Ducks hope Huskies latest victim

The No. 20 ranked Oregon Ducks (5-1) look to reach the six-win plateau as they take on the Washington Huskies (1-4) at Autzen Stadium on Saturday. The Ducks are off a big win over Arizona State and can ensure head coach Mike Bellotti his 10th winning season at Oregon. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and there will be no live television coverage for the game. However, the contest will be rebroadcast on Fox Sports Northwest at 7 p.m.

The Oregon-Washington game is one of the most heated rivalry games in the country and despite Washington's 9-game Pac-10 losing streak, the game should be a highly contested match up. The Ducks will feature the hybrid-spread offense of offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and an increasingly stingy defense of defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. Last week, the Ducks traveled to Tempe, Arizona and beat the then No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils, 31-17. Senior quarterback Kellen Clemens had 277 yards of passing including two touchdown passes. Clemens found a total of seven receivers to throw to including three to Demetrius Williams for 108 yards and touchdown. Running back Terrence Whitehead was the leading receiver with nine catches for 100 yards and one receiving touchdown. Whitehead was also extremely effective running the ball and ended the day with a double-100. Not only did he have 100 yards of receiving but also he had 128 yards of rushing the ball and an additional rushing touchdown.

The Duck defense held ASU's vaunted passing game to 277 yards and 330 yards total offense. Meanwhile the Duck offense racked up 512 yards of total offense (278 yards passing, 234 yards rushing.) Oregon's defense has steadily improved over the course of the season and features a fearsome front four defensive line anchored by junior tackle Haloti Ngata, 6-5, 340 and senior end Devan Long, 6-4, 266. Oregon's linebacker corps depth has increased with the emergence of junior Blair Phillips, who recorded an interception last week. The secondary was also exceptional last week, particularly with sophomore cornerback Jackie Bates filling in for senior Aaron Gipson, who sat out recovering from a concussion. Senior cornerback Justin Phinisee for the second week in a row had an interception and return for more than 50 yards last week.

Questions were raised last Saturday when place kicker Paul Martinez was held out of the ASU game because of an injury, however those questions were quickly answered when walk on Matt Evenson kicked three field goals o 42 (2) and 51 yards. For his efforts, Evenson was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Special Teams last week.

For the season the Ducks are averaging 35.0 points per game while giving up 25.7 points. Crowton's offense is producing 473.5 yards per game, including 326.2 yards passing and 147.3 yards rushing. Defensively the Ducks have been consistently stubborn against the run allowing only 106.3 yards per game. The Ducks for the season have given up 265.2 yards in passing per game.

Ty Willingham is in his first year as the Washington head coach and will look to slow down the pace of the game and control the ball. The Huskies took last week off from competition but in its last game, Washington nearly upset undefeated UCLA in Los Angeles, 21-17. In that game, junior quarterback Isaiah Stanback was 14-for-27, 188 yards without an interception. Stanback, a versatile athlete also rushed for 50 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The leading receiver against the Bruins was Craig Chambers, who had four catches for 65 yards. The leading rusher was Louis Rankin with 109 yards on 18 carries. For the season, Stanback is 81-for-143, 1,229 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Chambers is the leading receiver in terms of yardage with 14 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Sonny Shackleford has 19 catches for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Rankin has 401 yards of net rushing for the year on 81 carries and a touchdown. He is averaging 80.2 yards per game running the ball. Stanback is the second leading rusher with a 25.6-yard per game average on 28 carries for 104 yards net and two touchdowns.

Overall, the Huskies are averaging 386.0 yards per game on offense, 120.6 rushing, 257.4 yards passing. Meanwhile Husky defenders are giving up 416.0 yards total offense (159.6 rushing, 256.4 passing) and are outscored 27.8 points per game to 20.4 points.

Last year the Ducks defeated the Huskies, 31-6 at Autzen Stadium. Washington finished the season 1-10 (0-8 Pac-10) while the Ducks were 5-6 (4-4 Pac-10.)

The game will also be rebroadcast on a delayed basis by OSN with Joe Giansante and Anthony Newman on KEZI (Eugene), KDRV (Medford) and KDKF (Klamath Falls) at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. In the Portland area the game will be carried on Comcast 14 at 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. The game will also be aired on the OSN Radio Network with Jerry Allen, Mike Jorgensen and Bobby DeBisschop.

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