Oregon vs. Washington State: Why Oregon Will Eviscerate a Woeful Cougar Defense

Mike Shiekman@TheRealShiekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2012

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 15:  De'Anthony Thomas #6 of the Oregon Ducks returns a punt against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on September 15, 2012 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Oregon Ducks offensive juggernaut heads to Seattle to face the Washington State Cougars, but they'll feel the comforts of home playing against a weak Cougar defense.

Washington State has already played in a Pac-12 game, but they haven't played against this type of speed.

De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner will lead the attack, with gaping holes and long runs galore. Mike Leach will be watching from the other side wishing he had Oregon's backups on his squad.

At the tempo that Chip Kelly's offense goes, Oregon should take a digit-digit lead and fast. Of Oregon's 27 touchdown drives this season, 14 of them have been scored in two minutes or less.

Oregon's defense, though, may be playing just as well as their vaunted offense. They have been giving up a low 17.4 points per game. For a team that scores no lower than 40, that's one formidable combination on both sides of the ball.

The Ducks may be able to put up as many as 70 points on the Cougars, which may be the product of Washington State themselves.

The university brought in Mike Leach to resurrect the program, but Oregon will be easily prepared for the spread attack because their defense plays a better version of them in practice.

Not to mention how the Cougars have fared already in Pac-12 play indicates a blowout. Leach's squad was ahead 31-14 against lowly Colorado last weekend, until the second half struck. The Buffaloes outscored them 21-3 in a ferocious comeback.

Now the No. 2 team comes to town. And they're a bit faster than the Buffaloes.

Last season in Eugene the Cougars kept it a close game; the lead was single digits until the Ducks pulled away 43-28. Washington State employ a new coach, new quarterback and new system, though.

Oregon is a well-oiled machine. They'll be ready to strike early and often.

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