Rapid reaction: Oregon leads Washington State 17-14 at the half

When in doubt, give the ball to Royce Freeman.

That’s been the theme of the Oregon football team in the first half. Freeman has 12 carries for 135 yards and one touchdown as the Ducks (3-2) lead Washington State (2-2) 17-14 at the half.

Jeff Lockie got the start for Oregon at quarterback, but after taking a hard hit in the first quarter, was replaced by Taylor Alie. On Alie’s first play at quarterback, he faked a handoff and ran into the end zone untouched to give the Ducks their first lead of the game, something they have yet to relinquish.

Lockie came back into the game midway through the second quarter and led Oregon on a 7-play, 71-yard scoring drive at the end of the half that resulted in a Freeman two-yard touchdown plunge.

The Cougars kept the game close as quarterback Luke Falk hit wide receiver Gabe Marks on a four-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds to play in the half.

Charles Nelson got the start for Oregon at safety and immediately made his presence felt with five tackles in the first quarter. Torrodney Prevot leads the Ducks with seven tackles, while adding one sack and a pass broken up.

Oregon will receive the ball to start the second half.

Key plays

  • On his first play of the game, backup quarterback Taylor Alie ran untouched from eight yards out to get Oregon on the board. In the first half, Alie finished with:
  • On their opening drive, Luke Falk connected with Gabe Marks for a 7-yard touchdown, giving Washington State an early 7-0 lead.
  • Around the four-minute mark in the second quarter, Torrodney Prevot stripped Gerad Wicks for the forced fumble. Hey finished the half with (ENTER STATS)
  • After beginning the drive with a 42-yard run, Royce Freeman capped it off with a 2-yard touchdown to give Oregon a 17-7 lead late in first half.

Three things to watch

  • Will Royce Freeman top his season-high 180-yard performance against Eastern Washington in the season opener? The sophomore back already has 127 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Entering this game, Freeman also led the nation with the most runs for 10 or more yards with 25.
  • How many completions/yards will Luke Falk end with? Entering this game, Falk ranked 5th in passing yards (364.8) and first in completions (36.5). In the first half, Falk went 29-of-40 for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Will the original line of -17 in favor of Oregon hold? After holding the Cougars to one touchdown through the majority of the first half, Falk cut the lead to three with a late touchdown pass to Marks.

Oregon passing

Jeff Lockie: 6-of-8, 75 yards

WSU passing

Luke Falk: 29-of-40, 280 yards and two touchdowns

Oregon rushing

Royce Freeman: 12 carries for 135 yards, one touchdown

Taj Griffin: 5 carries for 39 yards

WSU rushing

Gerard Wicks: 1 carry for 12 yards

Oregon total yards

Oregon: 273

WSU total yards

WSU: 315

Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @HayDayKim and Ryan Kostecka @Ryan_Kostecka

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Hayden Kim

Hayden Kim