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Washington State Kicks Off Conference Play With a Win

The Cougars enjoyed their second straight win over Oregon on Saturday

Saturday Night Washington State took advantage of a reeling Oregon team with a struggling defense, rushing for six touchdowns in a 51-33 win. The Cougars have definitely seemed to right the ship since getting off to an 0-2 start and still have a lot of their preseason goals in place.

The Good: A lot went right for Washington State Saturday. The biggest bright spot from the game was probably the offense running for 280 yards and six touchdowns. They showed great balance and if they are able to come even close to replicating that in games down the stretch they will be setup for a pretty strong rest of the season. The defensive line was able to harass Oregon’s offensive line from start to finish. They didn’t give the Ducks too much running room, besides a long touchdown run by Royce Freeman. The secondary was also able to hold Oregon to barely over 200 yards passing. Besides just putting up points on the Ducks, which most teams do, they were able to actually somewhat put the clamps down on the Oregon offense, which is definitely a welcome sign. They have really improved each week, showing how good of a job that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is doing.

The Bad: Not a lot of things I would really qualify as bad. I guess if I really had to pick something, and I’m completely knit-picking here, it would be giving up 13 points in the fourth quarter. I guess if you really wanted to you could say that means they didn’t finish great, but that was pretty much with the backup defense. Those guys will grow with reps so getting the reps in a game they had under control was still a good thing.

The Ugly: The team still can’t make a field goal. This time it was blocked instead of just straight up missed. I still contend that they will need to make a big field goal at some point during the conference season if they really want to make a run at the North title. They also allowed Charles Nelson to take a kickoff return back for a touchdown, which is not something that you want to have happen, especially with Stanford coming up who obviously has the most dangerous returner in the conference and possibly the country in Christian McCaffrey.

Next Up: The Cougars will head down to the farm to play at Stanford with a 7:30 PM PT kickoff on ESPN

The highlights from the game are available here