Oregon vs. Washington State was a tale of two halves. 100 points were scored in total, and the FBS record for passing attempts was set, and the FBS record for pass completions was tied.
It was a wild one from Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR.
After one quarter of play, Oregon led 20-7 behind Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota’s stellar 10-of-12 passing for 140 yards and 57-yard touchdown run, and running back Byron Marshall’s two TD scampers.
Freshman Thomas Tyner delivered another score to make it 27-7 to start the second quarter and it looked like it would be another Oregon blowout.
It was not to be — not yet anyway – as a barrage of turnovers ensued from both teams.
Washington State drove down the field and it looked like Cougars’ quarterback Connor Halliday had a TD pass to Vince Mayle. But, the wide receiver coughed it up on the goal line – touchback Oregon.
The Ducks gave it right back up on Marcus Mariota’s first turnover of the season and Washington State drove to the Oregon 12-yard line. Halliday connected with receiver River Cracraft to pull the Cougars within two scores at 27-14.
On Oregon’s next drive, Mariota gave it up again after he was stripped by Cougars’ defensive lineman Darryl Monroe – this time the fumble was returned 41-yards by Xavier Cooper for a Washington State touchdown making it 27-21.
We had a ball game on our hands, or so it appeared.
It took Oregon three plays on their ensuing drive to put the lead back to two TDs after a 66-yard Tyner run to pay dirt.
Halliday drove Washington State down to the Oregon 20, but threw an interception to Oregon defensive back Ifo Expre-Olomu to end the threat.
Mariota subsequently completed a 35-yard pass on Oregon’s next drive to Byron Marshall who coughed up yet another turnover on the Washington State 12-yard line.
Halliday drove the Cougs to the Ducks’ 32, and Andrew Furney hit a 49-yard field goal to make it 34-24 at the half.
That would be as close as this game would get for the remainder of the evening.
Oregon came out with guns blazing to start the third. Mariota completed a 7-play 80 yard drive with a touchdown pass to receiver Keanon Lowe. Three minutes, thirty seconds later, Byron Marshall scored his third touchdown of the game on a 30-yard scamper to the end zone.
The route was back on.
Mariota capped a 6-play 50 yard Oregon drive to start the 4th quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Josh Huff.
Mariota exited the ball game at the 9:30 mark after a Halliday pass was returned 51-yards for a touchdown by Oregon defensive back Terrance Mitchell, bringing the score to 62-24.
Mariota finished the day going 23-of-32 for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns, and added another 67-yards on 8 carries and a touchdown on the ground.
Byron Marshall carried 21 times for 192-yards with 3 touchdowns. Thomas Tyner carried 7 times for 99-yards with 2 scores.
Josh Huff led the Oregon receivers with 5 catches for 75-yards and a touchdown.
Washington State added a score with 3:48 left on an 8-yard Halliday pass to Gabe Marks
Halliday finished with 557 yards passing in the game on 58-of-89 – yes 89 – attempts. He had 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. The 89 attempts set a new FBS record, and the 58 completions tied the FBS record.
Gabe Marks caught 13 of those passes for 143 yards and a TD.
Final score: Oregon 62, Washington State 38.
Oregon (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12) hosts No. 9 UCLA next Saturday. Washington State (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) doesn’t play again until they host Arizona State on Halloween night.