Oregon is really good at football. And, thanks to some sort of voodoo witchcraft by Steve Sarkisian, washington is also good at football. So, for the first time since before Ty Willingham yanked down his britches and took a giant fudgie all over the program, the Oregon-washington game should prove to be a classic. Stepping onto the field Saturday will be two of the most dynamic offenses in the country, and two inconsistent defenses that will have to live on the edge of reckless in order to stop them. Oregon comes in as the heavy favorite, even as husky Stadium, but this is in no way a game the Ducks should take lightly. Let's take a look at the factors that could swing the game for either team.
The Five Reasons why Oregon will beat Washington
1. Oregon is the more talented team - As I stated before, both teams offenses are better than the defenses they will be facing. But both of Oregon's units, offensive and defensive, are better than washington's. The stats, both common (Uw's D gives up over 50% of third downs, Oregon's O averages 13 more ppg than the huskies) and super-nerdy (see jtlight's How We Go), back it up.
2. The Ducks are healthy - LaMichael James' robot elbow is through beta testing. Darron Thomas' knee has had two weeks to recuperate. A beat-up Oregon offense managed to put up 88 points in the last two games. It'll be nice to see the Ducks at full strength once again.
3. The Ducks D is just hitting their stride - Oregon's defense gets a bum rap much of the time. They face more plays than any other defense in the country. They give up lots of yards as a result. But where Oregon's defense has their strength is on the scoreboard. The Ducks rank 33rd in the country, allowing 23 points per game. But that number drops to 20.6 per game in Pac-12 play, and 18 points per game in their last four. The Duck D has a knack for knuckling down in the red zone and turning 7's into 3's. They face their biggest test of the season in the huskies, who have one of the best red zone offenses in all of college football.
4. We're a big bunch of jerks who like to ruin a good time - washington hasn't won in seven years. This is the last game at husky Stadium before it undergoes renovation. The neighborly thing to do would be to throw them a bone. But the Ducks are not neighborly. Oregon wants nothing more than to stroll into Seattle, stomp all over the purple-shirted pansy-asses, and head back down the road to get ready for Stanford. And they can do it.
5. Oregon's rushing attack vs. washington's run defense - With LMJ back healthy, KJB coming off of consecutive 100 yard games, and DAT busy being an ungodly freak of nature with a football in his hand. Against a washington run defense that ranks 8th in the Pac-12 in yards/carry allowed, this trio along with a two-legged Darron Thomas should pick the husky D apart.
After the jump, a look at why this could be the end of some husky woes...
Are you kidding? This is Hate Week! You think I'm gonna sit here and write about why washington will beat Oregon? You crazy. You real crazy.