway through the third quarter.

Wazzu temporarily stemmed the Ducks' offensive tide as redshirt senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael lobbed a 24-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jared Karstetter to cut the Oregon lead to 29-20. This time, the Oregon offense did not even need to get on the field to respond as Thomas returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a 36-20 lead.

Oregon then padded their lead further with running back Kenjon Barner dashing 23 yards for a touchdown on the Ducks' next offensive possession to make it 43-20. Wazzu redshirt freshman running back Rickey Galvin ran the ball in from five yards out with 1:50 remaining for the game's final points.



NOTES:



Oregon scored touchdowns on their first three offensive possessions of the second half.

The Cougars allowed two special teams touchdowns for the first time this season.





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