NCAA Football Picks: Washington Huskies vs Oregon Ducks
Friday, October 05, 2012
by Frank Martin
Oregon Ducks seeks its ninth consecutive victory over visiting Washington Huskies when the two Pac-12 squads meet on Saturday. The No. 2 Ducks have won each of the previous eight meetings by 17 or more points while establishing themselves as the power school of the Pacific Northwest.
That title traditionally belonged to the Huskies, but Oregon’s average margin of 25.3 points during the winning streak is a solid indicator of the Ducks’ rise and Washington’s decline.
Oregon has won 27 of its last 28 home games and is averaging 52.4 points and 550.6 yards per game this season. The Huskies defeated Stanford in their last game but were drubbed 41-3 by LSU on Sept. 8 in their toughest contest of the season.
Washington Huskies (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12 North): Junior quarterback Keith Price has thrown only five touchdown passes after tossing a school-record 33 last year and the Huskies will require a good game by Price to stay with the high-flying Ducks. Sophomore receiver Kasen Williams had a career-best game with 10 receptions for 129 yards in the victory over Stanford and leads Washington with 25 receptions. Sophomore running back Bishop Sankey has a team-best 329 yards and his confidence is soaring after rolling up a career-high 144 against Stanford. Senior cornerback Desmond Trufant has six career interceptions and is Washington’s top defensive player. The Huskies are allowing 147.2 yards per game on the ground and keeping the Ducks from breaking long touchdown runs will be a crucial component.
Oregon Ducks (5-0, 2-0): Kenjon Barner has emerged as one of the nation’s top running backs while helping the Ducks average 303.0 yards on the ground, sixth-best nationally. Barner has rushed for 605 yards and nine touchdowns and has had games of 201 yards against Fresno State and 195 against Arizona. Sophomore running back De’Anthony Thomas (302 yards) is averaging 9.7 yards per carry. Redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota is completing 68.8 percent of his passes and has thrown 11 touchdown passes. Oregon’s defense has three interception returns for touchdowns – one each by sophomore cornerbacks Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Troy Hill, and junior safety Avery Patterson. Senior linebacker Michael Clay is dealing with a leg injury and hopes to play.
1. Washington leads the series 58-41-5, but Oregon has won 13 of the last 17 meetings.
2. The Huskies are allowing 19.8 points per game under first-year defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, a sharp decrease from the 35.9 average of last season.
3. The Ducks are 27-2 in Pac-12 games during Chip Kelly’s four seasons.
NCAA Football Prediction: Oregon 48, Washington 24.
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