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The Ducks head to Tucson - where they haven't won since 2011 - to play in what shapes up as a high-scoring game.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The statistics indicate Bucky Irving (0) and the Ducks' rushing attack might have a big night on Saturday at Arizona, and probably need to if Oregon is going to win in Tucson for the first time since 2011.The Ducks attempt to go 3-0 in the Pac-12 in a place that has been a struggle for the program and against a confident Wildcats' offense.


When: 6 p.m. PT, Saturday, Oct. 8

Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: AM 1080


There's reason to believe Oregon (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) will be able to run against an Arizona (3-2, 1-1) team that is allowing 227 yards on the ground per game and 283 to North Dakota State and 354 to California. The Ducks lead the conference in rushing at 229 yards per game and six yards per carry. For the Ducks to win, they'll need to cut penalties significantly and finish drives with touchdowns because … Arizona's passing attack is for real. Quarterback Jayden de Laura, the third-year sophomore transfer from Washington State, is out of Saint Louis High in Honolulu, the same program that produced Marcus Mariota and Tua Tagovailoa. Through five games he's completed 63% of his passes for 1,633 and 14 touchdowns. He does have a habit of trusting his arm and has thrown six interceptions. Playing for WSU as a true freshman, de Laura threw for 321 yards and two TDs in a loss to the Ducks at Pullman. Last season, de Laura threw for 280 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 38-24 win for the Ducks over the Cougars at Autzen Stadium.

Arizona's receivers might be the best in the conference. Jacob Cowing has 40 catches for 566 yards and seven touchdowns through five games and Dorian Singer has 32 catches for 450 yards. The receiver of interest to Ducks fans will be Tetairoa McMillan, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after catching five balls for 90 yards and his third touchdown of the season in a win over woeful Colorado. McMillan was committed to Oregon until Mario Cristobal left, then flipped to follow three high school teammates to Arizona.

Oregon's opponents are averaging 282 yards a game through the air, a number inflated because teams struggle to run against the Ducks (94 yards per game) and have thrown an average of 10 more passes than runs (and Oregon's 11 sacks count as opponent rushing plays).

Bottom line: The outcome of this game might come down to whether or not Oregon's secondary can come up with a couple of takeaways, or at least make plays on third downs where opponents have converted 48% of the time. De Laura prefers throwing to running, but is mobile and can extend plays with his legs.

This could be a shootout. If Bo Nix continues to get the ball quickly into the hands of his weapons, the Ducks have a good shot at outscoring the Wildcats — if they don't kill drives with penalties. As good as Arizona's receivers are, Troy Franklin is emerging as a beast for Oregon. And the depth at running back led by Bucky Irving (7.5 yards per carry) should help the Ducks wear on a struggling Wildcats' defense.

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