By Ryan Thorburn

The (Eugene) Register-Guard

Next up

Washington at Oregon

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: Fox Radio: KBND 1110-AM; KLRR 101.7-FM

EUGENE — Oregon has not fired a football coach in 40 years.

At least Don Read, who was let go after the 1976 season, did not have to deal with a social media lynch mob.

Mark Helfrich has been getting skewered by fans and even some national columnists on the internet.

Ryan Sotelo, of Santa Cruz, California, started an online fundraising campaign to pay for the fourth-year Oregon coach’s buyout, which is about $11 million.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe account had accrued $260.

Helfrich is doing his best to deal with the outside criticism after the Ducks’ 2-3 start, which has included back-to-back losses to Colorado and Washington State to begin Pac-12 play.

“You have a little different conversation at home with the kids about what people are saying about you and managing that,” Helfrich said. “Unfortunately, that’s the reality we’re in.”

Oregon hosts No. 5 Washington on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. The Huskies (5-0, 2-0) are determined to end their 12-game losing streak in the series.

Helfrich is walking a tightrope between focusing on correcting his team’s issues in practice and using the rivalry as a battle cry to turn the season around.

“That’s something we’re learning as a team right now is that faceless opponent mentality, totally focusing on us, totally internalizing those things,” Helfrich said. “Again, week to week if there’s things that can stoke that fire, that’s impossible not to hear that noise. That will never change.”

Dye expected to start

Troy Dye, who was the Pac-12 defensive player of the week after making 11 tackles in his debut against UC Davis, was sorely missed during Oregon’s 51-33 loss to Washington State. The talented true freshman, who was out last week due to an unspecified injury, is listed as the starting strong-side linebacker on this week’s depth chart.

Defensive end Jalen Jelks, another key defensive player who has missed the last three games with a knee injury, is back on the two-deep.

Jalen Brown is listed as the starting wide receiver for Dwayne Stanford, who was injured against Washington State.

Conversion woes continue

Failed two-point conversions proved costly in Oregon’s 45-42 loss at Nebraska, and the lack of execution also prevented the Ducks from mounting a serious comeback threat in the second half at Washington State.

After Royce Freeman’s 75-yard touchdown run with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter, Oregon was within 30-20. But with a chance to make it a one-possession deficit, Dakota Prukop’s conversion pass attempt fell incomplete between two confused receivers.

Charles Nelson gave Oregon a glimmer of hope with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to make the score 44-26. This time Prukop’s conversion attempt, with a chance to make it a two-possession game, was intercepted.

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