Oregon vs. Washington prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Ducks and Huskies.
When: Saturday, Oct. 8 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
TV Broadcast: FOX
Washington comes into this one at 5-0, including a 2-0 mark versus conference opponents thus far. Last weekend, the Huskies absolutely embarrassed then-No. 7 Stanford, 44-6. Chris Petersen’s squad was expected to have one of the nation’s best defenses heading into the season, and it proved it against the Cardinal. Washington held Stanford scoreless until the very end of the third quarter but then stopped the Cardinal’s two-point conversion attempt.
As for the Ducks, what started off on the right foot has quickly gotten away from them. Oregon has dropped its last three games to Nebraska, Colorado and, most recently, Washington State. The Ducks allowed the Cougars to score 21 points in both the second and fourth equarters. Oregon was unable to match Wazzu’s scoring output and fell, 51-33.
The all-time series between Washington and Oregon has been dominated by the Ducks in recent years. Oregon has won the last 12 matchups, dating back to 2004, but the Huskies lead the all-time series, 58-45-5. The last time Washington won was in 2003 in Seattle, 42-10.
What To Know About Washington
Jake Browning is a man possessed. The sophomore quarterback has put up some ridiculous numbers this season. Through five games, he’s completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 1,114 yards, 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He’s been on the same page as John Ross, Chico McClatcher and Dante Pettis, and that spells trouble for a weak Oregon secondary. Against Stanford, Browning completed 15-of-21 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Ross and Pettis both caught a touchdown while Aaron Fuller pulled down the other.
Defensively, the Huskies are absolutely suffocating. They’re No. 15 in total defense in the nation, allowing 299.2 yards per game. Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria are the real deal in the second level. As a unit, the Washington defense has totaled 20 sacks, forced 10 fumbles and picked off three passes. This defense can do damage anywhere, anytime.
What to Know About Oregon
Royce Freeman was a go against Washington State, and the star tailback got right back on track. He took 19 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns. He’s now sitting at 463 total rushing yards with seven rushing touchdowns. He’s the key for Mark Helfrich’s team, while quarterback Dakota Prukop has to be better than he was against the Cougars. He completed 14-of-22 passes for 132 yards with an interception. That won’t get it done against a hungry Huskies defense. Prukop is still rocking a 4:1 touchdown-interception ratio, and he’s thrown for 1,173 yards, but he’ll have to be extra careful with the ball against Washington. Although, it seems as though the Ducks are planning to start true freshman quarterback Justin Herbert this week. Herbert has completed 3-of-5 passes this season for 70 yards.
Oregon’s defense ranks No. 102 against the run and No. 109 against the pass. The Ducks have forced only one fumble, but they have picked off five passes and totaled 14 sacks. It’s pretty clear that the defense is missing DeForest Buckner. Brady Hoke needs to figure out a way to get some more penetration in the pocket because Buckner isn’t walking through those doors again.
Offense: Washington – Browning is simply throwing darts. He was dropping dimes in the bucket on Stanford, and he’s the reason why the Huskies get the edge.
Defense: Washington – This one isn’t difficult. The Huskies are better at all three levels of the defense.
Special Teams: Oregon – The Ducks get this one because Charles Nelson already has one kick return touchdown this year, and Washington kicker Cameron Van Winkle has missed three field goals and an extra point. Oregon’s Aidan Schneider hasn’t taken many field goal attempts this year, but he also hasn’t missed yet.
Coaching: Washington – Chris Petersen is one of the best head coaches in college football, while Mark Helfrich’s seat is getting very hot.
Matchup To Watch
Jake Browning vs. Oregon secondary
Browning can do it all. He can stand straight up in the pocket and deliver: corner routes, down the seams, etc. Any route on the route tree, Browning will put the ball where it needs to be. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of looks Hoke decides to give Browning in this one. If the Ducks go press man too often, Washington could jump out to a big lead with a couple of deep balls. Oregon will have to move some guys around, disguise its coverages well, and sprinkle in a couple corner blitzes to keep the sophomore quarterback guessing. If it doesn’t, Browning will shred the secondary.
Spread: Washington -8
Oregon vs. Washington Prediction
Yeah, totally not buying the spread for this one because look at what the Huskies just did to Stanford. Browning will have another great game. Washington will slide the protection and keep the pocket moving to help keep Browning’s jersey clean and to give him some easy passing lanes. He’ll find Pettis early for a touchdown, and the Huskies will get out to a two-score lead by halftime. Freeman will be bottled up like Christian McCaffrey was last week, and the Washington defense will be the story of the game. That is not the defensive unit that you want Herbert to make his first start against. The Huskies stay unbeaten with this one.
Oregon vs. Washington Score Prediction: Washington 49, Oregon 24