Washington's Final Game At Husky Stadium Ruined By No. 8 Oregon Ducks

The Huskies host the Ducks at home this weekend in a big Pac-12 North contest.

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2011 Bowl Projections: Oregon Vs. Stanford Will Have Rose Bowl Implications

Now that LSU vs. Alabama has come and gone, there's only one true super-matchup remaining in the 2011 BCS regular season. The 9-0 Stanford Cardinal will host the 8-1 Oregon Ducks on Saturday, and that game will directly affect the participants in the 2012 Rose Bowl if not the BCS Championship Game.

Both Stanford and Oregon are undefeated in Pac-12 play, and Saturday's game will be a chance for the Ducks to move into a tie for first place atop the Pac-12 North. If Stanford wins, however, they could find themselves in second place on the BCS standings and looking at a trip to the BCS Championship game. That would leave the BCS searching for a replacement Pac-12 team to compete in the Rose Bowl, and Oregon has a great chance of filling that slot even if they should lose to Stanford. Long story short: although this is still a crucial game for both teams, Oregon could potentially come out of this game just fine even if they should lose.

Meanwhile, the Washington Huskies are still projected to play in the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl thanks to their hot start. Their loss to the Ducks on Saturday was factored into the prediction that they would finish at 8-4.

Your 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule can be found right here.

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Washington's Final Game At Husky Stadium Ruined By No. 8 Oregon Ducks

Emotions were high and Husky stadium was electric, but the Washington Huskies (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12) weren't able to pull off the upset against the Oregon Ducks (8-1, 6-0) on Saturday night. The 34-17 loss to the Ducks was the final game for the Huskies at Husky Stadium — at least for awhile until the stadium is fully renovated.

While hope for a Husky victory was in the air going into the half with the Huskies only down 17-10, Oregon quickly brought Washington and its largest crowd of the year (69,407) back to earth in the second half. 

In their first drive of the second half, the Ducks methodically drove the ball 90 yards on 12 plays in their first drive ending with a Kenjon Barner touchdown run. On their very next drive, the Ducks drove the ball for 70 yards on 6 plays ending with a nine-yard De'Anthony Thomas touchdown run. 

While the Washington Huskies were able to somewhat contain the Ducks in the first half, the Oregon rushing attack was unstoppable. LaMichael James finished the game with 156 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. Barner added 41 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries.

Washington's Keith Price faced a constant pass rush from Oregon's defensive line the entire game. Increased pressure from the defense forced Price into two ill-advised passes that led to two interceptions in the first half. Safety Eddie Pleasant intercepted Price on both occasions. The Ducks capitalized on both first half turnovers by scoring touchdowns with the good field position.

At the end of the second quarter, it looked like Price had finally calmed down. He led the Huskies on a 12 play 49 yard drive, completing a touchdown pass to backup tight end Michael Hartvigson. This pass cut the Ducks lead to seven points, with the Huskies down 17-10 going into the half. 

The Ducks defense keyed in on running back Chris Polk the entire, successfully holding him to only 80 yards on 22 carries.

Washington has games left against USC, Oregon St. and Washington St. left on their schedule.  While Oregon meets Stanford next week for a game that will decide the Pac-12 North Division championship and also have huge BCS implications. 

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Washington Vs. Oregon: Ducks Up 31-17, Teams Trade Touchdowns In Third Quarter

Is this game turning into a shoot-out? The Oregon Ducks methodically moved 90 yards down the field on 12 plays in under three minutes. In the last five plays of their drive, running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner combined for 28 yards rushing yards with Barner taking it in the end zone.

In the next drive, the Huskies answered right back with a nine play 75 yard drive. Kasen Williams made an impressive two handed touchdown catch while falling out of the left of Oregon's end zone. 

Oregon came storming back the subsequent drive as the Husky secondary was burned by Darren Thomas. The Ducks moved the ball 70 yards in six plays in under three minutes.

Thomas found David Paulson for a 34 yard catch in a critical 3rd-and-9 situation that put the Ducks into Husky territory. Three plays later, freshman De'Anthony Thomas ran the ball into the end zone untouched for a nine yard run.

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Washington Vs. Oregon Score Update: Oregon Up 17-10 At The Half

Despite some costly turnovers and a shaky first few offensive drives, the Huskies end the first half only down by seven points. Surprisingly, the frequently criticized Husky defense has been the difference for the Huskies so far in this game. Oregon has run 22 plays for scrimmage in 6:14 minutes while the Huskies have had possession of the football for 23:45 minutes with a total of  42 plays.

