By Anne M. Peterson

The Associated Press

Next up

Oregon at Stanford

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 14 TV: FS1

EUGENE — Eleventh- ranked Washington State held true freshman quarterback Braxton Burmeister and Oregon scoreless after the first quarter for a 33-10 victory Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.

Burmeister made his first college start and passed for 145 yards and a touchdown for Oregon (4-2 overall, 1-2 Pac-12). He also threw two interceptions.

Justin Herbert started at quarterback for the Ducks to start the season, but he broke his collarbone in Oregon’s 45-24 victory over California last weekend and is out indefinitely.

Running back Royce Freeman, who also left the game against Cal because of injury, started against the Cougars and ran 16 yards on his first carry. He finished with 62 yards rushing.

“They did their homework,” Freeman said of Washington State’s run defense. “We’ve got to go out there and be more aggressive next time.”

Ducks coach Willie Taggart said he hugged Burmeister after the game, telling him he still believed in him.

“We didn’t play well around him. We have a lot of weapons that aren’t out there, and that hurts too,” Taggart said. ‘We’ve just got to do a better job, you know? They beat us.”

Key injuries among Oregon’s receivers affected Burmeister’s debut. Senior Charles Nelson remained out with a right ankle injury while Dillon Mitchell, who was also injured in the first half against Cal, was unavailable because of a concussion.

Burmeister competed this past week with Taylor Alie for the starting job. Alie replaced Herbert against Cal, but left the game in the fourth quarter after it appeared he hit his head on the turf. Following Saturday night’s game, Taggart said Alie was not available to play and that it became clear he was out Friday.

Washington State coach Mike Leach said Washington State was prepared for either Burmeister or Alie.

“They did all that cloak and dagger, ‘Guess who’s going to play?’” said Leach, who praised Burmeister as tough. “Which we didn’t care because they have an offensive identity that they’ve had for a long time and obviously that guy was going to try and duplicate that.”

The Cougars are off to their best start since winning seven to start the 2001 season.

“One thing we can’t think about is being bowl eligible,” said linebacker Hunter Dale. “We can’t get comfortable. We have to keep winning one week at a time. We also have to listen to our coaches and not the outside noise.”

After Luke Falk’s 41-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Morrow on the Cougars’ opening play from scrimmage, the Ducks scored on Aidan Schneider’s 20-yard field goal. Oregon took the lead on Burmeister’s 30-yard pass to Jacob Breeland.

Erik Powell made field goals from 25 and 52 yards to give the lead back to the Cougars (6-0, 3-0), and Falk threw a 10-yard TD pass to Renard Bell on Washington State’s first series of the second half for a 20-10 lead. Powell added a 47-yard field goal midway through the third quarter.

Falk’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Johnson-Mack opened the fourth quarter on the first play after the Cougars intercepted Burmeister. Powell added his final field goal with 1:41 left.