for this game

No. 7 Oregon wins seventh straight

Oct 30, 2011 - 3:18 AM Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - While quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James were back on the field Saturday, Oregon's other players continued to shine.

Bryan Bennett took over for Thomas during the second half and passed for two touchdowns, De'Anthony Thomas broke out for two big scoring plays, and the No. 7 Ducks pulled away for a 43-28 victory against Washington State.

Darron Thomas and James had both been out because of injuries. Thomas missed last week's win against Colorado because of a knee injury, while James hadn't played since October 6 because of an injured elbow.

But both played somewhat limited roles Saturday. Thomas passed for 153 yards and a touchdown while being intercepted twice -- once for a score -- and James was limited to 53 yards.

"[James] was just kind of out of rhythm today, but it's good to have him back I can tell you that," Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said.

Instead, Bennett provided the spark for the Ducks (7-1, 5-0 Pac-12). He threw a 45-yard touchdown to De'Anthony Thomas on the first drive of the third quarter and hit Lavasier Tuinei with a 19-yard score later in the frame.

De'Anthony Thomas returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown near the end of the third, which propelled Oregon to its seventh consecutive victory overall and 21st straight win at home.

Marshall Lobbestael threw for 337 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice as the Cougars (3-5, 1-4) dropped their fourth consecutive game.

"If we come out and play with the focus that we did today and we take care of the football, with a little higher level of execution we can play with anybody in the country," Washington State head coach Paul Wulff said.

Oregon's lead stood at 15-10 at halftime, when the Ducks made a quarterback switch. It had an immediate benefit -- three plays into their first drive of the third quarter, Bennett found De'Anthony Thomas for the big touchdown play.

"We don't like being close at halftime," Kelly admitted.

The score widened Oregon's lead to double digits, and the Ducks made sure their advantage remained comfortable by reaching the end zone twice more in the quarter.

After Andrew Furney made a 35-yard field goal, the Ducks put together a 14- play, 77-yard drive that ended with Tuinei's catch midway through the quarter.

The Cougars responded again. After Carl Winston ran for 15 yards to convert a fourth down and bring the ball to the Oregon 24, Lobbestael found Jared Karstetter for a touchdown.

But Oregon responded as quickly as possible. On the ensuing kickoff, De'Anthony Thomas fielded the ball on the left side of the field and cut diagonally to the right side, needing to break only a timid ankle tackle before getting to open space and racing to the end zone.

That touchdown put Oregon ahead 36-20 heading into the fourth quarter, and Kenjon Barner's 28-yard touchdown run with 12 minutes to play increased the Ducks' lead by another score.

Rickey Galvin's nine-yard touchdown run inside two minutes to play provided the final points for Washington State, which stayed close in the first half.

The Cougars did fall behind after they had a punt blocked on the game's opening possession. Boseko Lokombo recovered and returned the ball 25 yards for a touchdown, and a two-point conversion made it an 8-0 game.

Washington State got on the board with Furney's 40-yard field goal early in the second quarter, and Darron Thomas found Tuinei for a 55-yard score midway through the frame, making it a 15-3 contest.

Oregon had a good opportunity to expand its lead after Furney missed a 25- yarder, but Damante Horton picked off Thomas, and his 76-yard return with 1:27 left pulled the Cougars within a possession.

Game Notes

WSU had 462 total yards, compared to 454 for Oregon...Winston led WSU with 69 rushing yards. Marquess Wilson caught 11 passes for 126 yards, while Karstetter had seven receptions for 114 yards...Barner ended with 107 rushing yards on 11 carries...Oregon leads the all-time series 44-38-7 and has won five straight. Neither team had won more than four in a row in the series prior to the Ducks' current run.