John Ross III knows what to expect when the Huskies enter Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday.
Ross was there two years ago when the Huskies lost to the Ducks 52-21 — except he was on the home team’s side while on his official recruiting visit to Oregon.
His player host that weekend was Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas, a friend from Los Angeles who, like Ross, had grown up playing on Snoop Dogg’s Pop Warner team.
“I’ve been down there … and I know how loud it gets,” Ross said after practice Wednesday. “I’m excited to play every team, but just to get down to Autzen and play them — I’m pretty sure we’re underdogs — and just to go out there and play our hearts out and pursue that win is going to be great.”
Ross said he had given Oregon serious consideration in the recruiting process.
“Because coming out of high school, you know, all we pay attention to is the jerseys and rankings and all that,” he said. “But once you look deep into school, it gets different.”
Ross is coming off his most productive game as a receiver, having caught four passes for a career-high 118 yards — including an 86-yard catch-and-run touchdown — in UW’s 31-7 victory at Cal.
“It always feels great — if it’s 50 yards, 40 yards, it’s just always great to contribute to the win. That’s all I’m really worried about,” the sophomore receiver said.
Ross also had a wild 45-yard play called back when UW tight end Joshua Perkins was flagged for a targeting hit while blocking. Ross has also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns called back this season because of penalties.
“I watched it on the plane, I watched it at home, just to see that call. Personally, I just feel like the refs pick on me every week,” he said with a laugh. “But we all thought it was a questionable call, but it happened and we just want to move forward.”
UW sophomore quarterback Cyler Miles, who is not available for media interviews during the week, also had a career game against Cal, throwing for 273 yards and three touchdowns.
“Watching Cyler prepare all week and hearing him talk inside meetings, outside meetings, he’s always doing something productive to help us,” Ross said. “The first play of the game, we missed each other, and he still comes back and tell me, ‘I wish we had that back.’ We watch film and we look at it and look at it so we fix it the next week. It’s funny, because we’ll sit there and play Madden for an hour and he’ll stop and just be like, ‘You know what we have to do on this play … .’ And it’s just has nothing to do with the Madden game, and we’ll talk about that play for awhile.”
Oregon has won 10 in a row in the rivalry.
“I feel like it’s always competitive,” Ross said. “Just like last year, they thought they were going to come in here and run us out of our won field and we came and gave them a dogfight, just like we’ll do this year. It’s not going to be as easy as they think it is.”
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