The word I would best use to describe Oregon's performance is _____________ because _____________. The word I would best use to describe Washington State's performance is _____________ because _____________.
Sam Barbee: Follow on Twitter The word I would use to describe Oregon's performance is concerning. They slipped by Wazzu with no room to spare, and it makes one wonder what happens when they play Stanford, or UCLA or even Oregon State. Oregon has issues. Let's see if they get cleaned up.
Patrick Ghidossi: Follow on Twitter I would call Oregon's performance gritty. Weird things happen late at night in Pullman and Washington State is much better than their first few games would suggest. A win is a win and that win is one that champions pull out. For Wazzu, that one stings. It was there, right there and so close. They performed admirably, but came up just short.
Trace Travers: Follow on Twitter I'd call Oregon's performance lackluster. Going up to Pullman means flying into Moscow, Idaho and driving the four hours over to Pullman, but the travel itself shouldn't be an excuse with an Oregon team this talented that went through the motions. For Wazzu, the word is close. Though close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, Wazzu went toe to toe with a talented team, and almost pulled the upset.
Roy Stenlund: Follow on Twitter I would call Oregon's performance underwhelming, because they should have beat WSU like a rented mule. I would call WSU's performance inspiring because they just took the #2 team in the nation right down to the wire.
Jack Follman: Follow on Twitter Revealing. The Ducks seemed to be fine with their offensive line injury problems against Michigan State and their defensive struggles against lesser competition could easily be attributed to not going hard in garbage time, but there is no disguising this, the Ducks have plenty of time to fix things, but they might not be a slam dunk Playoff team just yet.
I would call Washington State's performance encouraging since they looked dead on arrival in the first three games of the season but came as close to beating the Ducks as only a handful of teams have in the past half-decade.
Check out the box score. What were the key stats of the game to you?
Sam Barbee: Connor Halliday threw for 436 yards and four touchdowns. That's a lot against a defense that is supposed to be good. It was a shootout, although to score wouldn't suggest that. The Ducks have to shore some things up in the secondary.
Trace Travers: Marcus Mariota went 21-25 and Oregon struggled. I guess he can't do it alone.
Roy Stenlund: WSU turned the ball over twice, and that cost them the win.
Jack Follman: 63 attempts and zero interceptions for Halliday. He got away with a couple, but putting the ball up that many times against what is supposed to be a decent Pac-12 defense and not throwing a pick shows that Halliday is progressing and it kept the Cougars in the game.
What was the most impressive part of [the winning team]'s performance and why? Who were the standout players and coaches and why?
Sam Barbee: I'm a big mentality guy and firm believer in season-long momentum. This win for Oregon means more to them than a blowout would. They were put on their heels - just like they were against Michigan State - and found a way to win. That's really, really important.
Trace Travers: Responding to Wazzu touchdowns was worth something for Oregon. Going down early in Pullman isn't something that Oregon is used to, but they showed the mental fortitude and Mariota seemed to pull them to victory.
Roy Stenlund: Marcus Mariota was the most impressive part of Oregon"s win. He singlehandedly won this game for Oregon. I wasn't impressed with Oregon's coaching, they should have come out in the second half and blown WSU away. Their halftime adjustments, if any, didn't work.
Jack Follman: Oregon's ability to never turn the ball over. They don't really have a turnover all year (their one on record was Byron Marshall dropping the ball before he walked into the end zone) and all it probably would have taken for the Cougars to win this game is one mistake by the Ducks, but they once again refused to give the ball up.
What were the most concerning aspect of [the losing team]'s performance and why? Which coaches and players struggled the most and why?
Sam Barbee: They were beat by a better team. I'm not as worried about Washington State as I am about Oregon. Wazzu played a really, really good game, and it's hard to see how they lost to Rutgers and Nevada.
Trace Travers: None aside from losing. River Cracraft is on his way to being the third best person named River, after River Phoenix and River Song from Doctor Who
Roy Stenlund: The Cougars need to learn to pull away from teams. They let too many opportunities slip away. Special teams also remain a concern, they missed an easy field goal. They also fumbled on a punt return that should have been fair caught, exactly the same mistake that cost them the Rutger's game.
Jack Follman: The Cougars didn't Coug It, but not doing the little things right cost them the game. The fumble on the punt return cost them a great shot at seven or three points and the halftime lead and the fumble in the second half was a heartbreaker. For struggles, Oregon is a tough cover for anyone (ask the No Fly Zone), but the Cougars defensive backs were helpless in covering Oregon's receivers, making things far too easy for Mariota.