A Look Back, & A Look Ahead, At Oregon’s Back-to-Back Weekends vs. Washington Teams
Saturday, October 20, 2018
SEBASTIAN PYCIOR, Oregon Sports News
The Oregon Ducks’ win over the Washington Huskies this past weekend was a close one, but it was also pretty good. The Ducks have plenty to be happy about, although there are some tidbits to take away from all sides.
- The Washington Huskies have an abysmal defensive front. Per Football Outsiders, the Huskies rank 120th in the nation per sack rate.
- Huskies quarterback Jake Browning had a difficult time passing this past weekend, but Justin Herbert arguably had it worse. Although the Ducks quarterback didn’t commit a turnover, he managed to complete 18-of-32 pass attempts while only accumulating a little over 200 yards. Browning boasted a QBR of 67.2 compared to Herbert’s 57.7.
- Husky wide receiver Aaron Fuller was caged, only catching two passes for 15 yards.
- Poor UW field-goal kicker Peyton Henry was put in a tough spot late in the game when coach Petersen opted to run the clock down and make Henry attempt to win the game. It was puzzling as to why Petersen didn’t make the Huskies take a couple shots into the endzone, it’s understandable. Earlier in the game he made a 41 yard field goal only to miss the last chip attempt. It’s his first missed field goal against PAC-12 opponents this year.
- The defensive line is formidable, although a tad quiet in the passing game against the Huskies. They hurried Jake Browning 2 times and recorded a sack. The Ducks couldn’t really stop the running game as Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed combined for 26 carries and 130 rushing yards.
- Oregon squeaked by one of the best defenses in the nation, per Football Outsiders.
- Is Ducks’ receiver Dillon Mitchell any good? Yeah. He alone accounted for more than half of Herbert’s passing yards and the Huskies just couldn’t get him locked up. He’s already passed his production from last year, and is set for a huge day this coming weekend against a solid passing defense in the Washington State Cougars.
It’s finally here. ESPN College Gameday makes its way to the Palouse, and surely, everybody’s going to have a safe and happy time. This game pitting the WSU Cougars against the Oregon Ducks already offers PAC-12 Championship implications. What should you expect from each team?
- Fear of defensive lines don’t exist in Mike Leach’s offensive purview. Boasting arguably the 13th quality offense in the nation and the top passing offense, the Cougars will do everything in their power to dink-and-dunk away from any blitzing the Ducks could bring.
- On the other hand, the Oregon Ducks bring their own fire power to the Palouse. The team is extremely efficient on passing downs. If the Ducks find themselves in an early whole, expect them to be comfortable marching down the field to catch up.
- The WSU Cougars have converted 90 percent of all of their possessions when reaching the redzone. The Cougs get there mostly through the air as about 70 percent of all of their offense are passing plays.
I wouldn’t expect a cutthroat defensive battle between these two teams. The betting hotshots in Vegas project this score to be 35-32 in favor of the Cougars, but this could easily end in a blowout. It’ll be a crazy environment, and teams require crazy to lead them. Just like Mario Cristobal marched up and down the line at Autzen to will his team to a win against the sleek and innovative Petersen, watch out for a special kind of loopy when Mike Leach gets a chance to show off his offense on national television. It’s going to be wild, but I think the Washington State Cougars pull this one out with a 45 – 27 Ducks drubbing. It’s the PAC-12 in 2018: trust crazy.