The Oregon Ducks (6-1, 4-0) are the nation's top-ranked one-loss team in the BCS standings and will look to keep their BCS National Championship Game hopes alive with a win over the Washington State Cougars (3-4, 1-3). The Ducks knocked off Colorado last week while the Cougars lost to Oregon State.
Where: Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Watch: FSN (check local listings)
Listen: KXLY 920 AM (Washington State) or KUGN 590 AM (Oregon)
Live Streaming Audio: Oregon Ducks Radio Network
Betting Line: Oregon -36
Who Might Not Play for Washington State: DE Sekope Kaufusi
Kaufusi is questionable for Saturday's game with a lingering shoulder injury. The sophomore has made 23 tackles, including three for a loss, and made one sack in five games. Being without him would make Washington State's monumental defensive task even tougher.
Who Might Not Play for Oregon: RB LaMichael James
James has missed the team's last two games with an elbow injury and is questionable again this week. The junior running back is averaging nearly 165 yards per game, including three straight 200-yard performances before getting hurt. Oregon desperately needs him back for the stretch run.
Key Storyline: Can Oregon avoid a shocking upset?
The Ducks are heavy favorites against Washington State and are expected to be on cruise control for most of the afternoon. However, they must avoid taking the game for granted. They have three straight important games after Saturday and could easily look past the Cougars.
Since they have already lost to Stanford, this is Washington State's last chance to make a major impact on the college football season and will be giving every ounce of effort. Oregon, on the other hand, has eight players listed as questionable and might lean toward resting them to make sure they remain fresh.
Oregon should win, but now is no time for overconfidence.
The Ducks are currently ranked No. 7 by the BCS and beating Washington State won't help them improve that positioning. However, a loss would send them tumbling down the rankings. It's just one of those games where they need to pick up as many style points as possible en route to victory.
What They're Saying
Howie Stalwick of The Olympian passes along notes from Washington State head coach Paul Wulff about that status of his starting quarterback for Saturday's Pac-12 clash.
Washington State football coach Paul Wulff says odds are “50-50” on starting quarterback Jeff Tuel playing at Oregon on Saturday. Wulff only wishes the odds were that promising on WSU beating Oregon.
Wulff said Sunday that Tuel continues to undergo tests, but it’s possible the junior broke his left collarbone again Saturday when he took a vicious hit after throwing a pass just before halftime.
Yahoo! Sports reported that Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris was suspended from the team on Monday after being pulled over in Eugene.
In a statement released by the school, Ducks coach Chip Kelly suspended Harris pending further review and he will not be able to take part in any football-related activities.
Eugene police said that Harris was stopped on a city street Monday afternoon after an officer noted he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, for which he was also cited. He faces fines in excess of $952. The car he was driving, which police say belongs to a relative, was impounded.
Washington State Player To Watch: WR Marquess Wilson
Wilson has been the Cougars' biggest playmaker all season. The sophomore has caught 41 passes for 763 yards and six touchdowns and has been the main target regardless of who's been under center for Washington State.
Oregon Player To Watch: RB Kenjon Barner
Barner has scored three touchdowns over the past two weeks with James sidelined and has also topped 100 yards both times. If James is forced to miss another game with his nagging elbow injury, Barner will be forced to lead the ground attack again.
Key Matchup: Oregon QB Darron Thomas vs. Cougars secondary
Thomas was a late scratch last week against Colorado but is expected to be ready for this week's game. He should have a field day against a Washington State defense that is allowing more than two touchdowns per game through the air against offenses that can't match the depth of Oregon's.
The junior signal-caller should have a big game as the Ducks waltz to victory.
Prediction: Oregon 52, Washington State 14