For many fans in the Northwest, it doesn't get any bigger than Oregon and Washington. Legacies are born and die in the rivalry. In the case of Oregon, Patrick Johnson, Dennis Dixon and Kenny Wheaton all left indelible marks on the rivalry with their performances.
However, for defensive coordinator Don Pellum, playing Washington is just another game against another faceless opponent.
"I don't see it the same. I think the rivalry is good for the fans. For us it's the next step. Every year when this game comes or any of our opponents, it's that next frickin' game. It's huge enough for us because it's the next step. Obviously the fans, they have a different rivalry," said Pellum.
It will be a meeting of two offenses who are very good at holding on to the ball and the game could be turned on a big turnover, Pellum discusses Oregon's methods for trying to get the ball back to their offense.
"When you have an offense that have ball carriers that do a tremendous job of protecting the ball, you have to get a lot of hits and hats on the ball. You have to get a lot of guys to the ball. Guys have to play their primary gap and run to the ball and the second that ball carrier tries to fight for yards the second and third defenders have to put their shoulder pads on the ball and try to jar it out."
Pellum doesn't feel surprised that the Huskies have been able to put together a quality run to open the season with a first year coach and a quarter back who hadn't spent significant time at the position leading the team.
"I think every program in this conference has talent. When a new coach comes in and puts his stamp on it, I think every program has a chance to start well and I think those guys have done a wonderful job," said Pellum.
The Huskies have only been held under 20 points twice this season, once in the opener against Hawaii and once at home against Pac-12 North bully, Stanford. It will be a good test to see if the Oregon defense is for real after a stellar outing against the Bruins.
UW on the Horizon, Pellum preaches basics
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