EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Ducks beat the Washington Huskies 45-24 in Seattle Saturday.
The renewed rivalry took center stage Saturday morning for ESPN's GameDay. The high-energy weekly cable college football show is in Seattle for the first time ever as No. 16 Huskies host the No. 2 Ducks.
Saturday was the 106th faceoff between the two teams, but the Huskies have shown little bite in their not-so-bitter rivalry against the Ducks, in which Oregon has walked away with the last nine wins.
With Washington Fish and Wildlife literally opening duck hunting season on Saturday, Huskies fans are reveling in a lot of ironic smack talk, saying the (4-1) Huskies finally have a shot against the (5-0) Ducks, or at least a chance to put up a fight.
Despite coming off a stinging 31-28 loss to Stanford last week, the Huskies have racked up a stunning 17-game winning streak on the road. U Dub’s quarterback Keith Price, running back Bishop Sankey, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Kasen Williams are the kind of high-caliber players that the Ducks will need to equally match up against if they are going to deign the Huskies as rivals.
Former Ducks and current Huskies defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox has put together a strong Huskies defensive game. The team lets in less than 4 yards per play and 4.3 yards per pass attempt. That, and quarterback Marcus Mariota will face the two Huskies cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Gregory Ducre. Even Duck’s coach Mark Helfrich has said they represent “the best tandem we’ve played against, certainly this year and maybe in a long time."
Will it be enough against a Duck offense that leads the nation in plays of 20-plus yards and a defense that is tied for the fewest allowed yards? Mariota has a 17-1 record as a starter. He leads the Ducks to a touchdown every 1.67 drives. The team has scored 55 points or more in five straight games.
Will the Huskies hold up against the Duck’s lightning offense with running backs like Thomas Tyner who has run for a touchdown in all four games he’s played in?
ESPN has upgraded the Huskies chances to ‘legitimate shot’ from ‘no shot at all.’
We’ll see Saturday if the cameras focus on just another pounding by the Duck or a game more worthy of the term rivalry.
GameDay starts at 1 p.m. Pacific
Around the web
CNN - Game Day
Relive some Ducks glory, The Bleachers Report
The Oregonian: Duck's receivers and Huskies' corners could be the best on the field
Play-by-player rundown at GameDayR.com