Oregon defense faces yet another struggling attack on road trip against Washington Huskies
It is starting to become a trend.
First it was Arizona, then Colorado and now it’s Washington. But Oregon is hoping the results will be different this time around.
When the Ducks faced terrible attacks against the Wildcats and Buffaloes, for whatever reason, these two teams found their offensive position against Oregon. Arizona scored 19 points and probably should have had more, making them the best offensive performance to date this season.
Colorado was the next uninspiring offense Oregon was eager to shut down, but the Buffaloes entered Autzen and scored 29 points and gained 341 total yards. It was the best the Buffaloes have watched in five conference games. They’ve been shut out once and limited to seven and three points in two more games.
Seeing the Buffaloes enter the most hostile environment and score so many points was somewhat shocking. You have to wonder if this was just an aberration or if it had become a trend.
Oregon has a chance to answer that question on Saturday when the Ducks travel to Seattle and face a 4-4 Washington team that has an attack comparable to Colorado and Arizona in terms of production. It’s almost inevitable that offensive coordinator John Donovan will be handed his running papers after this season, unless the Huskies make a dramatic turnaround.
In the Pac-12, Washington ranks 10th in total offense with 353 yards per game, 10th in rushing, eighth in assists and 10th in scoring, while amassing just 23 points per game. In years past, the Huskies certainly weren’t used to struggling to cross the goal line, but that’s where they find themselves as they prepare to face the Ducks in 2021.
In games against UCLA and Colorado, the Duck defense blitzed a lot, and we can expect more of the same on Montlake. Washington has allowed 18 sacks in its eight games. Head coach Jimmy Lake said the Huskies still had to report on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s whereabouts.
“He’s a game-breaker. He’s the best I’ve seen him play,” he said of the Oregon defensive end. “When we played him he was a real freshman and he was still a job in the making. In this year’s movie, you can certainly see the progression of his current situation. “
If Thibodeaux can wreak havoc in the backfield, it could cause quarterback Dylan Morris to make mistakes like he’s been prone to do. The freshman in the red shirt has been selected eight times this season, and with the strength of the Oregon high school team this season, we can expect that number to increase on Saturday.
On paper, Oregon are the better team, and their defense should be able to get the job done and keep Washington’s offense quiet throughout the day. Of course, we have already thought the same thing and seen the opposite.
However, maintaining a bad Husky attack will go a long way in making a Duck victory purely academic.
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