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Washington Looks to Upset Favored Oregon
Oregon didn’t exactly start this year off according to plan. They not only
lost their opening game to Boise State, but their starting RB LeGarrette Blount
punched a Boise State player, and then tried to fight people in the crowd who
were giving him a hard time. This brought a lot of negative publicity towards
the Oregon Ducks, and they really needed to turn things around quickly.
A lot of teams would have fallen apart after a start like that, but not this one. The Ducks have been one of the hottest teams in the country since their opening loss. They are 5-0 since then with wins over Utah, California, and UCLA. They are 3-0 in conference, and are in control of their own destiny. If they continue to take care of business they will be playing for a Pac 10 title, and berth in the Rose Bowl, but they have got to take things game by game.
This week they have Washington on the schedule. This Washington team has been
a very difficult team to figure out. They shocked the world with their upset win
over the USC Trojans, but since then have lost games to Stanford, Notre Dame,
and Arizona State. They are in their first year under new Head Coach Steve
Sarkisian, and he has this program moving in the right direction, but they
really need to finish strong to get the ball rolling, and an upset win over the
hottest team in the country in Oregon would be a very good start.
This matchup really depends on whether Oregon is going to have a healthy QB Jeremiah Masoli under center. His duel threat playing style is what makes this Oregon offense go. The Duck’s offense is #1 in the Pac 10 in rushing offense averaging 203 yards per game, and #2 in the Pac 10 in scoring offense putting up 33 points per game. Head Coach Chip Kelly wouldn’t say that Masoli was going to start this week, but he has been practicing in full pads, so we expect him to be out there which is very good news for this Oregon team. Masoli has been criticized all year about his lack of passing accuracy, but he has started to turn things around in his last few games. In their domination of California Masoli went 21/25 for 253 yards and 3 TD’s. The next week against Washington State he went 14/18 for 116 yards and 1 TD. If he continues to play this efficient this Oregon team will be tough to beat.
If Washington is going to have any chance to slow down the Duck’s offense they have got to commit to stopping the run. The good news for Oregon is the Huskies are ranked #9 in the Pac 10 in rush defense allowing 162 yards per game. If Washington can step up to the plate and stop the run, and get pressure on Masoli we have seen what can happen. Against Utah Masoli went 4/16 for 95 yards and 1 INT. But if the Duck’s get their running attack going it takes pressure off Masoli, and he can use the play action passing game, and he has shown that when that happens he can beat you down the field all game.
THE FINAL VERDICT
This is definitely not the best matchup for this Washington team. They have had trouble stopping the run all year, and that is something that this Oregon offense does just about as good as anyone. QB Jeremiah Masoli is very dangerous when he has the play action pass working, but for that to work Oregon must establish the run first, so expect them to pound the ball early.
Washington might be able to stop this Oregon offense for a while, but this Oregon team just has too much fire power. We expect RB LaMichael James to have a big game, and if he does that means QB Jeremiah Masoli also will have one through the air with the play action pass. Coach Chip Kelly has this Oregon team believing they can win every single game, and it shows on the field.
Washington hs been a tough out this year. They have been in every game but one with many of those games on the road. It's not as if they have played cream puffs either. USC, LSU, Notre Dame and so on. There' s some talent on this Washington team and there's also a chance they catch Oregon looking ahead to USC on deck. With that in mind, we'll grab +10.5 with the Huskies. Washington +10.5
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