Oregon's only touchdowns have been off of Keith Price interceptions on drives of 38 and 34 yards. Nick Holt's defense forced the Ducks to punt twice in the second quarter. 

The Huskies offense was shaky at the beginning of the game but finally got in a rhythm at the end of the second quarter. Price led the Huskies offense in a 12 play 49 yard drive. Tight End Michael Hartvigson caught his first touchdown pass of the season from Price on a brilliant play-action fake.

If the Huskies can continue to get production from Chris Polk and keep control of the game clock, they will be able to stay in the game against Oregon. 

Oregon will receive to start the second half. Failure in stopping the Ducks on their first drive is critical for the Huskies. A seven point lead could easily balloon to a 21 point lead very quickly because of Oregon's explosive offense.

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Washington Vs. Oregon Score Update: Ducks Capitalize On Husky Turnovers, Up 17-3

It looks like Keith Price is human. In the past two games, Price has throw five interceptions, including two interceptions in the first half in today's game. Oregon safety Eddie Pleasant has picked off Price in both instances. Both interceptions were ill-advised; the one in the first quarter was into double coverage, while Price's second interception was simply overthrown.

Oregon was able to capitalize on both interceptions with touchdowns. Instead of what could be a 10-6 or a 10-7 game, the Huskies are already down by two possessions.

The Ducks quick and aggressive defense is leaving little time for Price in the pocket to make informed decisions. In the Huskies' last drive, Oregon rushed only three defensive lineman and was still able to sack Price.

Head Coach Steve Sarkisian was telling Price to settle down when the Huskies came off the field in the last drive. Several of Price's passes have been uncharacteristically long and high.

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Washington Vs. Oregon Score Update: Ducks Lead 7-3 Midway Through First Quarter

Not pleasant. Oregon raced to a 7-0 lead within the first four minutes of the game after the Ducks safety Eddie Pleasant intercepted a pass from Huskies quarterback Keith Price. Price threw into triple coverage and was picked off, giving the Ducks the ball in UW's territory.

It took the Ducks only three plays from the Huskies 40 yard line to score. Junior running back LaMichael James found the end zone on a 18 yard touchdown run. 

After a three-and-out, the Huskies regained a possession after Oregon quarterback Darren Thomas fumbled the football. Erik Folk nailed a 42-yard field goal to put the Huskies on the board.

Huskies running back Chris Polk is struggling with four yards on three carries in the early going. Running the ball and controlling the clock behind the efforts of Polk is paramount for the Huskies in their chances to pull off the upset. If the Huskies can't control the clock, Oregon's offense will put up a lot of points very fast.

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Washington vs. Oregon Kickoff Time, TV Coverage and More

This weekend's matchup between the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks may not be receiving as much attention as other games across the country, but it should be. This is a crucial Pac-12 showdown with potential BCS implications down the road.

For Washington, they enter as a team that battled with the Arizona Wildcats for four quarters and were able to pull away with a late victory. Chris Polk had a career day running the ball and will look to continue his success against a tough Oregon front-seven.

For the Ducks, they have been on a roll since a loss the first week of the season. Quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James are reportedly 100% healthy for the game and will be looking to wreck havoc at Husky Stadium.

Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. EDT / 7:30 p.m. PDT

TV Coverage: FOX Sports Net

Weather Forecast: It will be a cold night for football in Seattle. Temperatures will be in the low-40s and there is a slight chance of rain.

Opening Line: UW enters as 15 to 16 1/2 point underdogs.

Team Sites: UW Dawg PoundAddicted To Quack

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Washington vs. Oregon Injury Report: Darron Thomas Probable For Pac-12 Showdown

One of the biggest games of the Pac-12 season is almost here. As the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies prepare for a battle in Seattle, both have suffered injuries to their star players in recent weeks.

For Oregon, they will have both Darron Thomas and LaMichael James to wreck havoc on the Huskies defense. UW has quite a few of their talented wide receivers on the mend, though most will be game-time decisions. Here is Ted Miller's final injury report:

Oregon:
CB Cliff Harris, suspension, out
S James Scales, knee, out
P Jackson Rice, hip, probable
CB Anthony Gildon, undisclosed, probable
QB Darron Thomas, knee, probable
K Rob Beard, undisclosed, questionable

Washington:
WR James Johnson, ankle, doubtful
DE Talia Crichton, knee, doubtful
WR Kasen Williams,ankle, probable
S Justin Glenn, foot, probable
WR Jermaine Kearse, ankle, questionable

Johnson is likely going to miss the game, though both Williams and (more importantly) Kearse are expected to play despite their ankle injuries. Chris Polk will do most of the heavy lifting for the Huskies, but if the team falls behind UO early, the passing game will become a critical aspect of the game for Washington.

