Game Breakdown: UW-Oregon

Here is a game snapshot, keys to the game, team scout, fast facts, players to watch and an updated injury report as the Washington Huskies face their toughest task of the year - a trip to Eugene, Ore. to face the No. 1 Oregon Ducks Saturday at Autzen Stadium.


KICKOFF: Saturday, 3:30 ET

GAMEDATE: 11/6/10

SITE: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.

SURFACE: FieldTurf


SERIES: Washington leds 58-39-5 (last meeting, 2009,

RECORDS: Washington 3-5, 2-3; Oregon 8-0, 5-0

POLLS: Oregon (1 AP, 1 USA Today)

PREDICTION: Oregon 42-17

-- For Washington: Secure the football. Oregon leads the Pac-10 in turnover margin at plus 13, forcing 28 in eight games. The Huskies must stop the big play, which has been a staple in Oregon's offense, and make something good happen early to establish some confidence.

-- For Oregon: Don't change a thing. Oregon leads the nation in scoring (54.88 ppg), total offense (572.88 ypg) and turnover margin (plus-1.63 per game). Washington's defense is among the worst in the nation, allowing 34.13 ppg, so the Ducks should be able to shake off their somewhat troubling habit of starting slowly and dominate from the start.


-- Washington's offense will be without a major weapon with QB Jake Locker out with a rib injury, but the scheme may not look a lot different as backup Keith Price has a similar style. The major issue for UW will be getting blocking up front to give Price time and the runners somewhere to go. UW's line was overwhelmed in the loss to Stanford. The Huskies have to get better play up front for the skill players to be able to do anything. The Huskies will probably keep the game plan fairly conservative for Price, hoping that RB Chris Polk and WR Jermaine Kearse can carry a lot of the load.

Washington's defense has allowed 30 and 28 points in the first halves of the last two games at Arizona and home to Stanford as the Huskies have fallen behind big for good in each. The problems are everywhere, but the main issue right now is up front where two true freshmen are starting --- DE Hau'oli Jamora and DE Sione Potoa'e. The UW line was pushed around early by Stanford and will have to play at its best to avoid the same fate against Oregon. The linebacking corps remains solid led by senior Mason Foster, but the secondary continues to give up lots completions. One task for the Huskies is to get a few more turnovers to lead to some easy points.

Oregon has scored 51 touchdowns on offense, which leads the nation, but the even more remarkable part is that the Ducks have scored in five plays or less on nearly half (25) of those drives. By now, everyone in the country knows all about the point-a-minute Ducks (well, close enough) and the frenetic pace of the attack and the speed of their primary players, such as QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James. Thomas has been the lynchpin, making great decisions, not turning the ball over and able to run or pass, depending on what the defense gives him.

The Ducks don't have to deal with Washington QB Jake Locker, who is out with a rib injury. His replacement is Keith Price, a redshirt freshman who has thrown nine passes this season. Not having to worry about Locker should make it easier for Oregon to focus on RB Chris Polk, who is averaging 81.62 ypg. The speedy Ducks are so supremely conditioned that they just get harder to score against as the game goes on. Oregon has yielded 58 points in the first quarter, 47 in the second, 31 in the third and a mere seven in the fourth quarter.


Huskies: The last time Washington played the No. 1 team on the road it also had a first-time starter at quarterback. That came in 2004 when Isaiah Stanback got the start at USC, a game the Huskies lost 38-0. Redshirt freshman Keith Price will get the start this time in place of injured senior Jake Locker. ... UW was also 3-3 in 2009 before losing four in a row to fall out of bowl contention. UW was 3-3 this year and has lost two in a row and now is a heavy underdog at Oregon. ... RT Cody Habben is slated to return to the starting lineup after sitting out the last three games. The senior was benched as part of a reshuffling that put two true freshmen into the lineup. But he now gets another chance. ... The Huskies have been outscored 55-0 in their last six quarters against Arizona and Stanford and haven't scored in 97 minutes, 55 seconds of playing time. ... UW's defense has allowed 300 or more yards in the first half of each of the last two games and given up 58 points along the way.

Ducks: Sophomore RB LaMichael James has taken over the national lead in rushing, averaging 172.86 ypg. He also leads the nation in all-purpose yards (189.57 and is tied for first in scoring (12.86 ppg). James has 170 carries for 1,210 yards and 14 touchdowns, reaching the 1,000-yard mark in only seven games, faster than any player in school history. ... James has 15 100-yard games in his career, topping the former record 14 held by Jonathan Stewart (2005-07). ... Oregon is 8-0 for the second time in school history. The previous time was during the 1933 season. ... The Ducks have started Pac-10 play 5-0 for the second straight year, but only the third time in 53 seasons. ... DE Kenny Rowe, who led the Pac-10 in sacks last season, has a sack in four consecutive games. The senior has five for the season and 21.5 for his career, ranking sixth on the school's career list. ... With 37 wins since the start of the 2007 season, Oregon's current senior class has equaled the most victories of any class in school history (1999-2002). ... Oregon leads the nation in total offense (572.9 ypg), scoring offense (54.9 ppg) and turnover margin (plus-1.63). ... 25 of Oregon's 51 touchdown drives this season have taken five plays or fewer ... With 21 touchdowns on the year, QB Darron Thomas is the first Oregon quarterback to toss 20 or more TDs since Dennis Dixon had 20 in 2007. ... The Ducks, who are 8-0 for the first time since 1933, will set a school record with their ninth consecutive victory if they beat Washington on Saturday.



QB Keith Price -- The redshirt freshman gets his first start in a daunting situation, but he seems to have the kind of aw-shucks personality to handle it from a mental standpoint. He's a good runner with a better arm than his image might present but he has little real experience. Price beat out Nick Montana for the backup job due largely to having been in the system a year longer and gets a chance to take a head start on replacing Jake Locker for good next season.

RB Chris Polk -- He's coming off his worst game of the season with just 17 yards on 13 carries against Stanford, due in large part to having nowhere to run. He could get a lot of work against the Ducks and will need to bounce back to take pressure off Price.

LB Mason Foster -- The senior has an even 100 tackles to lead the Pac-10 and rank third in the nation. He gets a few more chances because the line is so leaky, but deserves credit for making a lot of plays in tough situations.

CB Desmond Trufant -- The sophomore is having a true sophomore slump after a standout freshman season that marked him as a future star. He'll be under the gun Saturday against an efficient and big-play Oregon passing attack.


RB LaMichael James -- What will he do next? Even if the Washington game turns into a blowout early, he needs to get his yards in order to stay on the heels of Heisman front-runner Cam Newton of Auburn. James has 170 carries this season for 1,210 yards and 14 touchdowns. He dislocated a finger in practice Tuesday but is expected to be fine for the game.

DE Kenny Rowe -- He'll be going against a first-time starter at quarterback in Washington's Keith Price, a redshirt freshman. Young quarterbacks tend to hold the ball a bit too long, which is good news for Rowe, who has five sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

WR Jeff Maehl -- The touchdown-maker in the receiving corps, Maehl has nine scoring receptions among his 47 catches this season.


Huskies: QB Jake Locker (rib, out), TE Chris Izbicki (foot, probable), WR James Johnson (ankle, probable).

Ducks: RB/KR Kenjon Barner (concussion, questionable), CB Anthony Gildon (ankle, questionable), DE Terrell Turner (leg, probable). Top Stories