Here we are, hate week has begun.
Oregon travels North this weekend to square off with…”that school up North.”
It was presumed even before the season began that this would be the marquee matchup of the first half of the Pac-12 season. The measuring stick for who has the fast-track to Vegas in December.
Neither team has faltered, and here we are.
USC has looked far from impressive lately. Utah, although they have been missing Cam Rising, has already lost to an Oregon State team that…really doesn’t look particularly scary themselves. The Ducks and Huskies, the newest members of the Big Ten, have taken over the top spots in the race for the CFP.
Both teams have put up points. Both teams have Heisman-candidate quarterbacks who have played like Heisman-candidate quarterbacks. Oregon has the edge in health. Washington will have home-field advantage.
The real question becomes, who’s defense can actually produce some stops? Which team can actually force some punts? Because scoring will undoubtedly be at a premium.
There’s not a whole lot to go off of this season to answer that. Oregon allowed a Texas Tech team that was pretty far beneath them to put up a decent amount of points.
Besides that, Oregon has been lock-down.
The best sample would probably be conference play, which is still a small one since both teams have played only two each.
If that’s what we’re paying attention to, it’s Oregon in a runaway.
The Ducks have allowed a total of 12 points in two conference games. The Huskies? 56.
Colorado, the team that found the end zone frequently against “almighty” USC, managed one garbage-time touchdown against Oregon.
Stanford is bad. No way around it. But Oregon never even let them in the end zone.
Arizona hung right with Washington for a good amount of their matchup, and managed 24 points. Cal, lowly Cal, put up 32 on them.
Let’s be real here, Colorado is at least as good as Arizona, and Stanford is at least as good (or bad) as Cal. Oregon’s defense? It just looks better than Washington’s.
At least for the past couple games in conference.
If it comes down to a few stops, I’m statistically (not just objectively) inclined to favor Oregon.
You know what they say, offense can win games…
…but defense can Huck the Fuskies.