Cougs on losing end of Emerald City duck hunt

SEATTLE – Despite a surprisingly strong first half in which Washington State trailed by as little as three at one point, Oregon refused to surrender its No. 2 national ranking and turned in second-half thumping to win 51-26 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Granted, a loss is a loss, but few expected the Cougars to hang in with the Ducks at all. And yet they did, with Connor Halliday throwing a 26-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Brett Bartolone in the second quarter.

However, Oregon capitalized on its tendency to turn up the intensity in the second half and scored an unanswered 28 points before Jeff Tuel entered the game and threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson on his first series with a little more than four minutes left.

Play of the game: The Cougars were driving downfield in their first series of the second half – on the heels of Oregon scoring a 4-yard touchdown – when Halliday threw an interception on third-and-7. Ducks cornerback Avery Patterson returned the ball 34 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 37-19 lead.

Key play: Down 37-19, the Cougars had a chance to hold the Ducks to a field goal midway through the third quarter when they were third-and-13 at the Washington State 20. Safety Tyree Toomer was called for a personal foul, giving Oregon first down – and they scored on the next play.

Key stat: Oregon allowed a total of 23 first-half points in its first four games of the season. The Cougars, however, were able to score 19 points before halftime.

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