Patrick Thrapp - Numbers Guru (5-1): Alright I did eat crow with my prediction last week. I will gladly eat crow if the team wins. This week I feel optimistic that we will make a game of this. After all we have become Take Away U this year. I think our defense is decent. The stats say so. Some might even argue that we are a stellar defense team. Yet I would like to see are offense create some time consuming drives. I believe we need all the defense we can muster against the Ducks. They are just too explosive.
Prediction: Oregon 38, Washington 31
Marshall Cherrington - Intern Extraordinaire (5-1): I’ve really gone back and forth on this one. Oregon is the better team and they’ll be supported by thousands of Duck fans at home. Does this mean that they’ll win? Not necessarily. A lot is being said about how Chris Petersen has beaten Oregon twice and all of that, but that’s not why UW will win this game. Not because Chris Petersen has experience beating the Ducks. That was with a team made up of players he recruited. This team he has at UW is not made up of players he recruited. UW will win this game though by (1) stopping the run and (2) rushing the passer. Washington’s defense is only allowing 3.07 yards per carry right now. Oregon is averaging 5.45 yards per carry. Who wins out here? Washington’s defense. They’ve looked very good stopping the run this year and I don’t see it stopping here. However, they’ll have to contain Mariota. Danny Shelton talked about keeping a ‘cage’ around mobile quarterbacks last year. Well that cage is going to need some barbed wire added on top of it. Once UW establishes that they can stop the run, I expect first year offensive coordinator Scott Frost to rely on his passing game and the arm of his star quarterback. If Frost indeed does this, UW has a very good shot at winning. This allows Danny Shelton to show off his first round ability. With Kikaha and Andrew Hudson setting the edges and making sure they contain Mariota, Shelton can go to work inside. Another strategy that I think might prove to be effective, is lining up Shelton on the end and Kikaha inside and then having them cross en route to Mariota, a strategy we’ve seen Coach K employ at times this year. It puts Kikaha in a better position to observe and contain, and lets Shelton get momentum going inside. Shaq Thompson’s going to need to have another huge day. They should use him as a roving spy/blitzer on Mariota. Think that would work very well. The pass rush only works though if the defensive backs are tightly covering their assignments for at least the first 4 seconds of every play. That’s a lot to ask from the youngsters, but I think they can do it. On offense, Cyler and co. should be able to move the ball effectively against this Oregon defense. It’s not what it has been in the past years under Nick Allioti. I would also expect Petersen to bring even more wrinkles out from under his sleeve. This is the best chance the Huskies have had to beat the Ducks in a decade and I think the Dawgs pull it off.
Prediction: Washington 27, Oregon 24
Jay Torrell - Sports Washington Creative Director (5-1): The measure of a rivalry isn't based on who you want to beat in any given year, it's measured on who you CAN'T lose to...EVER! That is UW-Nikeville. Hell, the Ducks are celebrating the 20th anniversary of THE PICK (nice play call Woodruff) with throw back uniforms. I say this is a great omen to bookend the Duck dominance with a loss to the Huskies and kickoff the rise of a new Purple Reign. Petersen proves he's a genius...Shaq officially becomes a Heisman contender...John Ross III goes all John Ross III...the D-Line dominates...Cyler uses both his arm and legs to keep moving the chains...the refs are afraid to throw too many flags...and the Ducks go back to hating the Huskies more than anything, ever. So my optimistic, can't pick the Ducks no matter what selection is UW 34-Fighting Phil's 30...and I literally explode.
Prediction: Washington 34, Oregon 30
Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor (5-1): Washington definitely took a couple of steps in the right direction last week in their dominating win over Cal. My problem is that Cal isn't very good. I thought they were better than they were, but realistically, Washington is more talented and better coached. They should have won and they did. Good job. That being said, getting the Oregon monkey off their back is a whole different ballgame. The Ducks may have the best player in the country in Marcus Mariota and they still have a lot more speed than the Huskies have seen this season. Royce Freeman is a talented tailback and with Jake Fisher back, it's going to be much tougher to get pressure on Mariota. The Huskies will need a big day from Cyler Miles and hopefully they can establish the run with Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington, if they do that, they have a chance, but I get the impression that Oregon will be aggressive up front and dare UW to beat them up deep. I think the Dawgs keep it close, but they just won't have enough to pull it out.
Prediction: Oregon 41, Washington 28
Chris Fetters - Editor In Chief (4-2) : I've been trying to talk myself into scenarios where Washington could beat Oregon - and Washington can absolutely beat Oregon the way the two teams have played so far this year. But it isn't going to happen. And besides, I've been wrong the last two games so I suspect UW fans would want me to bet against the Dawgs this weekend anyway. I think getting Jake Fisher back at left tackle is very much a big deal for Marcus Mariota, and we saw versus UCLA what he's capable of doing when he isn't having to worry about his blind side, and Fisher turns a capable UO offensive line into a very good one. The Ducks' formula will always be the same in games like this; continue to run, run and keep the pressure on via the pass until the other team's defense crumbles. And again, Washington will be very much in this game until the late third and fourth quarter, where Mariota will engineer a drive to put the Ducks up 10 or so and then will find a way to put the dagger in deep, whether through a turnover or return. The Huskies just aren't quite there offensively to handle a scene like they are going to find themselves in Saturday night, even if they do establish some decent success early. Running the ball will be essential. As well as Cyler Miles has done holding onto the ball, a key miscue or two will spell the difference for the Ducks. It won't be easy, but they'll make it 11-straight.
Prediction: Oregon 24, Washington 13
Kim Grinolds – CEO (5-1) : Oregon...........Damn. It's beyond old. The uniforms. The arrogance. The fans.........what more can you say. For those attending the game wearing purple, I wish you well. The loss to Arizona was a dose of reality. The win at UCLA brought back all of the arrogance , the attitude blah blah blah. Autzen won't be fun this weekend. Mariota may be the best player in college football when he's right. Is he right? He sure didn’t look right against Arizona. He looked right against UCLA . Will he be right this weekend? Shelton, Kikaha, Thompson , Peters, Ross, Williams........it's time. It about time.
Prediction: Washington 31, Oregon 24
David Samek - The Dawgman (5-1): Last week was fun. I LOVED being wrong. Petersen had his boys ready to play. I loved the paired down playbook and I loved the pressure the front four on defense got. This week Oregon’s offensive line is somewhat healthy for the first time in a while. That will make a difference. And I believe that Cyler Miles will finally throw an interception. Washington’s running game still isn’t good enough to save them, but it’s getting closer. Washington will finally lose a turnover battle and as a result, will go down to Oregon. Again. If Washington had a top notch tailback like Bishop or Chris P, it might be different.
Prediction: Oregon 38, Washington 23.
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