Oregon scores 22 points in last three minutes to beat WSU
PULLMAN — The WSU Cougars fell short of continuing their undefeated season Saturday afternoon.
The Cougs lost to No. 15 ranked Oregon Ducks 44-41 Saturday afternoon at Gesa Stadium. The Cougs were coming off a dominating win over the Colorado State Rams and were looking to keep its undefeated season alive.
The Cougs got off to a hot start on its first series. Head Coach Jake Dickert and the Cougars opened the game with a flea flicker, driving down the field with a hurry-up offense and ending the drive with a touchdown run from quarterback Cameron Ward.
On defense, the redzone defense of the Cougs was like a brick wall for the Oregon offense to get through. The Cougs held the Oregon offense to minimal points when getting into the red zone, holding them to a field goal to make it a 7-3 game.
After exchanging field goals, the Cougs would lead 10-6. Then, later in the first half, the Cougs redzone defense would show up again. The Oregon offense was driving and were within ten yards of taking the lead, but WSU came up with a big play. Linebacker Francisco Mauigoa intercepted Oregon QB Bo Nix and took it back for a touchdown, giving the Cougs a 17-6 lead. They would go into halftime up eight points.
The Oregon offense came out firing in the second half, scoring on three plays and making it a one-possession game. With a 17-15 lead, the Cougs were looking to build their lead.
After making it a five-point game with a 38-yard field goal from Dean Janikowski, Ward led another scoring drive for the Cougs, going 62 yards and ending the drive with a touchdown pass to De’Zhaun Stribling to give the Cougs a 27-15 lead.
Nix and the Oregon offense would drive down the field and finally score a touchdown in the redzone, making it a five-point game the final quarter left to play.
Ward would continue to respond and make plays for the Cougs, whether it was turning something into nothing or converting on 4th down. As Ward was getting sacked, he was able to get a pass off to running back Nakia Watson to keep the series alive. Ward’s ability to continue the drive ended in a touchdown from Robert Ferrel, giving the Cougs a 34-22 lead.
Nix would respond with a touchdown of his own, making it a five point game. The Cougs would go three an out, giving the ball back to Nix. Nix would drive down the field and give the Ducks a three-point lead after a touchdown and three-point conversion, leading 37-34 with 1:21 left in the game.
Optimism and hope faded away in a matter of seconds when Oregon had a pick-six of their own. Ward was attempting to throw a screen pass but was intercepted, with the defender taking it back to the endzone and icing the game.
Watson would score with two seconds left in the game, but there wasn’t enough time to let the Cougs back into the game, resulting in their first loss of the year.
They will look to continue their winning ways against Cal at their homecoming game in Pullman.
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