Ducks look at Cougars for win 9

The University of Oregon Ducks will play the Washington State Cougars at Pullman, Washington on Saturday evening, in a game that could guarantee at least 3rd place in the Pac-10 race. Oregon, 8-1 for the season and 5-1 in the Pac-10 while Washington State (3-6, 0-6) is playing for pride and an opportunity to salvage a disappointing season in a game that will be carried on Fox Sports Net starting at 7:15 p.m.

Oregon is currently tied for second place in the conference with UCLA, who has an identical record as the Ducks.

Oregon holds a slight lead in the all-time with WSU (38-37-7) and won a thrilling 41-38 game last year also at Martin Stadium. The Ducks and Cougars will meet next year at Washington State's home stadium again having had the game there in four of the last five years.

Sophomore quarterback Dennis Dixon is expected to be the starting signal caller for the Ducks although red shirt sophomore Brady Leaf is also expected to see playing time.

With a win by the Ducks, Oregon will advance up the line for a possible Pac-10 bowl. Currently, the Pac-10 has ties to six bowls. The Emerald (San Francisco, 12/29, Pac-10 #6), Las Vegas (12/22, Pac-10 #5), Insight (Phoenix, 12/27, Pac-10 #4), Sun (12/30, El Paso, Pac-10 #3), Holiday (12/29, Pac-10 #2) and the Fiesta (Tempe, 1/2/06, Pac-10 #1). If the winner of the Pac-10 conference is ranked No. 1 or 2 in the final BCS rankings, then that team will go to the Rose Bowl. Oregon is currently ranked 10th in the BCS and if it wins the rest of the game has a chance to go to a BCS bowl, possibly the Fiesta Bowl. If the Pac-10 winner goes to the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl is free to chose opponents from the eligible BCS teams.

Oregon's head coach Mike Bellotti however does not want to discuss the bowl picture and has told his team that they will not dwell on the post season possibilities. Instead he wants his team to focus on Washington State, a team the headman considers to be dangerous. The Cougars have the nation's second leading rusher in Jerome Harrison, who has had 12 consecutive 100-yard games running the ball. The Cougars also have country's second leading receiver, Jason Hill with 172.2 yards per game average. Quarterback Alex Brink, a native of Eugene is the Cougar quarterback. Washington State's head coach Bill Duba is in his third year and the Cougars have had many close games this season including last week's 27-24 loss to Arizona State.

The Ducks beat California last week in overtime, 27-20.

Kick off for the game is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and will be carried live on Fox Sports Net.

The game will be carried on a delay basis on Oregon Sports Network, Comcast 14 in the Portland area at 11 p.m. on Saturday night. OSN also shows the game on a delay basis on KEZI (Eugene), KDRV (Medford) and KDKF (Klamath Falls) at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. DirectTV (channel 656) will show the delay replay at 1 p.m. on Sunday. ESPNU and DirectTV (channel 609) will show the replay on Wed. at 10 p.m.

The game will be carried live on radio by Oregon Sports Network, with Jerry Allen, Mike Jorgensen and Bobby DiBisschop.

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