The Oregon Ducks hold a walk through practice on Thursday as they prepare for Washington State.

Head coach Mark Helfrich spoke with the media following practice on Thursday Oct. 8th. The Ducks beat the Colorado Buffaloes last Saturday to help improve their record to 3-2. Coach Helfrich and his team will be looking to take down the 2-2 Washington State Cougars this Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

“I like where our heads are at this point, had a good day today of confidence building,” Coach Helfrich said. “Communication, alignment, assignment checks, all the things we did today, they were focused.”

 Red shirt freshman wide receiver Jalen Brown’s night in Boulder, Colorado was quiet but strong. Brown had one catch for 43 yards but scored his first touchdown of his young Duck career.

 “Jalen is a stud, he is a lot like a Keanon Lowe type of guy,” Helfrich said of Brown. “He might not be as talkative or charismatic as Keanon but he just works.”  

 Helfrich sees Brown’s development as a receiver and a special team’s player the more he practices. Helfrich was happy to see all of Brown’s hard work be rewarded by a trip to the end zone.

 Brown, 6-1, 200, is in his first year of playing as a Duck. He enrolled early in January of 2014. The former 4-star from Mountain Pointe High School, in Phoenix, Ariz., has a total of three catches this season for 68 yards. The 43-yarder is the longest of his career.

 The Cougars have been a challenge for the Ducks these last couple seasons. Last year, it took former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota to throw five touchdowns to take down the Cougars. The Ducks ended up escaping with a 38-31 win.

 “They are extremely talented at the skilled position on offense and have solid fronts on both sides of the ball.” Helfrich said.

 Oregon will be wearing new “Pioneer” uniforms for the game in support of the Umpqua Community College (UCC) shooting that occurred on Oct. 1st. The University of Oregon will also be giving free tickets to UCC students and staff for the game against the Cougars.

“We are going to do anything we can to support the fallout from that situation,” Helfrich said. “To provide something, whether (it is) entertainment or joy or distraction at this point is great.”

 Kickoff for Saturday’s game at Autzen Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m. Pacific and will be carried live on the Pac-12 Networks.

(Still photo credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports)

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