1. The coaches were right; opponents do fake injuries against Washington to beat them. This was obvious on Saturday after Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff went down with a suspicious ‘injured ankle,’ only to come back in the second half to haul in a 65-yard touchdown pass that set the tone for the remainder of the game. He obviously wasn’t hurt if he could beat our secondary like a rented mule for that score or account for 216 all-purpose yards for the day. De’Anthony Thomas didn’t even play on Saturday and Oregon’s masked villain “Bane” (Colt Lyerla) quit the team the week before the game because they were both too scared to face our physical defensive front. Which leads us to point number two . . .
- 2. Oregon is soft. FoxSports1 announcer Gus Johnson said early in the broadcast that Washington coaches weren’t afraid of Oregon’s group because they felt the Huskies played a more physical brand of football. As famous Yankee’s broadcaster Suzyn Waldman emphatically says, “Goodness gracious!!” They couldn’t have been more right. Granted Oregon DT Wade Keliikipi pulled down a Husky runner, for a loss, with just three fingers — but that was only one play.
- Husky fans also don’t care that Oregon’s defensive line pushed around Washington’s OL for four sacks on Keith Price and countless knockdowns and hurries. Keith Price is friends with Russell Wilson, which gives him more toughness and street cred than any ‘facts’ or ‘statistics’ from Saturday. Our scoreboard reads: Washington — Russell Wilson texts us periodically, Oregon — No Pro Franchise.
3. Marcus Mariota is no Warren Moon, let alone Marques Tuiasosopo. Washington easily made Oregon’s signal caller one dimensional throughout the game. We don’t care that one dimension existed solely in the purple-and-gold painted space of our stadium’s end zones. The Huskies forced Marcus Mariota into seven incompletions, tackled him a dozen times and even pulled off his gold-plated Nike cleats once. Warren Moon’s Rose Bowl MVP senior campaign (in 1978) was highlighted by 1,772 yards, 12 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions in 12 games. Mariota is far behind Moon this season with only 1,724 yards. That’s a difference of almost 50 yards! Just because, as a sophomore, he has 17 touchdowns thrown with no interceptions and another eight rushing doesn’t make him twice the college quarterback Warren Moon was in half a season of play. It just means he’s more selfish with the football. Washington 1,772, Oregon 1,724.
4. The quality of play throughout Pac-12 football this season is causing serious concern for the SEC coaches and their fans. The quantity and quality of talent distributed throughout the country has evened out a bit in recent years. More importantly, talent development due to better coaching and facilities improvements has attracted high-end football talent to the western half of the country.
Washington fans are reasonable and they know an okay, so-so opponent when we see one. Yes, we despise the Oregon Ducks and every so often feature duck on our tailgating menus. But deep down we know that while we have two more national titles than Oregon (and will express this ad nauseam in sports discussions), the Ducks have decent talent in those ugly, space-age uniforms.
They have been dominated by top SEC teams in the past few years (and will also express this ad nauseam in sports discussions), but their size along the lines is now closer to what Washington can put on the field. Washington’s heaviest player, 335 pound James Atoe is still 30 pounds heavier than Oregon’s 305 pound Everett Benyard, but we can agree that weight can only account for so much push up front. Washington still wins the ‘recruited the heaviest talent’ battle: Washington 335, Oregon 305.
5. Oregon is bound for the Korean Automaker’s Sun Bowl in El Paso. The last time national media was simultaneously calling Oregon the best team in the country and their QB the next Heisman winner, the Sports Illustrated curse struck one Dennis Dixon late in the season. This is bound to happen to Oregon again in 2013, especially since Saturday proved they don’t have any depth of talent. Oregon’s motto is ‘panic when that one guy can’t go’ and it showed on Saturday.
A rash of fake injuries, losing a top-end blocker in Bane Lyerla (Keith Price is obviously Batman in this scenario), and Washington’s invincible defense limited Oregon’s offense to 12 points below its season average. All that is left for Oregon this season is to win its next four games in impressive fashion — only to end up in Tucson (against the Wildcats) on national TV late in the season. Having lost convincingly to Oregon for the last ten, long years, the single remaining joy we Husky fans have is watching and waiting for Mariota’s legs to fall off and the University of Nike’s season to crumble, once again. Go Dawgs. Oh, and Washington 2 national titles, University of Speed 0.