Friday, Oregon will get its chance to avenge its only loss of the season and possibly punch its ticket to the College Football Playoff.
The Oregon Ducks will once again do battle with the Washington Huskies. On Oct 14th, Washington defeated the Ducks 36-33. But Oregon did not shrink in the wake of this defeat. They have become stronger and more dominant ever since that game.
The latest example of Oregon’s surging momentum was their 31-7 shellacking of the Oregon State Beavers. As predicted, Oregon State’s offense simply could not handle the defense of the Ducks.
Ever since the loss to Washington, Oregon has defeated their last six opponents by an average of 26 points.
On the other hand, Washington has not had the easiest journey ever since they defeated Oregon. Their margin of victory in their last six games has been by an average of 6.5 points.
The only double-digit victory that Washington has had was over USC. On Saturday, the Huskies needed a last-second field goal to beat the 5-win Washington State Huskies.
Oregon’s like a runaway freight train at the moment. They are the most formidable one-loss team in the nation. I believe that they will get their revenge on the Washington Huskies and win the Pac-12 championship.
I will give three reasons why Oregon will defeat Washington in this piece.
1. Washington’s defense will not be able to contain Oregon’s dominant offense.
During their last encounter, the Washington Huskies had quite a difficult time with Oregon’s dynamic offense. The Oregon Ducks had 541 total yards on offense. (337 yards in the air and 204 total yards on the ground)
They also had more first downs than Washington and won the time of possession battle.
Washington’s defense has not leveled up since their last matchup. In recent weeks, they’ve given up 42 points to USC, 33 to Stanford, and 28 to the Utah Utes.
Oregon is 2nd in the nation in total offense with 540.2 yards. They have the nation’s top passing offense with 351.4 passing yards.
Bo Nix leads the nation in passing yards with 3,906.
They are taking on a Washington defense ranked 93rd in the FBS. In terms of passing yards allowed, the Huskies are 122nd in the nation.
Oregon’s offense will be dangerous for Washington to handle on a typical day.
However, the Oregon Ducks will be more motivated than ever on Friday as they have a lot at stake. They’ll have a big chip on their shoulder heading into this Pac-12 title game after the loss in October.
I wouldn’t want to be Washington’s defense on Friday.
2. Oregon’s defense will have a better game than their last matchup.
There is no doubt that Washington’s offense will be a handful. They are 12th in the nation in total offense. Michael Penix is 2nd in the nation in passing yards. Last time, the Oregon Ducks defense gave up 415 total yards.
Oregon’s defense has done a great job of mainly erasing the stench from that performance. The Oregon Ducks have held Pac-12 opponents below 20 points in four out of their last five games.
Out of all the units for either Oregon or Washington, Oregon’s defense will be the most motivated unit. I believe they will ride the momentum of their performance against Oregon State and impose their will on Washington’s offense.
It also helps that Michael Penix’s last two performances have been unconvincing overall. In the past two weeks, Penix passed for 162 yards against Oregon State and 204 yards against Washington State. Those are his two lowest passing totals of the season.
Based on the recent performances of Oregon’s defense and the Washington offense, I believe Oregon’s defense will fare better this time.
3. Oregon’s rushing offense will outperform Washington’s rushing defense.
Washington’s rushing defense is 40th in the nation, giving up 134.6 yards on offense. However, they are facing an Oregon rushing offense ranked 23rd in the country.
Oregon’s passing game has opened things up for the Oregon rushing offense all year. With Oregon poised to feast against Washington’s secondary on Saturday, I do not doubt that Bucky Irving and Jordan James will make their presence felt. Bucky Irving averages 6.4 yards per carry, while Jordan James averages 7.1 yards per carry.
Oregon rushed for 204 yards in their last meeting against Washington’s run defense. Oregon will be more motivated. That motivation will lead them to achieve similar results.
I believe Oregon will defeat Washington for the Pac-12 championship by a score of 38-24.