Cougs to face Ducks in near sell-out stadium

Only a few hundred tickets remain for WSU vs. Oregon 



WSU wide receiver Lincoln Victor jumps for a pass during an NCAA football game against Colorado State, Sep. 17.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen reporter

Jake Dickert versus Dan Lanning, two defensive masterminds clashing (metaphorical) helmets.

Oregon is ranked 15th in the nation, according to the AP Poll.

Oregon started the season as the No. 11 ranked team, and then lost to the reigning Football Bowl Subdivision Champion Georgia. They are coming off of two significant wins, scoring 70 points versus Eastern Washington and then beating BYU convincingly 41-20.

WSU has not beat Oregon since ESPN College Gameday came to Pullman in 2018 when WSU won 34-20. It has been three straight losses for WSU since then.

These teams have a rich history against each other both being in the Pac-12 North, WSU is 41-51-7 all-time against the Ducks.

WSU just beat Colorado State last week, 38-7. The offense looked like they got off to a strong start, scoring on their first four drives, they then tried to slow down their play style to waste time. They seemed to take their foot off the gas a bit and the offense was not very successful during the second half.

The Coug defense however is out of this world. It seems like the table is pounded about them each week, but it has been nothing less than impressive.

Over the past three games, WSU has only allowed 12.7 points per game. Daiyan Henley is the top-rated linebacker in the NCAA, according to PFF. Henley also received defensive player of the week from PFF and the Pac-12.

WSU’s defense ranks second in the nation with 31 tackles for loss and leads the Pac-12 in that category. They are also second in the nation in sacks, with 14. They are tied with USC for first in the Pac-12 in that category.

This will be a defensive matchup with Dickert and Lanning facing each other.

“[Lanning] does a good job of mixing up a lot of looks. I mean, they’ve been three down, they’ve been four down, their coverage and disguises are really good. They’re just doing things at a high level and they’re doing it with elite talent and elite speed,” Dickert said.

Dickert respects Lanning for how he was able to lead that historic Georgia defense last season. The national championship is not an easy thing to accomplish, and Lanning was able to win one. He explained the physicality of the defense and said it will be a challenge to face him. It will be a chess match of a game coming Saturday.

ZZU CRU will be important in this game. Dickert discussed that he wants to fill the stands with crimson and gray.

“I saw on Saturday when they’re in the red zone, they went from false start to missed snap, you know, big negative play because of how loud our student section was. I’m excited for them to come out and be positive and make a difference in this football game because I know this is gonna be a ruckus environment. It’s just gonna be a packed house,” Dickert said.

There are only around 500 tickets left for this game. Dickert credited the Cougar fans and said that Martin Stadium has the capability of being the toughest environment in the Pacific Northwest.

ESPN gives WSU around a 28% chance of beating Oregon. The Ducks are favored by 6.5 points.

The game of WSU vs. Oregon will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium and will be broadcasted nationally on Fox.