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10/20/2013 3:22 AM EDT
No. 2 Oregon pulls away from Washington St. 62-38
OREGON 62, WASHINGTON ST 38

By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota rarely
gets rattled. But he does get concerned.

Never mind that the second-ranked Ducks handily defeated
Washington State 62-38, or that Mariota threw for two touchdowns
and ran for another.

The sophomore quarterback was kicking himself for a pair of
fumbles, both of which led to first-half touchdowns for the
Cougars.

"I've got to take care of the ball better," he proclaimed after
the game.

Mariota kicked things off with a 57-yard scoring dash on the
first series of the game for the Ducks, who wore pink helmets,
cleats and socks for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Teammate
Byron Marshall ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns.

Mariota's star has continued to rise as the Ducks (7-0, 4-0
Pac-12) have collected wins, and he is considered by many to be
a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. The fumbles were his first
turnovers this season, and he has yet to throw an interception.

"I'm just trying to handle it the best that I can," he said.
"It's not just me that's doing well, it's the team."

Except for the fumbles, Mariota was his solid self, completing
23 of 32 passes for 327 yards.

Meanwhile, Washington State's Connor Halliday was breaking
records.

Halliday completed 58 of 89 passes for 557 yards and four
touchdowns for the Cougars (4-4, 2-3). His attempts broke the
FBS-level record of 83 set by Drew Brees for Purdue on Oct. 10,
1998. His total attempts and completions also broke the Pac-12
records set by Arizona's Matt Scott last season, and his total
yards set a Washington State record.

But Halliday also threw four interceptions, including one that
was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by Terrance Mitchell early
in the fourth quarter. The junior leads the nation with 17
interceptions.

"I knew going in, on about Monday of last week, that we were
going to throw it a lot. I mean, nobody ever thinks 89 is going
to be the number," Halliday said.

While Washington State pulled within 27-21 in the first half,
Oregon cleaned up the mistakes in the second half and pulled
away, racking up 719 yards in total offense. Freshman Thomas
Tyner ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

The Ducks were coming off a 45-24 victory over Washington in
Seattle last weekend. After Stanford's upset loss to Utah last
week, undefeated Oregon is alone in first place in the Pac-12
North.

The Cougars were coming off a 52-24 loss to Oregon State in
Pullman last weekend. The Beavers outscored Washington State
28-0 in the fourth quarter and Halliday threw three
interceptions.

"One thing that is really impressive about Oregon is how
decisively they play," coach Mike Leach said. "They're probably
the most decisive team in how they play in the country."

Oregon remained without dynamic running back De'Anthony Thomas,
who was in pads and practiced before the game but didn't play
for the third straight game. Thomas, who has run for 338 yards
and six touchdowns, has been out since his slipped on the
rain-soaked turf at Autzen on the opening kickoff against Cal.

After Mariota's opening touchdown, Marshall plowed across the
line for a 1-yard touchdown midway through the first to up
Oregon's lead to 13-0. Halliday found Dom Williams in the corner
of the end zone with an 11-yard scoring pass, but Marshall
answered with a 26-yard scoring run to make it 20-7.

Tyner made an acrobatic catch to get to the Washington State 1,
then powered into the end zone for the touchdown early in the
second quarter.

Mariota was sacked and his fumble was recovered by Washington
State, leading to Halliday's 22-yard pass to River Cracraft for
the freshman receiver's first touchdown.

He was sacked and fumbled again on the next series and Xavier
Cooper scooped up the ball and ran it in to narrow the score to
27-21 with 5:35 left before halftime.

"Our culture around here is always one play at a time," Mariota
said. "Whatever happens you have to shake it off and move on."

Tyner scored on a 66-yard run for the Ducks before Andrew Furney
kicked a 49-yard field goal for the Cougars as time ran out to
make it 34-24.

Mariota found Keanon Lowe with a 10-yard scoring pass and
Marshall scored on a 30-yard run in the third quarter before
Mitchell's pick six early in the fourth.

Halliday threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Marks with 3:48
left and added a 3-yard scoring toss to Bobby Ratliff with 11
seconds to go for the final margin.

Halliday's passing yards surpassed Alex Brink's Washington State
record of 531 against Oregon State in 2005.

"That's crazy. I don't think I could throw that many passes. My
arm would hurt," Cougars defensive lineman Xavier Cooper said.

The Ducks extended their winning streak over the Cougars to
seven straight.

Washington State defeated a ranked opponent earlier this season
when they beat then-No. 25 USC 10-7, although it was before the
Trojans fired head coach Lane Kiffin. The Cougars have not
defeated a team in the top five since 2003, when they downed No.
5 Texas 28-20 in the Holiday Bowl.

Oregon planned to auction a number of the pink helmets off after
the game to raise money for Kay Yow Cancer Fund, named after the
North Carolina State women's basketball coach who died of breast
cancer in 2009.

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