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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 5, 2010 at 2:55 PM

The pick. …

Okay, so I’m sure you all dying of suspense. I’ll save it just in case — I’m picking Oregon, 49-10. A little closer than some, and yes, I do see the Huskies scoring, unlike a few others.
Otherwise, I think this will be a pretty predictable rout for the home team. After the last two weeks, and with UW’s QB situation, it’s hard to envision it developing any other way.
As far as I can tell, this is the widest spread against UW other than a 45-pointer at USC in 2008, the week after Tyrone Willingham was fired. UW lost that one 56-0.
Two others that rival it were 35-point spreads at USC in 2004 (the game mentioned in the earlier threat as Isaiah Stanback’s first start), a game UW lost 38-0; and in the final game of 2008, which the Bears won 48-7.
Otherwise, for decades UW was on the otherside of really wide spreads so not a lot of history here to go on. As far as I can tell, the biggest spread UW has overcome to win a game in the last few decades came last season against USC, when the Trojans were 19-point favorites. UW won that game 16-13. But this situation is obviously so different it’s not even worth comparing.
Realistically, UW isn’t going to slow down Oregon’s offense a whole lot — the only hope there is to force turnovers, and the Ducks have been sloppy at times, losing 15 this year (a few TOs were the main reason the WSU game was as close as it was).
So UW’s only real hope at respectability is to get the offense going. That Price is now the QB, however, makes that even harder to read. UW won’t go with the true freshman right side of the line, with Cody Habben slated to return as the starting RT (and I would imagine Greg Christine will play some at RG, as well). So maybe that will help settle down the line a little bit.
Obviously the QB situation puts a lilttle bit of an asterisk on this game.
But the Huskies need to leave Eugene with at least something to feel good about offensively.
As documented all week, UW has not scored since the 7:50 mark of the Arizona game, a span of 97:50.
But not only has UW not scored in that time, but it hasn’t even reached the red zone.
In 17 drives since that TD, UW hasn’t gotten past its opponents’ 25 (which came against Arizona, a drive that ended in a failed fourth down). UW didn’t get past the Stanford 42 last week had just five snaps past midfield.
Further illustrating the offensive issues, consider that since that last score, UW has had 83 plays and gained 230 yards. And in the last six quarters, UW hasn’t had a play longer than 19 yards.
There are some legitimate reasons why the UW offense hasn’t been quite as dynamic as was thought it might be heading into the season — the loss of Kavario Middleton, the injuries to James Johnson and Devin Aguilar, even the injuries to Johri Fogerson and Deontae Cooper, which have severly thinned the depth at tailback and limited the options at that spot.
Still, the offensive futility the last two games is pretty hard to fathom considering the optimism of August.
Arizona and Stanford do rank as two of the top three defenses in the conference. But Oregon is right there with them at No. 4 overall, though with a 4.5 yards per play against average that is actually the best in the conference so tomorrow won’t be any easier.
UW has to hope, though, it leaves Eugene with at least a little offensive momentum to take into the final three weeks when the schedule downshifts a little bit — and when its bowl hopes (yes, those are still within reach) will be decided for good.



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