In hindsight, it's almost comical to think there were questions about whether Oregon's offense would drop off under Mark Helfrich after Chip Kelly departed for the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason.
The No. 2 Ducks (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) have scored at least 55 points in five straight weeks for the first time in program history, including a 57-16 blowout of Colorado last week, which included totaling 755 yards.
Dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota was tremendous in the victory, passing for 355 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 43 yards and two scores. He currently ranks ninth in the nation with 339.2 total yards per contest.
No. 16 Washington (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) is coming off a tough loss to No. 5 Stanford, which saw the Cardinal pull away down the stretch. Washington held Stanford to 279 yards of total offense but still fell in California, 31-28.
Let's take a look at the Pac-12 showdown on Saturday in Seattle.
Statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com
When: Saturday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. ET
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wa.
Watch: Fox Sports 1
Betting Line (via Covers.com): Oregon -13.5
Oregon Injuries (via USA Today)
Questionable: RB De'Anthony Thomas (Ankle)
Washington Injuries (via USA Today)
Questionable: DB Taz Stevenson (Arm), CB Patrick Enewally (Hand), G Erik Kohler (Foot)
Top Storyline: The Heisman Candidacy of Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota has been virtually unstoppable this season.
Even without the explosive De'Anthony Thomas last week, Mariota still accounted for 398 total yards and seven touchdowns. He's been about as much of a one-man wrecking crew as you can be in the game of football.
Receiver Bralon Addison said of Mariota, via ESPN.com:
Marcus does some amazing things with his legs and has the arm to complement those legs. It's almost like he's playing a video game out there.
That being said, Mariota faces his toughest challenge of the season so far against Washington on Saturday. The Huskies rank 11th in the nation in points allowed per game and 10th in the country in total yards allowed per contest. If it wasn't for a 99-yard kickoff return by Stanford's Ty Montgomery last week, Stanford would have lost that game.
Mariota and the Ducks have yet to be slowed down in the slightest so far. It's going to be interesting to see what the Huskies can do against Oregon in Seattle.
Prediction: Oregon 40, Washington 27
Washington is no slouch, but I still can't see the Huskies halting Oregon's 17-game winning streak on the road.
Beyond Oregon's explosive offense, the Ducks also boast a defense ranked second in the nation in points allowed per game. California was averaging 33.7 points per game before Oregon won in Week 5, 55-16.
Washington loves to run the pigskin, but Oregon is ranked 17th in the nation in yards allowed per carry. Stanford held the Huskies to 3.5 yards per carry last week.
In the end, Oregon's offense is just too explosive—with or without De'Anthony Thomas—to be outscored in Seattle.
There's also this, per College GameDay:
I expect the Ducks to roll to their sixth win of the 2013 campaign.