Almost more stuff than the blog can handle this morning so we’d better get right to it. …
— I’ll be participating in a live chat along with Ken Goe of The Oregonian today at 12:30 p.m. (I’m planning on having my own regular chat on Friday).
— The Oregonian also has a live chat today at 1 p.m. with Oregon tight end David Paulson, a Washingtonian who got away.
— For my story for today’s paper, I wrote about UW’s improving special teams and the key role it could have in Saturday’s game. Included is a bit of a breakdown of just how critical special teams has been for Oregon of late, especially the last two years. In 2009, Oregon blocked a punt for a TD, pulled off a fake field goal to set up another TD, and had a two-point conversion. Last year, three long returns helped set up scores, including one after UW had cut the lead to 18-13 in the third quarter. Oregon also had a two-pointer last year. But as noted in the story, UW’s special teams have improved in every area, most notable kickoff returns — Kevin Smith ranks ninth nationally with a 30.2 per return average (I fixed this from earlier).
— Bud Withers details 14 reasons the Huskies and Ducks don’t like each other.
— Our 1991 Flashback this week focuses on the win at USC.
— We also have our daily Husky Stadium memory, today from Bob Rondeau.
— Goe has a nice story on the history of the Oregon-UW rivalry.
— The Oregonian also has a story on Paulson’s homecoming.
— The O — I think I can refer to it that way now — also has its daily Oregon rundown, doing a nice job of getting it posted before I got this entry up.
— In another story I’m sure UW fans will eat up, the Eugene Register-Guard also looks back at some of Oregon’s biggest wins at Husky Stadium (though on a serious note, that 1997 game foreshadowed an awful lot of what was to come from Marques Tuiasosopo, who in his first career start led a pretty amazing comeback that’s forgotten now since all anyone remembers is that Oregon won the game. His TD pass to Ja’Warren Hooker might have gone down as a UW play for the ages otherwise. Tui almost led UW right back down the field after the Johnson catch, but if I recall right slipped on the turf with lots of open field at around the 50 and the drive stalled).
— Miller also has a look at the rivalry with some words from UW running back Chris Polk, who we weren’t able to talk to this week.
— The LA Times says Polk has to be considered among the best running backs in the conference.
— Todd Dybas says the Huskies’ offense gives them a puncher’s chance Saturday.
— Lots of good stuff in the Rivals.com weekly preview of the weekend in the Pac-12.
— The Albany paper examines Oregon’s defense.
— Here’s the weekly highlights show from the guys at the UW Daily, this one with lots of stuff on the impending makeover of Husky Stadium: [do action=”custom_iframe” width=”600″ height=”400″ url=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/LBvd9Ga3ykQ”][/do]
— FoxSportsWest.com has a detailed preview of the game.
— Jon Wilner has UW fifth in his Pac-12 power poll this week.
— Here’s a Fox Sports interview of Sarkisian previewing the game:
— Finally, Vince Grippi with lots of links around the Pac-12.