Brandon Dorlus had just two tackles last season when Oregon beat Washington State.

It wasn’t that the Ducks didn’t harass Cougar quarterback Cameron Ward — they sacked him five times as a team — but Dorlus remembers a couple of missed tackles on his part.

“Last year I had like two missed opportunities on him because I was trying to go kill him to take him out of the game,” the senior defensive end said on Tuesday when he met with reporters following practice. “That’s not how it’s supposed to be… It doesn’t have to be a kill shot. Let’s get him down.”

Behind a dizzying performance from Ward last season in Pullman, Wazzu led Oregon for almost the entire game. They were up as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter before Oregon mounted a furious comeback. In helping the Cougs build their lead, Ward completed 37 of his 48 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns.

“This is probably the most annoying quarterback,” Dorlus said. “I don’t like going against him. He drops back like 13 yards. It’s like backyard football.”

The Cougars had one of the nation’s most prolific offenses through their first four games. Ward was playing like a Heisman dark horse and Wazzu had knocked off back-to-back ranked opponents to climb as high as 13th in the AP poll.

Things have taken a bit of a nosedive since then. Washington State has lost two straight and its inability to run the football has caught up to the offense. First, it was a 25-17 loss to UCLA on the road. Last week at home, Washington State lost 44-6 to Arizona. Ward had just 192 yards passing and an interception.

Oregon entered the Washington game in Week 7 with one of the best pass defenses in America by per-play efficiency. And even still, the Ducks are only giving up 5.5 yards per pass and rank third in the Pac-12 in sacks.

The Ducks will look to get after Ward and get back in the win column. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC.