In double overtime, Ducks lose to Cougars 45-38

EUGENE, Oregon - Facing a fourth down and nine to keep the game, and their eight-game win streak over Washington State, alive in double overtime, the Ducks had one last chance to get the ball into the end zone and force a third overtime.

Instead, quarterback Jeff Lockie threw his first interception of the game.

The nail-biter of a game came to a close, and the Ducks found themselves dropping their third game of the season, losing to the Cougars 45-38 in double OT. This marked the first time that Oregon has lost to a Washington school since 2007.

With Vernon Adams still sitting out to rest a broken finger, Royce Freeman was asked to shoulder the load in a game where the Ducks once again refrained from naming a starter until just before kickoff. Freeman answered the call, running for a career high 248 yards and three total touchdowns.

Fellow tailback Taj Griffin continued to put his name on the map, rushing for 102 yards in the loss.

Lockie got the nod to start the game, going 13-for-22 with 123 yards and two touchdowns in a relatively mistake-free outing, but his one interception in the game sealed the Oregon loss.

Holding a 10-point lead with just under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Oregon defense couldn't keep the Cougars out of the end zone. Washington State kicked a field goal with 3:53 left in the game, and a touchdown pass from quarterback Luke Falk to Dom Williams tied the game with 0:01 left on the clock.

"We have to learn to finish," said Head Coach Mark Helfrich. "We had some opportunities in every phase to close it out, and didn't get it done. ... Couldn't put the nail in the coffin."

In arguably the most well rounded game that the Ducks have played all season, some late game decision-making seemed to be the difference on Saturday night.

Up by 10 points with 7:28 remaining, the Ducks decided to play backup quarterback Taylor Alie, who had yet to complete a pass, and Kani Benoit, who had yet to play a snap in the game. The drive ended in an Oregon punt, and left the door open for the Cougars to make the comeback.

Falk, who ranks 13th in the nation for passing yards, shredded the young Oregon secondary for 505 yards and five touchdowns while going 50-for-74 with zero interceptions.

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