EUGENE - With the Cougars down just one score to Oregon State in the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Connor Halliday threw a trio of picks on his team's next three possessions. The turnover spree all but sealed the deal for the Beavers.
Halliday has put up gaudy numbers this year, which comes as no surprise in Mike Leach's air-raid offensive attack, but the high volume of passes has also meant a high volume of passes picked off.
"Obviously with the number of balls in the air, you're going to have more tipped balls or slightly off throws," said Oregon coach Mark Helfrich following Wednesday's practice. "But he's been a very efficient passer from what we've seen from him in the past and this year."
Halliday's 13 interceptions are the most in the NCAA this year. But his interception-to-attempt ratio is still better than three quarterbacks in the conference.
Having watched Halliday on tape, Helfrich says he saw a quarterback who came "unravelled" against OSU, something he hopes his defense can mimic on Saturday.
"You never want the quarterback comfortable, regardless of if he's first-year starter or a fifth year senior, you never want that guy comfortable," he said.
De'Anthony Thomas spoke with the media for the second time in three days. Thomas is still nursing an injured ankle, but said he did "practice a bit" Wednesday.
His status for Saturday's game versus WSU will be made Friday, with the final nod coming from Thomas himself after discussing things with trainers and coaches.
Thomas was asked if his conditioning has lagged behind due to the ailment, and gave a fairly definitive no.
"I feel like my body will never be out of shape for some reason," he said. "I don't why, but I feel like when I rest my body, I get better. I feel like this rest is a good rest and when I come back, I'll be stronger and faster."