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No. 5 Oregon is down but not out

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No. 5 Oregon is down but not out

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Oregon still has a chance, however slight, to make it to the national championship game. The Ducks are just going to need some help.

OK, a lot of help.

First, the fifth-ranked Ducks have to beat rival Oregon State in the Civil War next Saturday. That's a challenge, because the game is in Corvallis, where the Beavers are known for big upsets. And Oregon State (8-2) is no slouch this season.

It also would be a big help for Oregon if UCLA beats Stanford in Los Angeles on the same day. The Cardinal knocked the Ducks off the top of The Associated Press Top 25 with a 17-14 overtime victory Saturday night, but UCLA, like the Beavers, has made a major turnaround this season. The Bruins won the Pac-12 South title when they beat Southern California 38-28 on Saturday.

Most of all, the Ducks need Notre Dame to lose to USC next weekend. But the Fighting Irish are undefeated and Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley is out after taking a hard hit in the loss to the Bruins.

About the only thing that's for sure is Oregon's quest for a second national championship appearance in the past three years has veered off course. And even a shot at the Rose Bowl is in jeopardy.

``It's not going to be easy, but we understand that we have a couple of more games and whatever plays out plays out,'' Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said. ``We just have to control what we can control.''

Oregon (10-1, 7-1) dropped to No. 5 when the new AP poll was released on Sunday. Notre Dame jumped from No. 3 to No. 1. Kansas State, which also was undefeated until a stunning 52-24 loss to unranked Baylor on Saturday, fell from No. 2 to No. 7.

Meanwhile, Stanford (9-2, 7-1) jumped three spots to No. 11, and UCLA hopped up two places to No. 15. Oregon State, which beat California 62-14, fell a spot to No. 16.

In the BCS standings released Sunday night, Oregon was No. 5, Stanford was No. 8, Oregon State No. 15 and UCLA No. 17.

While the Pac-12 South has already been clinched by the Bruins, the race for the North won't be decided until next weekend. The Ducks and the Cardinal each have one conference loss, and if both win this Saturday, Stanford would claim the other spot in the Pac-12 championship game on Nov. 30.

And that means Stanford could play UCLA (9-2, 6-2) two weeks in a row. If Stanford loses and Oregon beats the Beavers, the Ducks would win the Pac-12 North outright. The Ducks have won three straight Pac-12 championships.

At least theoretically, Oregon could go to the national title game without playing in the conference championship. And it also could receive an at-large bid for a BCS bowl.

Oregon was ranked No. 4 last season when then-No. 18 USC visited Autzen Stadium and left with a 38-35 upset. Alejandro Maldonado missed a 37-yeard field goal in the final seconds that would have tied it.

Against the Cardinal, Maldonado missed a 41-yard field goal in overtime. Stanford came back with Jordan Williamson's winning 37-yard field goal.

The loss snapped Oregon's 13-game winning streak, which was the longest in the nation. It also snapped the Ducks' NCAA-record streak of 23 games with at least 30 points.

``We want to bounce back and get back on the right track on Monday,'' said Kenjon Barner, who was held to just 66 yards rushing after entering with an average of 136 yards per game. ``We've been here before against USC last year and we have today and tomorrow to feel this loss and then we have to get back to work on Monday.''

The 116th Civil War game lies ahead.

While Oregon State (8-2, 6-2) has already been eliminated from Rose Bowl contention, the team is still bowl-eligible after a remarkable rebound from a 3-9 finish last season.

``I didn't see the score up on the board, just heard the crowd cheering,'' said Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer, who was still on the field at Reser Stadium on Saturday night when the Ducks lost to Stanford.

``I asked one of our players what happened and I found out it was 17-14 in overtime but I didn't know it was over yet,'' he added. ``I didn't find out until later on in the game that they had lost but I try to not pay too much attention to that stuff. We will see the tape and figure out where they are vulnerable.''

Oregon State's last victory in the Civil War came in 2007, when the Beavers snapped a 10-game winning streak for the home team with a 38-31 overtime victory at Autzen.

The next season, Oregon State needed a Civil War win for its first Rose Bowl bid in 44 years, but fell to Oregon 65-38. In 2009, the winner of the game was guaranteed a Rose Bowl berth in the so-called ``War of the Roses'' and the Ducks won 37-33.

