This week, the #8 Oregon Ducks take on the #7 Washington Huskies in the biggest Pac-12 game of the season.
Both defenses will be tested as the top two offenses in the nation face off. Washington is the top-ranked offense in the nation, while Oregon has the #2 ranked offense. Given that both teams are undefeated, somebody’s O will have to go by the end of this game. Washington’s wins have come against Boise State, Tulsa, Michigan State and Arizona. On the other hand, Oregon has won most of its first five games in dominant fashion. The Ducks defeated Portland State Vikings by a score of 81-7. Then, they followed that up with a 45-point victory over Hawaii. Their last two wins were both 42-6 victories over the Colorado Buffaloes and Stanford Cardinals.
Despite the Washington Huskies having the higher seed, I believe the Oregon Ducks are the better football team. Thus, the Oregon Ducks will defeat the Washington Huskies on Saturday.
Here are three reasons why this will occur.
1. Oregon has a more balanced offense than Washington.
Even though these offenses are a cut above everyone else in the country, Oregon has the more balanced offense. Washington averages 569 yards per game. However, the vast majority of their yardage is through the passing game. On the other hand, the Oregon Ducks average 557.8 yards per game. They average 330.6 yards per game through the air and 227.2 yards on the ground.
Even though Noah Whittington is out for the rest of the season, the Oregon Ducks still have a great 1-2 combo of Bucky Irving and Jordan James. Bucky Irving has averaged 7.9 yards per carry, while Jordan James has averaged 8.7 yards. Oregon should be able to have success against Washington on the ground. The running game should allow Bo Nix to do damage against an offense against a passing defense that is 91st in the FBS. I do not feel the Washington Huskies defense will be able to handle this two-headed offensive monster of the Oregon Ducks.
2. Oregon has a better defense than Washington.
In a game between two high-powered offenses, there is no question that the team with the better defense will win this pivotal game. There is no question that Oregon has a better defense than Washington. As a result, it is to be expected that Oregon will do more to limit the high-powered Washington offense than the other way around. Oregon is beginning to gain an identity on defense. It is clear that this defense has alleviated any concerns that Oregon Ducks fans may have had coming into the season.
Currently, the Oregon Ducks have the 6th best defense in the nation. In terms of rushing defense, the Ducks are 20th in the country. However, the strength of this defense is in the secondary. Oregon has the 5th best-passing defense in the nation, as they have only allowed 153.6 passing yards per game. One of the biggest reasons has been CB Khyree Jackson. Khyree Jackson is a lockdown cornerback and leads the team with two interceptions. Jahlil Florence has been as effective at cornerback on the other side of the field. Oregon will be able to limit the high-powered passing game of the Washington Huskies.
Washington does not measure up to Oregon on the defensive side of the ball. Oregon will have a significant advantage as a result.
3. Oregon is less likely to commit turnovers than Washington.
Again, in a game with two high-powered offenses, the team with the most discipline will be the victor. Based on statistics, it is very likely that the Oregon Ducks will have the advantage in this area.
Bo Nix has put up incredible numbers this season. He has 1,459 yards passing, 15 TDS, and a passer rating of 184.7. However, he has only thrown one interception. Bo Nix’s interception is the only offensive turnover Oregon has committed so far this season. Bucky Irving has had a tremendous impact on the running game as well as in the receiving game. However, he has not turned the ball over. Neither has Jordan James. On the other hand, Washington is averaging one turnover per game so far this season. Thus, it is more likely that Washington will make the crucial mistake in a game that leaves little room for error.
I believe the Oregon Ducks will defeat the Washington Huskies 35-21.