Whenever we play the Cougars, I think of how fan bases really share the common hate of the Huskies. However it does not matter when both are vying for the crown of the division and the conference, and thus we focus upon our key match-up. Yet I cannot forget the best title to a FishDuck article against WSU ever years back written by Duckpop22 who reminded us….
“The Enemy of My Enemy Still Needs a Good Thrashing”
How true, (aside from the humor in that article!) as the style points would help our Playoff ranking cause, yet many of us would be content with a win due to how nervous Washington State makes us. The Cougars have really had Oregon’s number in the past decade and even when they lost–the Ducks were taken to the brink. I do not see Washington State “Couging” the game to Oregon tonight, in fact I expect they will go all-out.
What has always impressed me about the Palouse passing attack, is the timing of the throws. They send a slotback receiver to one side or the other and the ball is thrown as he is making his break and thus the ball is out of the quarterback’s hands before our pass rush can stop it, and before the defensive back can do anything about it. Considering Oregon’s weakness in the underneath soft zone coverage, it could make for a very frustrating game to watch.
I noted that Arizona State has now moved into the third spot in the conference power standings listed in the Eugene Register-Guard yesterday morning, yet WSU beat them two weeks ago 34-21 in Tempe! Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura has thrown for a ton of yardage, but only averages 7.8 yards per reception. The Cougars have been superb at dinking-and-dunking teams down the field and grabbing turnovers to shift the games.
However there is hope-on-the-horizon for Oregon that has not been present before in Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter. His track record against the Cougars while at Cal is worth taking note of as it could be the difference in this match-up.
2020: Cal-WSU game cancelled due to COVID.
2019: Cal held WSU to 20 points, while Oregon gave up 35 points.
2018: Cal held WSU to 19 points, while Oregon gave up 34 points.
2017: Cal held WSU to 3 points, while Oregon gave up 33 points. (Herbert hurt and out of this game)
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I have been concerned about a high-scoring shootout where the Ducks cannot put up enough points, but after looking at these stats–maybe the Ducks won’t have to after all? If Oregon can score their 35 points-per-game average, then perhaps Coach DeRuyter can apply his magic to hold the Cougars below it? I also noted that Washington State is now actually running the ball more than passing, thus with Oregon wanting to pound the running attack–the game could be shortened and much more low-scoring.
Or I have no idea what will happen! Let’s discuss it in this thread at the forum before, during and after the game because….
“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo from Oregon Football Twitter
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Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 35 years and has written reports on football boards for over 23 years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, have a daughter Christine, reside in Eugene Oregon, where he was a Financial Advisor for 36 years and now focuses full-time on Charitable Planned Giving Workshops for churches and non-profit organizations.
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