Preview: Washington @ Oregon
Huskies hoping to end eight-game losing streak to Ducks.
Washington (3-1, 1-0); Oregon (5-0, 2-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m., Autzen Stadium.
TV: ESPN. Radio: KJR 950-AM, 102.9-FM. Line: Oregon by 25.
The setup: The Huskies hope to turn the tables on one of their most bitter rivals. Oregon has won the past eight games in the series, all by 17 points or more. The Ducks, ranked No. 2 in the nation and 5-0, again are heavy favorites. The Huskies, though, come in with confidence after a 17-13 win over No. 8-ranked Stanford a week ago Thursday at CenturyLink Field.
Key matchup: Washington's front seven vs. Oregon's running game. The Huskies won the Stanford game largely on the strength of a revived defense that held the Cardinal to 65 yards rushing. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in rushing at 303 yards per game.
What to expect: While the Huskies shut down Stanford last week, Oregon presents a tougher and different challenge with its offense. The Ducks will be the fastest team UW has faced. Oregon has scored at least 31 points in every home game it has played since Chip Kelly became coach in 2009. Assuming that form holds, the onus will be on the UW offense to keep up. Expect the Huskies to take some shots downfield against an Oregon secondary that has proved vulnerable.
Notes: Despite Oregon's recent dominance, UW leads the series 58-41-5. Oregon, though, has won 13 of 17 starting in 1994 with the "Kenny Wheaton game" in Eugene, a 31-20 Ducks victory that many cite as the beginning of Oregon's rise. Wheaton sealed the win with a last-minute interception return for a touchdown. ... This is the first of UW's games this year against its Northwest rivals. The Huskies are 183-106-15 in those games. UW coach Steve Sarkisian, though, is 0-3 against Oregon and 4-5 against the Northwest (1-2 against OSU and 3-0 against WSU). ... UW has not won in Eugene since a 42-14 win in 2002. ... Washington has only one player on its roster from Oregon — offensive lineman James Atoe of The Dalles. Oregon has two from Washington — OL Nick Cody of Brush Prairie and DL Nick Morrison of Everett (Cascade).
Upset brewing? The point spread makes it clear the odds are against UW winning a game against a top-10 foe for the second straight week. Playing on the road, against Oregon's offensive firepower, is a lot to overcome. Huskies need to force turnovers and have offense make plays in first half to keep game close.
Injuries: Neither school releases injuries. But among those known out for UW are RB Jesse Callier (knee), DE Hau'oli Jamora (knee), RB Deontae Cooper (knee), WR James Johnson (wrist), OL Erik Kohler (knee), OL Colin Tanigawa (knee) and DL Lawrence Lagafuaina (leg). OT Ben Riva, who has been out since breaking a forearm against San Diego State, was listed again on the depth chart this week and could be back. For Oregon, LB Michael Clay has been regarded as questionable due to an undisclosed injury that limited his play last week against Washington State. Starting safety John Boyett (knees)and OT Carson York (knee) are out for the season with injuries suffered earlier in the year.
Prediction: Oregon 37, Washington 17.