Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown (13) tries to avoid the tackle of Washington State defensive end Ron Stone Jr. (10) and linebacker Jahad Woods (13) during the third quarter of a game Saturday in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown (13) tries to avoid the tackle of Washington State defensive end Ron Stone Jr. (10) and linebacker Jahad Woods (13) during the third quarter of a game Saturday in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

The Ducks blow open a tight game early and roll to a 38-24 win over WSU.

EUGENE, Ore. — Anthony Brown Jr. threw for 135 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 123 yards and another score, and No. 5 Oregon defeated Washington State 38-24 on Saturday night.

The Ducks, ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, have won five straight and extended their winning streak at Autzen Stadium to 18 straight games, including 14 straight victories at home over Pac-12 opponents.

Oregon (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) needed to win and for Stanford to beat Oregon State up the road in Corvallis earlier on Saturday to clinch the Pac-12 North. The Beavers didn’t hold up their end, winning 35-14 over Stanford.

Washington State (5-5, 4-3) tied the game at 14 before halftime but Oregon pulled away in the third quarter. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak over Pac-12 opponents for the Cougars, who fell to BYU on Oct. 23 in a midseason nonconference game.

The Cougars still need one more win to become bowl eligible and perhaps redeem a season that has been marked by turbulence. Washington State dismissed head coach Nick Rolovich on Oct. 18 after his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Saturday’s game got off to a strange start. Washington State’s second play from scrimmage appeared to be a 77-yard touchdown pass from Jayden de Laura to Calvin Jackson Jr. But on review, Jackson stepped out of bounds at the Oregon 7-yard line. On the next play, de Laura fumbled out of the end zone for an Oregon touchback.

Travis Dye plowed his way into the end zone from a yard out to give the Ducks a 7-0 lead. Verone McKinley III got his fifth interception of the season and three plays later Dye scored on an 11-yard pass from Brown.

The Cougars closed the margin on de Laura’s 14-year pass to De’zhaun Stribling midway through the second quarter. De Laura’s 1-yard keeper with 11 seconds left in the half tied it at 14.

Oregon scored on Brown’s 17-yard scramble on their first series of the second half to pull back in front. The Ducks extended the lead on Camden Lewis’ 22-yard field goal.

It appeared that Washington State’s George Hicks III recovered a fumble by Brown in the end zone early in the fourth quarter and ran it back 50 yards. After review, the play stood.

De Laura hit Travell Harris with a 38-yard pass to get to the Oregon 11, but the Ducks’ defense held and the Cougars settled for a Dean Janikowski’s 34-yard field goal to make it 24-17.

Byron Caldwell ran for a 27-yard touchdown with 5:52 left, before a 22-yard scoring run with 2:07 for the Ducks. De Laura’s 2-yard TD pass to Harris ended it.

Dye ran for 88 yards and a score, and had 25 yards receiving and another TD.

De Laura threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars. He was intercepted twice.

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