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Error by referees in Washington State-Oregon game leads to confusion on the field

Justin Rudolph09/24/22
Article written by:On3 imageJustin Rudolph
PULLMAN, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Grant Stephens (76) on the sideline during the Washington State Cougars versus the Colorado State Rams on Saturday September 17, 2022 at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA. (Photo by Oliver McKenna/Icon Sportswire)

The Washington State Cougars are surprising the Oregon Ducks and the rest of the Pac-12 on Saturday as they have a 17-9 lead heading into the half. But arguably, the most surprising play in the game was made by the Pac-12 officiating crew, causing mass confusion on the field.

Early in the second quarter, with the Cougars holding a 10-6 lead, their quarterback Cameron Ward attempted to throw the ball away after their first down play broke down. Unfortunately, there was nobody in the area resulting in an intentional grounding call. Seems pretty standard, right? But it was far from it. Instead of the loss of downs and yards, which should have resulted in a second-and-17 for Washington state, the officials skipped second down altogether and jumped to third down. It was only after Washington State ran the third down play that the referees realized their error and began to review the call. Ultimately after a lengthy review process, the officials returned and allowed Washington State another down; another third-and-17. The Cougars played it safe, ran a draw, and ultimately ended up punting on the drive. Washington State made up for the referees’ blunder on Oregon’s next possession with a pick-six of Bo Nix to take a 17-6 lead.

The whole series of events was a head-scratcher, to say the least, for onlookers watching the game. Suppose the Pac-12 wants to expand its conference after losing USC and UCLA. If that’s the case, the officials in this game are doing them a disservice on that quest.

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Chase Cota hits 1,000 yards receiving milestone vs Washington State

Oregon wide receiver Chase Cota just achieved a major career milestone. In Saturday’s game against the Washington State Cougars, Cota eclipsed the 1,000 receiving yards mark for his collegiate career.

The six-foot-four senior from Medford, OR, did not get the start to his collegiate career he would’ve liked with the UCLA Bruins. So, this offseason, Cota elected to hop in the transfer portal and head to Eugene, joining Dan Lanning’s Ducks. For his career, Cota now has 1,009 yards on 77 receptions with six touchdowns. With the Ducks, he has ten catches for 126 yards on the season.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Cota had not been a fixture within the Oregon offense. However, against Washington State, he has been the Ducks’ quarterback Bo Nix’s favorite target. So far in the first half, he has three receptions for 47 yards.

Heading into the half, Oregon will need more from Cota and the rest of the offense. They are currently trailing Washington state 17-9. The Ducks have done a not-so-stellar job of finishing their drives, despite being able to move the ball almost at will. Oregon has 300 yards of total offense so far, with 164 passing yards and 136 rushing. Coming out of the locker room, the Ducks’ focus has to be on finishing drives with touchdowns instead of field goals if they want to come out on top.