By 750 THE GAME STAFF
Each week our staff at 750 The Game and fellow Pac 12 experts predict the score of every Oregon Ducks game. This week the No. 8 Oregon Ducks (5-0) travel to Seattle to take on the No. 7 Washington Huskies (5-0) which is the site of College Gameday. The Vegas line says Washington is -3.
Washington has Michael Penix Jr., gifted receivers and the home field. Oregon has Bo Nix, the better of the two defenses, and a big chip on it’s shoulder from last year’s rivalry game at Autzen Stadium. Remember the passion that UO channeled for the Colorado game? I expect the same kind of spice for this once.
Oregon 38, Washington 31
The most-anticipated Pac-12 game of the season thus far matches elite quarterbacks and high-powered offenses. But it will be won at the line of scrimmage, and Oregon holds the advantage. The Ducks possess more run-pass balance on offense and a sturdier defense than the Huskies. Put another way: Oregon’s yards-per-play differential is +4.06 (yards gained on offense minus yards allowed on defense) while UW’s differential is +3.74. That might not seem like much, but in a collision of this magnitude, with two fabulous teams and so much on the line, it’s telling.
If Oregon’s defense plays well, they’re more than capable of winning the game. They have to pressure Michael Penix Jr. and limit the explosive plays. The Ducks have struggled to start strong in their two road games this season against Texas Tech and Stanford. This game truly feels like a toss-up and seems like it will come down to one drive late in the game.
Washington 34, Oregon 30
This is a fascinating matchup. Oregon’s defense has been great this season against bad competition. Now they face maybe the best offense in the nation on the road. Washington’s defense hasn’t been good giving up over 500 yards to Cal at home a couple of weeks ago, but I expect that home field advantage to play a big part in the game. Both teams are good and this should truly be a great game. When I think a game is a coin flip, I default back to this. Who has the better coach? The better quarterback? Home field advantage? Washington has all three of them.
Washington 41, Oregon 34
Going back and watching last year’s meeting, I am stunned how Oregon came away with a loss. A fumbled snap on 3rd-&-1 inside the Huskies 5-yard line in the second quarter. A failed onside kick in the second quarter with the game tied 10-10. Intercepting Michael Penix Jr. after a 98-yard fourth-quarter drive by the Huskies that kept Oregon in front 31-27. Oregon’s ensuing drive that lasted 20 PLAYS, 10-and-a-half minutes…
Then Bo Nix got hurt. And everything changed.
Bo’s not getting hurt this time.
Oregon 37, Washington 34