While both teams were ranked in the Top 25 entering Saturday's Pac-12 showdown, the Washington Huskies simply are not on the same level as the Oregon Ducks. Oregon made that point clear in their 52-21 win at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
There was some hope that Washington's defense was maturing under first-year defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. They managed to keep Stanford in check last week, limiting the Cardinal to just 13 points.
The defense did manage to carry over for Oregon's first two possessions, keeping the game close for a good 10 minutes on Saturday. Washington intercepted a Marcus Mariota pass on Oregon's opening possession and drove into Duck territory.
The Huskies then forced Oregon into a quick punt on their second possession...but that is where the wheels fell off.
Marvin Hall fumbled the Duck punt, leading to a quick six on a De'Anthony Thomas run.
Another failed Washington drive led to Oregon covering 69 yards on two plays. The lead then jumped to 21-0 after Avery Patterson intercepted a Keith Price pass and returned it 43 yards for a score.
The Ducks scored on five consecutive opportunities before Rob Beard missed a 41-yard field goal attempt late in the first half. They took a 35-7 lead into the locker room and the Huskies weren't able to make a game out of it.
Oregon scored on three of four second-half drives.
Life won’t get much easier for Washington (3-2) as their next three games are against USC, Arizona and Oregon State.
The Ducks (6-0) travel to Arizona State next week.
Tweets of the Night
I would say this mission was accomplished.
Oregon’s gonna have to do a lot more than win to maintain its No. 2 ranking … es.pn/Vb7UWl— ESPN (@espn) October 2, 2012
Oregon wasted little time setting the tone in this game.
Prior to tonight, Washington had given up only 32 first-half points. That's 28 tonight for Oregon w 10:46 to play in half.— John Canzano (@JohnCanzanoBFT) October 7, 2012
Sometimes teams need to settle for the small victories and that is all Washington had in this game.
For what it's worth, Washington out-scored Oregon, 7-3, in the third quarter. #UWvsOregon— UW Football (@UW_Football) October 7, 2012
This is a game the Ducks are always up for. There has been bad blood between to two schools since Oregon rose to prominence.
Man, I really figured Washington would give Oregon more trouble than, you know, Washington State.— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) October 7, 2012
Want more proof that Oregon gets up for the Dawgs?
Grades for Washington
QB Keith Price: C
The expectations for Washington weren't high in this game. Price did what he could with the time he had to throw, but averaged just 4.7 yards per pass.
His second interception, coming in Oregon’s end zone, did little to impact the game but it did take away an opportunity to make the score a bit more respectable.
RB Bishop Sankey: B
One of the few bright spots on the game was the effort from Sankey. He ran hard and picked up 104 yards on 25 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
Washington Offense: C
There weren’t many positives in this game on either side of the ball, but the offense did move the ball well at times. They had 300 yards of offense with 19 first downs.
If there was a way for the defense to make a mistake on Saturday, they found it. They surrendered over 500 yards and numerous big plays.
When they weren’t surrendering yards, they still gave some away with several poor penalties. They need to regroup before they host the Trojans next week.
Washington Special Teams: C
The Husky punt return team started the onslaught with a muffed punt. The coverage team got one back deep in Oregon territory, but the damage was done by that point.
Grades for Oregon: A
It is hard to find issue with any part of Oregon's dismantling of the Huskies. Mariota did throw an interception but he had four touchdowns on 15-for-24 throwing for 198 yards.
The Ducks averaged 5.8 yards per carry, each of the following deserving an A:
Colt Lyerla can't be ignored, either. He had 71 yards and two touchdowns on three receptions.
The defense was dominant, but Patterson gets and additional mention for his interception return.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.
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