There is plenty to be excited for with tomorrows match against the 5-1 Washington Huskies here at Autzen. A home game is always a fan favorite especially for the Ducks who are 20-11-2 against the Huskies when they play in Eugene (in 1911-1913 and 1926-1965 home games against Washington were played in Portland). As we have witnessed this season, teams in the PAC-12 are doing well on the road this season going 14-4, and surely the Huskies are looking to continue the trend. Not only would a win help Husky fans forget the last “Decade of Domination”, it would all but dash the Ducks hopes for the College Football Playoffs and vault Washington into a tie with Stanford for first place in the PAC- 12 North
Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota and emerging star running back Royce Freeman lead the high-powered Duck offense. They will have their work cut out for them tomorrow night against a Husky defense ranked 3rd in the nation in sacks (32) and first in turnover margin (+14).
Fans on the message boards this week have noted that as good as the Washington front seven are, the Oregon offensive line is on its way to getting back to pre-injury days. The return of Jake Fisher saw an immediate improvement in the offensive line which didn’t allow a sack against UCLA after allowing 12 in the previous two games. A healthy line also allowed Freeman to have his way with the defense resulting in 121 yards on 18 attempts and two touchdowns.
Last week Mariota threw a touchdown pass in his 32nd consecutive game, the second longest streak in the country. What may have slipped by was the fact that his touchdown helped Oregon set a PAC- 12 record of 59 straight games with points on a passing play. As impressive as Mariota has been this season, he gives credit to the run game and what they are able to do to help set the tempo.
True freshman Royce Freeman broke out with a monster performance last week against UCLA and will be vital to helping the Ducks offense get rolling. We will be in for quite a show for the 107th meeting of these bitter rivals.