The Washington Huskies will go into Eugene today with another opportunity to prove that they are for real. Meanwhile Oregon is just looking to show that they have a pulse and alive. The Ducks are at the breaking point, with head coach Mark Helfrich on the ropes. If things get worse, there will be no surprises when he gets yanked. The Huskies are one of the best teams in the nation now, so this probably isn’t the team he wanted to see on the schedule at the moment. A lightweight to beat down would have probably been sufficient enough.
No longer is this the same team competing for a National Championship. Heck this isn’t the same team competing for a Pac-12 Championship, never mind getting to the playoff again. The Ducks reached the playoff in its inaugural season behind Marcus Mariota, only to get railroaded by the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Washington as a 9-point favorite in Oregon would have been an afterthought a few years ago. It appeared like the Huskies were destined for the baseball forever, while Oregon was going to continue to pick up quality recruits with Helfrich at the helm. We have come to find out that Helfrich isn’t Chip Kelly. The stash of Chip Kelly recruits are running thin on campus and Helfrich is now finding himself in a tough position.
This is the second straight year that Oregon looked at a former FCS quarterback. Vernon Adams was solid for the Ducks a year ago, I don’t have anything bad to say regarding the way he played. However, this formula will not work in the long run. Helfrich would be better served recruiting a quarterback from high school and grooming him.
It would certainly help teammate comradery. Trust me, guys in the locker room don’t look at a first-year transfer as a leadership figure. Oregon backup Justin Hebert is a freshman who might get a chance to grab the starting role this week, after Dakota Prukop struggled to find a rhythm a week ago. Find my pick below for this primetime matchup on FOX.
Washington Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Oregon +9(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Washington vs. Oregon Pick:
Washington is doing everything Oregon would like to do on offense. Washington has hit some big plays, whether it has been through the air or ground, they have pulled of some game changers. When you have guys like John Ross on your side, big plays tend to happen. Ross is a dual-threat wide receiver, with the ability to collect an end-around and end up in the end zone. He can also stretch the middle of the field and collect a deep ball following play-action from Jake Browning. Chris Petersen loved that play at Boise State and it’s been working for him at Washington. Get the running game going, and slip in a play-fake down field for a game breaker.
Oregon has had busted coverages galore this season. Teams have been finding their defense out of position often. The Ducks are allowing 36.2 points per game for 109th in the FBS. They’re out of the top 100 against the pass and run. The Huskies are so balanced making it work both ways, which presents an additional challenge for a defense. With a defense to boot, Washington is one of the most balanced teams overall.
The Huskies are allowing just 299 yards per game, which equates to 15th overall. They have allowed just 12.8 points per game. It certainly helps when you have an offense who has had scored more than 40 points in seven of their last eight games, dating back to last year. The offense poured it on again last week versus a top-notch Stanford defense, a 44-6 win. Jake Browning passed for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions on the game. Browning has 17 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions coming into Oregon. He should be able to hit 20 in total by the end of this one. All aspects of the Washington offense should get into the act today. Washington will run it up on a team that has done the same to them in the past. Another head turner of a victory for the Huskies tonight.
PICK: WASHINGTON -9 (-110)