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Oregon Vs. Washington: LaMichael James 100%, Ready To Go

The Oregon Ducks and the Washington Huskies are set to do battle on Saturday night, and it looks as if Oregon is going to have all of their offensive hands on deck. Darron Thomas is slated to return to action and ready to start ahead of Bryan Bennett. And perhaps his more valuable teammate LaMichael James is ready to join him.

Chip Kelly talked to Jason Puckett of KJR 950 AM Radio, and did say that LaMichael is ready to play and is all set. Kelly didn't go beyond that though, so whether James will actually start and get reps as the number one option remains to be seen. Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas have done a fine enough job holding things down against Arizona State, Colorado and Washington State, but it figures to be a scorefest this Saturday, so James's presence might not just be desired, it could be necessitated.

For more on Oregon football, head to Addicted to Quack. For more on Washington football, check out UW Dawg Pound.

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Washington vs. Oregon: Darron Thomas To Start at QB for Ducks

As the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies get set for battle, Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is making some changes to his starters, most notably at the quarterback position. 

per Dave Mahler on Twitter:

Chip Kelly says Darron Thomas starts at QB Saturday for Ducks
Nov 03 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

That's right folks, Darron Thomas will be back under center for the Ducks this week, after being replaced at halftime last week  by redshirt freshman Bryan Bennett. Thomas has been preparing all week as he will be the starter, and removed all doubt that he won't be playing with Coach Kelly's endorsement. 

In other news, Scott Eyeart tweeted that cornerback Cliff Harris will not be playing this Saturday for the Ducks due to his off the field issues. Harris hasn't played in the last few weeks. 

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Washington Vs. Oregon: James Johnson Likely Out, Kasen Williams Tweaks Ankle

The Washington Huskies will host the Oregon Ducks this weekend in a game between two of the best teams in the Pac-12 North. Washington will likely be without wide receiver James Johnson, according to a statement by head coach Steve Sarkisian via Bob Condetta of the Seattle Times.

Johnson entered practice on Monday with a boot over his right leg and wasn't expected to play this week. That assumption seems to gaining traction as the week progresses. Johnson has posted 330 receiving yards and three touchdowns this season, ranking fourth among Huskies wide receivers in total yardage on 26 catches.

Wide receiver Kasen Williams tweaked his ankle during Wednesday's practice but appears to be okay, according to Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune. Williams sustained the tweak during 11-on-11 drills at Huskies practice after receiving a hit from Nate Fellner. He should still play on Sunday.

Williams' presence will be needed with Johnson out. Williams has recorded 157 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just 14 receptions this season, and he could add to that total on Sunday with Johnson out.

Quarterback Keith Price will need to find his receivers early and often against the Ducks to pull off the upset. With Johnson out, the Huskies receiving corps as a whole will need more production out of its members. 

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2011 Bowl Projections: Washington Predicted To Play Baylor In Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl

The Washington Huskies have a big game against the Oregon Ducks this week, and the team looks poised to make a bowl game after storming out to a 6-2 record. According to SB Nation's very own Bill Connelly, the Huskies are projected to take on Baylor in the Bridgeport Education Bowl.

Connelly predicts that the Huskies will finish the season with an 8-4 record, with losses presumably coming to Oregon and USC over the next two weeks before victories over Oregon State and Washington State.  

The projections place Washington as the fourth-best team in the Pac-12, behind Stanford (13-0), Oregon (11-2) and Arizona St. (9-4). If the Huskies manage to beat out either Oregon or USC in the coming weeks, they could jump Arizona St. in the Pac-12 hierarchy and play in a higher bowl game.

If the Huskies win both games over the Ducks and Trojans,  Washington could potentially move itself into Rose Bowl contention, as Avinash Kunnath of Pacific Takes explains:

Currently UW is floating outside the top 25, but Washington upsetting Oregon and USC in subsequent weeks and then winning out against Oregon State and Washington State might just be enough to push them into the top 14, ahead of Arizona State (presuming they don't win out and finish with at most three losses).

