2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 10, Oregon at Washington
Pac-12 Fearless Predictions &
- FREE EXPERT COLLEGE FOOTBALL SELECTIONS
- Get Tickets For This Game
Nov. 5 Oregon 34 … at Washington 17
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) SEATTLE -- For the second straight week it took Oregon a half to get rolling.
Once the sixth-ranked Ducks did, they overwhelmed Washington for the eighth straight time.
Now it's safe. Everyone can look ahead to next week's showdown at No. 4 Stanford.
Oregon's LaMichael James ran for 156 yards and a touchdown, and the Ducks forced three key turnovers for a 34-17 win over Washington on Saturday night, extending the longest win streak in the rivalry with their foes to the north.
On a night filled with Washington nostalgia as the school honored the 1991 co-national championship team and said goodbye to Husky Stadium in its current incarnation before a $250 million renovation, the Ducks (8-1, 6-0) quacked the party.
Eddie Pleasant picked off Washington quarterback Keith Price twice in the first half and Terrance Mitchell stripped tight end Michael Hartvigson late in the third quarter. The Ducks converted the three turnovers into 14 points.
A week after he was benched at halftime, Darron Thomas threw for 169 yards and a 4-yard touchdown to tight end David Paulson. Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas both added second-half TD runs for the Ducks.
Thomas' only mistake came in the first half when a pass attempt slipped out of his hand for a fumble and led to a Washington field goal. And while he sometimes was wildly off target, Thomas made the key throws when he needed to. He was 13 of 25 passing.
Perhaps no throw was bigger for Thomas than converting a third-and-9 early in the third quarter immediately after Washington had scored to pull within 24-17. Washington brought a blitz that was picked up and allowed Thomas time to find Paulson over the middle for a 34-yard gain and quiet Washington's largest home crowd of the season that had the 91-year-old stadium swaying again.
The pass led to a De'Anthony Thomas touchdown run and the Ducks' lead was comfortably back to two scores.
Now it's safe to look forward to next Saturday's matchup at Stanford that will likely decide the Pac-12 North champion and presumed host for the first Pac-12 title game.
Meanwhile, Washington lost for the third time this season to a Top 15 program, although this won didn't bring the accompanying embarrassment that the Huskies 65-21 defeat at Stanford did when the Cardinal ran for 446 yards.
Washington failed to get star running back Chris Polk going regularly. A week after he bulldozed through Arizona for 144 yards rushing, 100 yards receiving and five total touchdowns, Polk was kept out of the end zone and every yard he gained was earned. Polk finished with 80 yards on 24 carries and had six catches for 31 yards.
Price was beat up by the Ducks defense and threw for only 143 yards despite completing 24 of 35 passes. Price was briefly shaken up on a sack with 7:49 left when he was hit from behind by Oregon's Dion Jordan, the sixth time Price was sacked in the game. He walked off under his own power and returned one play later after backup Nick Montana hit Williams on a 53-yard pass, only to see Kevin Smith drop a touchdown pass with 7:09 left.
The six sacks and Polk's inability to get going was part of an impressive night for Oregon's defense that was giving up nearly 400 yards per game. They held the Huskies to 278 yards, only the second time this season Washington was held under 400 yards.
For the second straight week, Oregon's first half was sluggish at best. They led only 15-10 a week ago at home to Washington State and held just a 17-10 advantage on the Huskies Saturday night with most of the momentum in the favor of Washington after Price hit Hartvigson on a 1-yard TD pass with 30 seconds left in the half.
But Oregon barely saw the ball in the first 30 minutes. They ran just 22 offensive plays for 134 yards and had less than 7 minutes of possession.
The third quarter was the complete opposite.
Oregon gained 194 yards and ran 28 plays in the third quarter alone. They got a 1-yard TD plunge from Barner on the opening drive of the second half -- a 12-play march that took less than three minutes. Washington answered with freshman Kasen Williams making an impressive toe-drag TD catch to get the Huskies back within seven.
But Thomas found Paulson on Oregon's biggest third-down conversion and three plays later Thomas was pitching to De'Anthony Thomas on the option for a 6-yard TD run and the lead back to 14.
