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Oregon looks for answers in bye week

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — This much is clear: Oregon’s slide this season can no longer be looked at as a mere stumble.

With a four-game losing streak, the Ducks are in a hole that has put an 11-year run in the postseason in jeopardy. The Ducks are 2-4 overall and sit at the bottom of the Pac-12 North.

Some fans are calling for head coach Mark Helfrich to be fired. Others are questioning the wisdom of new assistant Brady Hoke’s defensive changes, and even the use of graduate transfers at quarterback for the past two seasons rather than fostering long-term player development.

Helfrich led the Ducks to the first College Football Playoff championship game just two seasons ago. But the cracks started showing last year when the Ducks went 9-4, their first season with fewer than 10 wins since 2007. Losses to Michigan State, then at home to Utah and Washington State pushed Oregon out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2009.

Athletic director Rob Mullens spoke this week to Duck Insider, a sports radio show produced in part by Oregon, and said he’s standing by the coaches.

Oregon has a bye this week to work through some of its issues.


Portland gets OT win vs. Lakers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damian Lillard had 30 points in 26 minutes for Portland, including 15 in a row for his team during a brilliant 3-minute stretch of the third quarter, as the Trail Blazers beat the Lakers in Los Angeles in overtime last night, 109-106.

Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 15 points and Nick Young added 14.

D’Angelo Russell was 0 for 9 from 3-point range, including three misses from deep in the final 94 seconds of regulation. Luol Deng, back in the lineup after dealing with some knee soreness, had seven points in 13 minutes.

Portland’s Mason Plumlee had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Portland stays in Los Angeles and visits the Clippers on Thursday.


Green scores again, US settles for 1-1 draw vs New Zealand

WASHINGTON (AP) — Julian Green scored his second goal in two matches, before Monty Patterson’s equalizer forced the United States to settle for a 1-1 draw in an exhibition against New Zealand on Tuesday night.

Lynden Gooch made his U.S. debut as a second-half substitute in a match played exactly a month before the Americans face Mexico to open their final round of World Cup qualifying.

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough kept New Zealand scoreless over 45 minutes in his first international start and third overall appearance.

David Bingham couldn’t do the same in the second half, though he could hardly be blamed for Patterson’s strike.

After U.S. forward Jozy Altidore failed to clear a corner kick aimed at New Zealand’s Michael Boxhall, Patterson popped up to thump the loose ball into the net from about 5 yards out.


Beavers prepare with a dramatically different roster

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State basketball coach Wayne Tinkle is realistic.

This year’s Beavers don’t look much like the team that returned to the NCAA Tournament last season after a 26-year absence.

Gary Payton II, son of the Oregon State and NBA great, has graduated and signed with the Houston Rockets. Guard Malcom Duvivier, who was to be a senior this season, has left the team for personal reasons and returned to his native Canada.

Tres Tinkle, the coach’s son, is still recovering from a foot injury that left him out of the tournament appearance last season.

There’s only one senior — forward Cheikh N’diaye, who is coming off shoulder surgery — on the roster. In all, nine players are new or didn’t play last year.

The Beavers improved to 19-13 overall last season and finished sixth in the Pac-12, which sent a record seven teams to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State lost to VCU 75-67 in the team’s opening round.


Wrong runner awarded winning trophy at Portland Marathon

(Information in the following story is from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, )

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The man who won Sunday’s Portland Marathon still doesn’t have his trophy.

Event director Les Smith tells The Oregonian that the people assigned to present awards to the top three men and women after the race missed Matthew Palilla.

Instead, they gave the winning trophy to a confused third-place finisher, who asked why they were giving it to him. After he walked away with the wrong trophy, the people handling awards realized the error.

Smith says the runner who got the wrong award has been alerted to the mix-up, and Palilla will get the right trophy.

The Bend man won the race in a time of 2:36:24.


AP Heisman Watch: Jackson leads, but Browning surges

UNDATED (AP) — The challenge for Lamar Jackson as he chases the Heisman Trophy is to maintain front-runner status while playing games that will not be drawing a lot of attention.

No. 7 Louisville and its star quarterback get back into action this week for the first of five straight games in which they will be big favorites. On one hand, Jackson and the No. 1 offense in the country have a chance to put up some big stats and lopsided victories. On the other hand, there will be few chances for those Heisman moments that usually come in marquee matchups — such as the Cardinals’ last game at No. 3 Clemson.

For now, Jackson is still the overwhelming leader in The Associated Press’ Heisman Watch, receiving the first-place votes from all seven AP sports writers polled. Only four players made each voters’ top three.

1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (21 points)

Last week: Off.

Next: Duke, which ranks seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference in defense at 5.09 yards per play.

2. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (11 points)

Last week: Watson threw four touchdown passes and no interceptions in a rout of Boston College. He already has seven picks so keeping that number down the rest of the way will be important. He ran for only 28 yards against the Eagles, mostly because he didn’t have to do much running.

Next: North Carolina State, which ranks fifth in the ACC in defense at 4.47 yards per play. Watson threw for 383 yards and five touchdowns and ran for a score against the Wolfpack last season.

3. Jake Browning, QB, Washington (8 points)

Last week: The sophomore made his Heisman statement, accounting for eight touchdowns in a blowout of Oregon. He leads the nation in touchdown passes (23) and efficiency rating (204.86). Could be the latest Pac-12 star to test the East Coast bias theory in Heisman voting.

Next: Oregon State, Oct. 22.

4. Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston (2 points)

Last week: Ward threw two interceptions, including a pick six, in the Cougars’ first loss with him as a starting quarterback since 2014. He also had 359 yards passing, 94 rushing and was in on four touchdowns. Still, it will be hard for Ward to stay here as Houston’s playoff hopes fade.

Next: Tulsa, which ranks fifth in the American Athletic Conference in defense at 5.07 yards per play.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.