Our Oregon Ducks football team has been on a historic run to the PAC-12 Championship in 2023, as Oregon stands primed and ready for a rematch with their rival Huskies. They have a potential Heisman winner across from them in quarterback Michael Penix Jr., flanked by Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, while Oregon has their very own Bo Nix right in the Heisman race as well. These two signal-callers have been imposing threats all season long and finally get a much-needed round two as heavyweights closing out their respective college careers.
Regardless of who wins, we all know this is going to be a battle of the ages. The most gripping question on everyone’s minds is: how close will it really be? For bettors today, it doesn’t look like as much of a nailbiter as you might think.
What’s Vegas Saying?
As of now, the Ducks have drifted between being a 9.5-point favorite and a 9-point favorite vs. the Huskies, virtually penciling in Oregon as PAC-12 champions a week early. While that might seem like a generous number, it has been widely considered all over the nation that the Ducks are playing as good of (or better) football than anyone in the country, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Oregon completely smashes Washington on Friday and earns that 9-point mark.
Still, we have to approach this game with cautious optimism as Duck fans.
Should the Ducks be Favored?
Yes. I think it’s fair to be optimistic about how your team’s going to perform against a rival, but it’s also important to consider how the team’s performed down the stretch.
With how Oregon’s played over the last month, it’s hard to see the Ducks losing after simply steamrolling the past month’s worth of opponents. Even in their rivalry week, where teams are expected to struggle, the Ducks dominated a very capable and motivated Oregon State team that got pushed around for four quarters. Just a week after the Beavs went toe-to-toe with the Huskies and lost by a meager 2 points, the Ducks won by a convincing 24-point margin.
Of course, common opponents only say so much. The head-to-head matchup earlier in the season between the Huskies and Ducks ended with a field goal miss that will live in infamy, but it might be a blessing in disguise. Seemingly since that dreaded miss and falling to one loss on the season, the Ducks have only looked better. In contrast, the Huskies have looked a bit worse, even after finishing the regular season undefeated. While they are no pushover and will be a true challenge for the Ducks, this is by no means a meeting of the teams we saw earlier in the season. Expect to see a much, much improved Oregon squad come to the city of sin without vengeance on the horizon but dominance as the true College Football Playoff contender they’ve made themselves out to be.
Bottom Line: Oregon Might Win By a Bit Less, But Win Nonetheless
Overall, as much as we love our Ducks, this game should be close. I have full confidence Oregon will edge out a win, but “edge” is the operative word. This Washington squad has scratched and clawed their way to victories all season. When they win, they can even win badly, or win when they’ve been outperformed. The Ducks have to be on their absolute A-game when it comes to beating the Huskies this Friday. Be prepared for a dogfight (pun intended) that ends with a team in the College Football Playoff as the righteous representative of the PAC-12.
I see that team as Oregon in a decisive win, but what do you think, Oregon fans? Will this game be a slaughter at the hands of Nix and a high-flying Oregon offense, or will it come down to a final possession that decides the game? Who’s the MVP of this game? Would a win over Washington guarantee the Ducks a spot in the Playoff, or would Alabama/Georgia scenarios still weigh heavily on the Ducks’ chances? Let us know in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Craig Strobeck
Alex Heining is an Oregon alumni from the graduate class of 2021. After studying sports business and media studies, he has moved into the field of digital marketing as a copywriter and content manager in the Los Angeles area. Still, he loves his Ducks and goes to local high school games all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area to check out new recruits of the future (and a SoFi game or two with the pros). On any given Saturday, expect to find him doing martial arts, playing the guitar, or screaming at the tv over a missed holding penalty.
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