These next weeks will decide Washington's bowl destiny. Wins over either/both Oregon and USC would elevate the Huskies' bowl status, but Washington is on pace to finish at worst 8-4 and earn itself a bowl game this season even with two losses.

As bowl season approaches, check out the 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule.

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2011 Bowl Projections: Oregon Projected To Play In Rose Bowl Against Wisconsin

The 2011 college football season is entering its final few weeks, and the Oregon Ducks are still a top national contender despite their season-opening loss to the LSU Tigers. The match-ups over the next few weeks will decide where exactly each team falls in the college bowl game landscape, but for now the Ducks are projected to play in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, according to SB Nation's very own Bill Connelly.

According to Connelly, the Ducks are projected to lose to Stanford next week by the slimmest of margins but win out the rest of the season. If this scenario plays out- in addition to Alabama defeating LSU this weekend and Oklahoma edging out Oklahoma State- the Cardinal (13-0) would find themselves undefeated and in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama (13-0).

The loss to Stanford would drop Oregon to 10-2, but with losses coming to two top-10 (and possibly top-5) teams in LSU and Stanford, the Ducks would likely be the top two-loss team in the country. Connelly's projections have the Ducks playing the 11-2 Badgers, who would need to run the table from here on out to attain that record, in the Rose Bowl.

Of course, the entire bowl game situation changes if Oregon defeats Stanford next week. Stanford would be knocked out of contention for the BCS National Championship Game with the loss and the Ducks would position themselves as one of the top one-loss teams in the country, placing themselves in the same realm of this week's Alabama-LSU loser as well as (potentially) Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. 

As bowl season approaches, check out the 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule.

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Washington Vs. Oregon: Rose Bowl At Stake?

Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks battling for Pasadena? That could very well be the case.

The Stanford Cardinal would have to win out for this scenario to be on the table. But if Stanford won out (which would include a victory over Oregon next Saturday night) and ended up in the BCS title game, then the Pac-12 spot for the Rose Bowl would open up.

As we all know, the Rose Bowl would love to set up the traditional matchup between the Big 10 and the Pac-12. Last year though, a new provision in the BCS required the Rose Bowl to take the top non-automatic qualifier if they fit BCS parameters, which the undefeated TCU Horned Frogs ended up doing. Since this provision only existed for one year, that means the Rose Bowl will likely choose the Pac-12 runnerup in the BCS rankings.

The Oregon Ducks would be clearcut second place finishers if they dropped games only to LSU and Stanford and would probably still make the top 14 BCS cutoff. That probably wouldn't happen if Oregon got upset by Washington. I explain over at Pacific Takes the parameters by which UW could find their way to Pasadena.

Currently UW is floating outside the top 25, but Washington upsetting Oregon and USC in subsequent weeks and then winning out against Oregon State and Washington State might just be enough to push them into the top 14, ahead of Arizona State (presuming they don't win out and finish with at most three losses).

Oregon-Stanford might be for top dog Pac-12 status next Saturday night, but Oregon-Washington could be where the fate for the Rose Bowl is decided.

For more on Washington football, hit up UW Dawg Pound. For more on Oregon football, check out Addicted to Quack.

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Oregon vs. Washington Odds: Huskies Open As Heavy Underdogs At Home

When the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies meet on Saturday evening, all eyes will be on the two contenders in the Pac-12 North. A victory would be big for both programs and fans should expect a great same in Seattle.

As the two teams prepare for the showdown, the odds makers in Vegas have shown who they believe will have the advantage. According to Odds Shark, the Ducks will be favored by more than two touchdowns. Some betting sites have the point spread as low as 15 points, others have it as high as 16 1/2. 

Regardless of what the oddsmakers believe, there will be plenty of fireworks at Husky Stadium. UW running back Chris Polk and Oregon running back LaMichael James are both capable of electrifying a defense with their elusiveness and speed and both teams are very well coached.

It is imperative for the Huskies to get off to a strong start and to build an early lead. The Ducks are (arguably) the best second half team in the nation and their ability to score in a hurry is remarkable. Playing from behind against UO is seemingly impossible and the 'Dawgs want to avoid it completely.

For more on this game, check out UW Dawg Pound and Addicted To Quack.

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Washington Vs. Oregon: Huskies Host Ducks In Pac-12 North Showdown

The Huskies host the Ducks at home this weekend in a big Pac-12 North contest.

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