After dispatching of UCLA in the Rose Bowl, Oregon shifts focus towards their next opponent and rival, the Washington Huskies. UW went into California last week and took care of an upstart Bears team with an opportunistic defense. The Huskies forced several turnovers, but the biggest one was Shaq Thompson’s 100 yard fumble return for a touchdown.
It will be an interesting matchup as the Huskies force more turnovers than anyone in the conference. Outside of the two fumbles against Arizona, the Ducks haven’t given the ball to the opposition at all this season. Something has to give when these two teams take the field, Satuday.
Coach John Neal illuminated what may make this Washington different from years past, “Discipline, toughness, they understand the system already. I think [Coach Chris Petersen] inherited a good football team already. They understand what their quarter back can and can’t do…and they complement it with a good defense.”
The Huskies will certainly be looking for some sort of revenge as the Ducks have beaten the Huskies by double digits for 10 consecutive seasons. If the Husky defense is going to be successful in turning the Ducks over and stopping them, it really comes down to Shaq Thompson.
“He’s a huge playmaker and a difference maker on that defense. We just have to prepare just how we have been. We aren’t going to change any of our offense for him, and we just have to make sure that we execute,” said Marcus Mariota.
Mariota went on to compliment the Washington front seven, comparing them to the team they just faced in UCLA.
“They’re very athletic. They have guys who can move around and really make plays on defense. For us, we have to be aggressive and physical and move the line of scrimmage,” said Mariota
With Jake Fisher back on the line, there seemed a sense of normalcy reestablished. It was a big step to getting the offense back to form and if they continue to play the way they did against UCLA, then Oregon should be able to handle another year topping the Dawgs.
Huskies bring talented D into Autzen
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