The Washington Huskies are coming off of a close loss to the Stanford Cardinal, but they have no time to dwell on the past. On Friday, Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas is still not cleared to play with a messed up ankle. However, according to CBSsportsline.com, the Ducks are still 14 point favorites over the Huskies in the PAC 12 North showdown.
When: Saturday, October 12, 4:00 p.m.
Where: Century Link Field
TV: Fox Sports 1
If the Washington Huskies have plans of going to the conference title game, they must beat the Oregon Ducks at home. Saturday’s game will showcase a matchup between two of the best quarterbacks in the country. Keith Price has rebounded from a disappointing 2012 season to put every defense on notice this year. While Marcus Mariota starts his push for the Heisman trophy this week, Oregon has a lot to prove in the coming weeks.
So far, the coaching change has not altered the Oregon Ducks’ game plan one iota. The offense is running as efficient as ever, yet, Oregon still has more chances to improve. Marcus Mariota has been on point as an offensive weapon, but his accuracy in the passing game will be a huge key on Saturday. He’s only had one game over 60 percent passing this year. Still, Oregon will rely heavily on the run with their fast paced tempo. Whether or not De’Anthony Thomas plays could factor in the play calling if the game is tight.
Defensively, Washington is the best team Oregon has played by far. The balance that the Huskies possess should be enough to keep Oregon’s defense off kilter. The Ducks will need to create some turnovers on the road.
Keith Price has been phenomenal this season. He’s completing 71 percent of his passes, but he’s not the only playmaker for the Huskies. Bishop Sankey has seven rushing touchdowns and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Washington’s offense is almost as potent as Oregon’s. They’ll have to prove it on Saturday. It will be interesting to see the attack in the first quarter.
Defensively, the Huskies put the wood to Stanford. It was special teams that helped the Cardinal escape with victory. Just like Oregon, Washington has their toughest task on Saturday. Tackling is as important as ever. Although Oregon can make big plays in the passing game, Washington will have to confront the running game with force.
On paper, this game could turn out just like last year. Washington had recently outplayed Stanford, but they won. This time the Huskies are hungry for that top five win. They are playing at home and Washington might play their best game of the season. Right now, both defenses are stout, but they could be under siege come Saturday afternoon. If De’Anthony Thomas can give anything, he may be on the kick return and punt return teams. This game should come down to the fourth quarter.