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Top 25 college football: No. 2 Oregon will take on Washington State's Air Raid offense

Published September 28, 2012 9:31 pm

Second-ranked Ducks will take on Cougars' Air Raid offense.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Seattle • For all the mistakes second-ranked Oregon made a week ago at home almost giving points away, the result was still an impressive shutout by the Ducks.

While the flash of Oregon's offense continues to get attention — and rightfully so — the Ducks defense is now also proving headline worthy.

The test for Oregon (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) was familiar last week, trying to slow down the spread offense of Arizona, which has similarities to the Ducks' own system. Saturday night's challenge is different and will put pressure on the Ducks secondary: facing Mike Leach and Washington State's pass-happy offense.

The Ducks should have no problem scoring on a struggling Cougars defense that collapsed in the fourth quarter last week versus Colorado.

But this will be the first true test of an Oregon pass defense that so far is giving up only 210 yards per game through the air.

"I think it's a great opportunity for us," Oregon cornerback Terrence Mitchell said. "[WSU receiver Marquess Wilson] is an NFL prospect, and a lot of us have those kind of dreams so it's a great opportunity to go show what we can do."

While it's technically a home game for the Cougars (2-2, 0-1), playing in Seattle also makes it easier for Ducks fans to make the trip north. Washington State has played a game at the home of the Seattle Seahawks every year — minus 2004 — since 2002 as a nod to its massive alumni base in the Puget Sound region.

But last year, athletic director Bill Moos changed the format for the game and rather than playing a nonconference foe in Seattle, decided that for the foreseeable future whichever Oregon school the Cougars are scheduled to host would be the opponent in the NFL stadium. —

Saturday's TV games

• Penn State at Illinois, 10 a.m., ESPN

• Minnesota at Iowa, 10 a.m., ESPN2

• Missouri at Central Florida, 10 a.m., ROOT Sports

• Baylor at West Virginia, 10 a.m., FX

• Penn at Dartmouth, 10 a.m., NBCSN

• Colorado State at Air Force, noon, Altitude

• Ohio State at Michigan State, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 4

• Tennessee at Georgia, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 2

• Clemson at Boston College, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

• Montana State at Southern Utah, 1:30 p.m., ROOT Sports

• Florida A&M vs. Southern at Atlanta, 1:30 p.m., NBCSN

• Arizona State at Cal, 2 p.m., FX

• Florida State at South Florida, 4 p.m., ESPN

• UCLA at Colorado, 4 p.m., Pac-12 Network

• South Carolina at Kentucky, 5 p.m., ESPN

• Montana at Eastern Washington, 5 p.m., ROOT Sports

• Texas at Oklahoma State, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 13

• Wisconsin at Nebraska, 6:07 p.m., Ch. 4

• Mississippi at Alabama, 7:15 p.m., ESPN

• Oregon at Washington State, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2