Oregon (7-1) at Washington (6-2) Nov. 5, 10:30, FSN
Here’s The Deal … If Oregon at Stanford a week from now is the Pac-12 main course of 2011, then this week’s game in Seattle will be a delectable appetizer.
Everyone is pointing to the Nov. 12 showdown on the Farm, the league’s version of LSU-Alabama, but Washington is determined to make the North Division—and the conference—into more than a two-team discussion. The Huskies have been a pleasant surprise throughout the fall, earning bowl-eligibility before Halloween for the first time in a decade. They recovered from a 65-21 beatdown at the hands of Stanford a week earlier to narrowly escape Arizona last Saturday, 42-31. As if this vastly underrated rivalry needs any more juice,
Oregon has owned U-Dub, winning the last seven games by no fewer than 20 points. Breaking that streak would be another significant brick in the foundation for head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Oregon, now up to No. 8 in the latest BCS rankings, have remained on course since dropping the opener to top-ranked LSU. The Ducks have scored at least 41 points in seven straight wins, all by no fewer than two touchdowns. However, with all due respect to the surging program, who of heft has it defeated? The Arizona State game was impressive, but that was staged in Eugene. And the only two road games during the streak were at substandard Arizona and Colorado. A win in Seattle could give Oregon the propulsion it needs going into the upcoming contests with Stanford and USC.
Why Oregon Might Win: The Ducks’ string of games with at least 40 points will continue against a young and vulnerable Washington defense that ranks No. 10 in the league. The Huskies are especially inexperienced on the perimeter, which means stringing out the Oregon speedsters will be a significant challenge. Now that the elbow of RB LaMichael James is close to 100%, the Quack Attack will have its full complement of weapons at its disposal. As always, No. 21 won’t need to be the focal with backs Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas around. Don’t be fooled by U-Dub’s overall numbers against the run this season. This is the same unit that was obliterated on the ground two weeks ago by Stanford, which amassed a school-record 446 yards behind a pair of 100-yard runners.
Why Washington Might Win: Oregon will score. The Huskies, though, can keep pace with its own collection of playmakers. While Washington might not be as explosive, it actually is the more balanced of the two combatants. Its running game and passing attack have been potent thanks to RB Chris Polk and QB Keith Price, respectively. Polk is a fierce competitor, and one of just six backs in the country with at least 1,000 yards. Price has been effective throughout the year, though he’ll probably be asked to manage the game a little more with screens and short passes to his receivers, such as Jermaine Kearse and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The sophomore will want to get the ball off quickly in order to offset the speed rush of Ducks ends Dion Jordan and Terrell Turner, and LB Josh Kaddu.
What To Watch Out For: What can the Ducks expect from QB Darron Thomas? He’s a bit of a wild card for the visitors after getting yanked in favor of Bryan Bennett a week ago. Oh, he’ll get the start from Kelly, but his hook could be a bit quicker, especially after Bennett provided a spark in the second half of the Washington State game. Thomas was a bit rusty after sitting out the Colorado game a week earlier with a knee injury, but is determined to bounce back and keep the surging competition on the sidelines. While Oregon doesn’t quite have a quarterback controversy, the situation involving Thomas and Bennett is a fluid one that bears watching.
What Will Happen: The final game at Husky Stadium before an 18-month, $250 million renovation has the potential to be a classic. Both offenses will be on point, racing up and down the field, and approaching 1,000 total yards between the two. Washington will not wilt at the challenge, particularly with an electric home crowd providing a little extra energy boost. The Huskies will go blow-for-blow with the Ducks, riding the broad shoulders of Polk, like an undersized cornerback. Oregon, however, has been here before. And it knows how to survive tough games away from Autzen Stadium. With a tinker or two at halftime, the Ducks will explode out of the break, ending U-Dub’s upset bid by winning the third and fourth quarters.
CFN Prediction: Oregon 48 … Washington 31
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Oregon -15.5 O/U: 74
- Get Tickets For This Game
- FREE EXPERT COLLEGE FOOTBALL SELECTIONS