But the Beavers have become known for pulling off a few major upsets in the past decade.

In 2008, Oregon State was a 26-point underdog and defeated top-ranked USC 27-21 in Corvallis, a loss that ultimately cost the Trojans a shot at the national championship.

The year before, Oregon State derailed No. 2 California 31-28 on Oct. 31 in Berkeley. The Golden Bears were on the verge of becoming No. 1 after the top-ranked team that week had lost.

In 2006, Oregon State defeated the No. 3 Trojans, 33-31, again at Reser.

Another upset would continue a charmed season for the Beavers, who were picked at the start of the season to finish last in the Pac-12 North by reporters who cover the league.

``I can't explain how much it will mean to me,'' Oregon State receiver Markus Wheaton said after the win over the Bears. ``We will get back out there tomorrow and prepare for next week. Next week, it is unexplainable how much it means to me.''

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Capitals return home still short-handed, but with momentum after strong road trip.

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Capitals return home still short-handed, but with momentum after strong road trip.

The Capitals return home to play the Chicago Blackhawks (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington) after a successful road trip (3-1-0), but will still be without forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie (upper-body injuries), who remain day-to-day, according to coach Todd Reirden.   

Here are four things to watch:

Holtby’s back

After missing three games with an upper-body injury of his own, Caps goalie Braden Holtby was thrown into the fire down 4-2 at Montreal on Monday. But he played lights out and matched Habs goalie Carey Price save-for-save, finishing with 22 as Washington rallied for a 5-4 overtime win. Holtby now feels good enough as he will start against the Blackhawks tonight. In his past four appearances, Holtby has stopped 116 of 122 shots on goal.

New-look Blackhawks

Chicago’s slow start cost Joel Quenneville his job on Nov. 6. An NHL coach getting fired is rarely news. But when it’s a guy who’s been in his post for more than a decade and has won three Stanley Cups it is still jarring. The results are mixed since Jeremy Colliton took over. Chicago lost his first two games behind the bench, but is 2-0-2 in its past four games. That’s a small step in the right direction, but the Blackhawks are in sixth place in the Central Division.

Wilsonnnnn!!!!!

This was supposed to be the day Tom Wilson returned to the lineup after his 20-game suspension. An arbitrator cut that short last week so Wilson played on all four games of the road trip and had a goal and four assists. Not a bad start. Wednesday he gets his first home game of the year and what should be a raucous reception from the faithful at Capital One Arena. 

Old mates

On Monday, the crowd at Bell Centre booed former Canadien Lars Eller, who promptly took the puck up ice and scored the game-winning goal in overtime. It was a great moment for a player who felt Montreal gave up on him way too soon when trading him to the Capitals. Michal Kempny knows how he feels. 

Languishing on the bench for most of last season in Chicago as a healthy scratch – he played just 31 games - Kempny sees his old team for the first time since helping Washington win a Stanley Cup. Quenneville is gone, but the defenseman would love to show the rest of the organization trading him was a mistake. 

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5 things to know about new Wizards forward Okaro White

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5 things to know about new Wizards forward Okaro White

The Washington Wizards are set to add power forward, Okaro White to their NBA roster. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player.

1. White, 26, is a 6-foot-8, 205-pound power forward who played two seasons for the Miami Heat. In 41 total games, White averaged 2.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and shot 38.8 percent from the field. Though he never appeared in games with them, White also spent time with the Cavs, Hawks and Spurs. He also played Summer League for the Mavs and Grizzlies.

2. He has a decent outside shot for a big man. White has shot 35.6 percent from three in the NBA and made 37.5 percent from long range as a senior at Florida State. The fact he's an excellent free throw shooter is also a good sign. White made 79.9 percent from the line in college and has shot 86 percent in the G-League and 88 percent in the NBA.

3. White played with former Wizards first-round pick Chris Singleton in college. White was a freshman, while Singleton was a junior and the star of the team. White was also a starter on the 2011-12 team that won the Seminoles' first-ever ACC championship.

4. Though he's a bit undersized for a big man, White can block shots. He once had four in a game against the Nets on Jan. 25 of 2017 and three against the Sixers in March of that year. 

5. White's mom, Charmaine, was an Olympic athlete who represented Jamaica in track and field.

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