It will be another intense matchup this week as Washington football takes the show on the road to face the Oregon Ducks. Our Lucas Duncan has the breakdown.
The Washington Huskies take on the Oregon Ducks this week at Autzen Stadium. The last two contests have seen Washington outscoring the Ducks 108-24. However, Washington will have to deal with a healthy Justin Herbert under center this time around. Our newest contributor Lucas Duncan breaks down the game for us.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Oregon’s offense can score. Heisman trophy candidate quarterback Justin Herbert runs the Ducks offense which currently averages 45.6 points per game, good for 11th in the nation and first in the PAC-12. This is not the offense we’ve seen in years past from the Ducks. With a combined weight of 320 lbs along the offensive line, they are a ground and pound power running team. To counter, the Huskies boast an even better defense, currently allowing just 13.7 points per game, good for third in the nation, led by linebacker Ben Burr-Kirvin.
More from Washington Huskies Football
- Washington State Football: Update on former Cougars in the NFL 12/2018
- Washington Football: Update on Huskies alumni in the NFC – Nov. 2018
- Washington Football: What you need to know for WSU 11/23
- Apple Cup: History leading up to the 2018 edition
- PAC-12 Football Power Rankings week of 11/21 – Emerald City Swagger
Ultimately this game may come down to how well Washington can protect quarterback Jake Browning. The Ducks defense does two things exceptionally well, they get to the quarterback and they stop the run. Oregon’s defense currently allows just 2.97 yards per rush, good for second in the PAC-12. Oregon also leads the PAC-12 in team sacks with 16. They are led by senior defensive end Jalen Jelks and OLB Justin Hollins. If Washington can’t run the ball or fails to protect Browning, they could be in trouble at Autzen.
An Achilles Heel
For all the good Oregon’s defense can bring however, its far from a perfect unit. Oregon has a young pair of starting corners in sophomores Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham Jr. Aside from being young, both Oregon corners also stand at five-feet, eleven inches, which has led to issues when facing bigger receivers in the PAC-12.
In Oregon’s loss to Stanford, 6’4″ Stanford receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside acted as a huge red zone target catching 4 passes for 84 yards to go along with 2 touchdowns. This continues the trend of Oregon’s undersized corners struggling against bigger more physical receivers. It’s good news for Washington receiver Ty Jones. The sophomore is 6’4″ and currently leads the Huskies with four touchdown receptions.
If Washington can keep Browning upright, it could be a long day for the Oregon defense as they try to contain the likes of Ty Jones and dynamic receiver Aaron Fuller. Especially because Oregon tends to leave their young corners out on an island in man coverage.
On paper, this is a close matchup between possibly the two best teams the PAC-12 has to offer. We all know that the Washington defense can and will travel, however, this game could very well come down to the overall performance Jake Browning can put together.