Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

Rushing defense key to Duck victory

The second-ranked Oregon Ducks won their first road game of the year by a 51-26 score over Washington State.  The Ducks ran away with the victory in the second half behind Kenjon Barner.  Barner carried the ball twenty times for 195 yards with three touchdowns.

Despite the score, the Oregon rushing defense was spectacular.  The Ducks held Washington State to -8 rushing yards in the entire game.  The Cougars were credited with 21 rushing attempts which would be an average of -0.4 yards a carry.  They forced Washington State to be one dimensional allowing the Ducks to rush the passer at will without the threat of a running game.

The lack of a running game cost the Cougars in the third quarter.  They only trailed by eleven points in the middle of the third quarter when quarterback Connor Halliday was picked off by Avery Patterson.  Patterson returned the interception 34 yards for a score basically ending the game.

Oregon sacked Halliday seven times during the game as well which will contribute towards the rushing totals.  Halliday had eight rushes for -46 yards.  The other three Cougars who ran the ball totaled 38 yards on the ground.  The biggest gainer was Teondray Caldwell who had twenty-three yards on five carries.  He also had the longest run of the game for Washington State with a ten yard carry on his second attempt in the first quarter.

The Ducks have now given up a total of 99 points through five games which is an average of 19.8 points a game.  The 19.8 average places them 34th in the country.  The team is also tied for second in the country in interception returns with three.  They only trail Fresno State who has four.

Check out Raymond Mencke’s blog at www.sportissue.com. Also follow him on Twitter @RaymondMenckeJr,

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Tags: Ducks General Football Kenjon Barner Pac-12 Washington State Cougars

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