The 5th ranked Huskies travel to Eugene and try to do something that hasn’t been done since 2003, and that’s beat the Ducks.
Fresh off of a statement win against Stanford, the Huskies must regroup and refocus for the task at hand. There’s a big rivalry game to play and despite the 58-45-5 series lead for the Huskies, it’s been all Oregon since 2004. If the Huskies can’t knock Oregon off this year, when will they ever?
The stars seem to be aligning for the streak to end. The Huskies are 5-0 and wield their most talented team since their Rose Bowl team of 2001.
Oregon looks as vulnerable as they have in a long time with inconsistent quarterback play and an abysmal defense.
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It’s expected that the Ducks will be starting freshmen quarterback Justin Herbert against a Huskies defense that leads the Pac-12 in sacks with 21 and quarterback hits with 69, and that’s despite rarely sending more than four pass-rushers, which they’ve done just 10 times this season and didn’t do at all against a tough Stanford offensive line. The Huskies defense has to be licking their chops at the idea of playing against a freshman quarterback and a pretty mediocre offensive line at Autzen tonight. The key to this game will be in the run game though as Royce Freeman is having another solid season and will likely be asked to do a lot more with Herbert playing on Saturday.
On the other side of the ball, it looks a lot worse for the Ducks.
They rank 119th out of 128 teams in terms of total defense, allowing 490 yards per game and 36.2 points per game. The Huskies looked unstoppable on offense last week with both the passing and running games, and more and more the match-up looks to be in the Huskies’ favor.
There are, however, a few things about this game that should be concerning to Husky fans.
The game is on the road, and the Ducks have traditionally been a lot better in Eugene at Autzen than on the road.
The Huskies are coming off a game that was deemed as one of the most important in the program’s history, could there possibly be some sort of big-game hangover?
And of course there’s the streak. The Ducks have won 12 straight games and this rivalry has been extremely one-sided since the turn of the century.
There’s been a few times where it’s been the “Huskies’ year” to finally knock off Oregon. Is it finally going to be that year in 2016?
If it’s not going to end this year then it’s never going to happen. The Huskies are loaded on both sides of the ball, and both the offense and the defense are playing great and looked absolutely vicious against a Stanford team that is more talented than the Ducks.
I expect the Ducks to come out red-hot and play with a lot of emotion, but for that to be bottled up and for the Huskies to take over and run away with the game late and give former Oregon assistant Chris Petersen another signature win for 2016.
Jake Browning will throw for about 225 and three scores and Myles Gaskin will add 120 yards and at least one score on the ground.
The Huskies defense will come away with 2 takeaways and four sacks against the freshmen quarterback.
Final Score: 41-21