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Pac-12 Game Preview: Oregon vs. Washington


The Oregon Ducks have been nearly flawless in their first five games of the season, but they’ll face their toughest test of 2013 so far as they visit Seattle and the 16th-ranked Washington Huskies today.

The Huskies are coming off their first loss of the year, but they nearly toppled the 5th-ranked Stanford Cardinal, eventually falling 31-28. Washington showed off its high-powered offense – which seems to be an attempt at replicating Oregon’s successful high-tempo style – even in the defeat, but it will likely be tougher to move the ball against a Duck team that has held opponents to 11.8 points per game (2nd in nation).

Of course, when facing the Ducks, it’s not just the defense you have to worry about. Even more challenging for the Dogs will be slowing down Oregon’s offense, which has scored 59.2 points per game (also 2nd in nation). Oregon played Colorado last week without dynamic speedster De’Anthony Thomas, but didn’t miss a beat as it racked up 755 total yards of offense en route to a convincing 57-16 win.

However, that’s not to say Washington won’t present the Ducks with some challenges as well. Today’s game will mark Oregon’s first of the year against a ranked opponent and second on the road. The hostile environment of the new-and-improved Husky Stadium could cause the Ducks to stumble out of the gate and give the Huskies a chance to build some early momentum. And with that effective spread attack of theirs, the Dogs could conceivably give Oregon a pre-Halloween scare, especially if they force some turnovers and benefit from short field situations.

Washington’s problem is – like every team that faces Oregon – mapping out a gameplan to pull off the upset is reliant of a lot of ifs. How about this if: If Oregon runs its offense like it normally does, it will likely easily cruise into the second half with an insurmountable lead and add Washington to its ever-expanding list of helpless victims.

The Ducks have plenty of impressive and pretty stats to look at, but here are the biggest ones to consider before betting the point spread for this game: 1. Oregon has defeated Washington nine straight times dating back to 2003 by an average of 25.8 points and 2. Oregon has covered all five of the large spreads laid upon them as the favorite this season.

So, can the Ducks cover -12 today in Seattle? You betcha. Take Oregon to win this one and cover for the sixth consecutive time.

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