PSU at Oregon
When, where: 4 p.m. Saturday, Autzen Stadium
TV, radio: KRCW (32), KXL (750 AM), KTRO (93.1 FM)
• Oregon beat Portland State 58-16 in 1994 and 41-0 in 2002.
• Coach Mike Bellotti on the Viking game: 'We have to play well to win.'
• Former Duck Matt Bramow has been practicing well and staying out of trouble off the field, according to PSU coach Tim Walsh. The Eugene native had been dismissed from the UO football team and the South Eugene High basketball team in his senior year for various transgressions. The 6-4 Bramow, who has a scholarship, has been practicing at wide receiver for the Vikings.
'He has a chance to play here. He wants to be a wideout, but he has to get his speed up,' Walsh says. 'We tried him on defense (at safety), but he doesn't have a defensive mentality.'
• The Ducks gained 471 yards in last week's 34-23 loss at Washington State, but they two lost fumbles and Dennis Dixon's two third-quarter interceptions hurt the offensive flow, offensive coordinator Gary Crowton says.
And Washington State played deep coverage - 'pretty much zone on every snap,' receiver Jordan Kent says - which didn't allow the Ducks to strike downfield. Until Oregon went to a modified no-huddle ('clutch') and all-out no-huddle ('fuji') in the second half, the Cougs held the likes of Kent, Jaison Williams and Brian Paysinger in check.
'We could have forced some deep throws because we're big and tall,' Crowton says. 'But I felt we could run the ball and get into a rhythm.'
• Dixon remains the starter and Brady Leaf will 'not necessarily' get more snaps against Portland State, Bellotti says, despite rallying the Ducks against WSU with career highs of 16 completions, 27 attempts and 262 yards. Coaches don't worry about Dixon's confidence after the junior suffered through his worst game in three years: 12 of 20, 105 yards, two interceptions and a lost fumble. 'I want to never let them see (me) sweat,' Dixon says. 'When things go bad, you have to find answers.' Says Crowton: 'He's going to learn from every game, just like Kellen (Clemens) did.'