Washington vs. Oregon: Will the Ducks Drop Another 50-Spot on the Huskies?

T.J. McaloonContributorOctober 6, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Running back Kenjon Barner #24, and quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks, watch from the sidelines near the end of the game against the Washington State Cougars on September 29, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It’s no surprise that the Oregon Ducks have one of the highest scoring offenses in not only the Pac-12, but the entire country. They’ve hung 50-or-more points before this season, and will do it again before the season is complete. 

However, the question that faces the Ducks tonight against No. 23 Washington Huskies is: can they do it again? 

If they would be able to hang 50-points on a Huskies defense that is averaging 19.8 allowed points to opponents, it will be the second time they have accomplished this against a conference opponent and fourth time out of its previous five games. 

How it can be done: 

This Oregon offense has been led by a plethora of offensive weapons. The most dangerous threat of this offense is the speedy running back, De’Anthony Thomas.

Thomas may not lead the Ducks in rushing, as Kenjon Barner is the Ducks leading rusher in attempts, yards and touchdowns. However, at any moment, when Thomas has the ball, he is a threat to take it to the house. 

Through five games, Thomas has four touchdowns of 30-yards-or-more. In fact, two of those four long touchdowns have come from an insane 50-yards out. 

If the Washington defense wants to have any chance of keeping the Ducks from blowing them out by 50-points or more, then they have to find a way to contain the speedy sophomore running back. 

How Washington can stay in the game:

Like I just said in the previous paragraph, the key to containing this explosive offense is to take away its speedy skill players. 

Washington is coming into this game after a huge upset victory at home over the then-No. 8 team in the country, the Stanford Cardinal. The defense had a great game plan of forcing Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes into rushed throws that resulted in incompletions and a interception. 

That strategy held Stanford to its lowest point total of its season—13. 

The Huskies defense will have to continue to play lights-out in the passing game to have any chance of containing the Ducks. 

Washington comes into Eugene with the best passing defense in the Pac-12, only allowing opposing teams to 671 total yards. This trend will be tested against Oregon’s No. 2 offense, which is averaging 550.6 yards-per-game. 

If the Huskies can contain the rushing attack of Thomas and Barner, while forcing Oregon to beat them with its passing attack, then the Huskies will keep this game under 50-points. 

What will happen:

In two conference games already—against Arizona and Washington State—the Ducks have scored 49 and 51 points. The trend says that they should continue to be that explosive offense that blows teams out by the third quarter. 

However, against Stanford, Washing was supposed to be overmatched and have no chance. Instead, they took away Stanford’s passing game, which crushed its offense. If they can do that tonight then we will see a tight game. 

In my opinion, I see Oregon winning by scoring 56 points. 

But, I could be wrong and we could see Washington pull off a colossal upset on the road.