Week 6 Predictions: Washington vs Oregon

Well we got a whopper of a post today featuring two of the most polarizing people in Oregon Ducks football.

Our first guest is the answer to one of the best questions in college football: “Who’s gonna score?”… that’s right Kenny Wheaton (@K_Wheat2020 on Instagram and @KennyWheaton on Twitter).  Kenny was nice enough to join me in a quick call to give his pick for today.  Or as I will forever call the ‘predictions’ part of Friday now: The Picks.  Again, thanks to Kenny Wheaton for his time and make sure and check out what he’s doing over at The Pick Insurance.

Our next guest contributor today is a stranger to no one here, but odds are you’ve been blocked by him and can’t see any of his tweets.  So we figured why not bring him on to spread some love.  I give to you none other than Seattle’s own Dave “Softy” Mahler (@SoftyKJR) the voice of Seattle sports on 950 KJR Seattle.

Let’s get to it…

#5 Washington (5-0) vs Oregon (2-3)
Saturday, October 8th // Eugene, OR // 4:30pm PST // FOX

Why Oregon could BEAT UW…

First off it’s a rivalry game and anything can happen.  Second, its in Oregon at home in Autzen Stadium.  The other thing for Oregon is that they have a lot of weapons on offense so they can get into a shoot-out with anyone if they can get going in the First Quarter.  

If Washington completely looks past Oregon to the major challenge of BYE next Saturday and they’ve already started discussions on where they are going to place the National Championship trophy they’re going to win in January. They could also be booking their trips to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl instead of focusing on the task at hand this weekend. If all those things happen, then Oregon has a CHANCE.

Oregon gets A LOT of turnovers and ALL the breaks.  On-side kicks, 2pt conversions, Statue of Liberty, A Pick-6… you get the idea.  And on top of that Oregon must change up their defensive strategy, they have to try and commit to stopping the run.  Oregon’s D has allowed 10+ yard plays in 23% of their total defensive snaps, that MUST stop.  But hey, its college football and anything can happen.  Look for Rolls Royce Freeman to be a dude and whoever is at QB to play a flawless game.

The Legend of Herbert is born. After three hapless drives with Prukop at quarterback, Helfrich makes the bold choice of putting a true freshman, hometown hero in at QB. Herbert finishes with two touchdowns passing and one rushing. 
Pharaoh Brown makes an impact in a big way — as is often the case, this is most notable in the run game, where he imposes his will with brutal blocks. 
Royce Freeman makes a Heisman statement, rushing for 150+ and two touchdowns, while reminding the country that he can catch with the best of them. He finishes with 60 yards and 1 touchdown receiving.
Troy Dye returns from the International Space Station (that’s where he was, right? I mean, Mark Helfrich didn’t say he WASN’T there) and plays like a bat out of hell, making him the second most important true freshman of the game.

Justin ‘Nickname TBA’ Herbert sparks the team and our offensive line gives Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James room to operate. Darren Carrington proceeds to torch the Washington secondary, getting a memorable moment when he embarrasses Budda Baker. This keeps our defense off the field, and they respond with a few opportune interceptions courtesy of Jake Browning.

I was there in 1994 when Kenny Wheaton Scored.  I was there when we beat Michigan at home. We were all there when we beat the unbeatable FSU.  Sometimes, often times, in fact pretty much every Saturday in September, October and November upsets happen.  We have been the Upsetee many of times, so why cant we be the Upsetter Saturday?

Hopefully Helf & Co are feeling a lot of pressure,  I believe the Men of Oregon are angry and motivated, and I think this game is going to be the most important one of the season. Yes there is that pesky little streak but I don’t think that is what matters now. The high rank of Washington and the low rank of the Ducks, makes this game bigger than the streak / the rivalry. This game is going to be the final make or break point of this season.
If Troy Dye is back, I think we have a shot on the D if they can be aggressive as possible. They did great in 3rd Q against WAZZU so they have it in them.

So the offense who will be the QB?. If it is Dakota, can Royce pull this game off alone b/c it doesn’t seem that he can get many passes completed to Carrington. Is Herbert going to save us or is this game to big for the Frosh QB? These are questions that will be answered in the first quarter of the game.

I think we win because well we have to and I believe we can. Any. Given. Saturday.

I know, Duck fans. It’s a bleak time and you don’t feel very good about this game. At all. Some of you are worried about going to work and seeing your co-workers who made a terrible life decision and became Huskies. But here’s the deal, unlike in past years where Chip would always say “this is our Super Bowl” for every single game of the season, this really is our Super Bowl this year. We can put up a big goose egg on the season, but if we beat OSU and UW, many of us would say, “You know, it wasn’t a total loss of a season.” This season is going down a path we haven’t traveled in a while, and this game has been sneaking up on all of our calendars….

Enter Justin Herbert. This is the type of story that you usually only see in Disney Channel movies. The hometown kid who wasn’t highly recruited in his first start as a Freshman. The big bad rival, highly ranked, on the road, ready to assert their dominance and power, and (on paper…and film…and reality) is a lot better than the home team. 

Based on media snips, the team and coaches seem fired up this week. They know what’s at stake. They know what disaster a loss at the hands of the Huskies would cause. It’s time to play spoiler. It’s not something that is out of the question. “Any given Saturday” and all that good stuff. It happens in sports all the time. A rivalry game where one team isn’t very good, but they get up and knock em out, just because it’s a rivalry game.

Herbert plays a solid game and the defense plays with fire. In a close one, as the clock dwindles down, Herbert leads the Ducks down the field on a game winning drive, the students rush the field, and UW travels back to Seattle thinking “What just happened!?”

This is Aragorn and Gandalf and the gang at the black gate of Mordor knowing it’s almost certainly hopeless but knowing, too, that if you’re gonna go down, go down swinging. Because sometimes the eagles show up

Enter Justin Herbert.

Starting a true freshman in a rivalry game against a top five team with a lights-out defense? Call Mark Helfrich “Otter” because that sounds like a really futile and stupid gesture…that just might be crazy enough to work.

Oregon wins if the hometown kid–the true freshman–lives the damn fairy tale, if every beat writer’s story on Sunday morning is how you couldn’t put this in a movie because it’s too unbelievable. Somehow the Ducks defense has to channel Nick Aliotti and bend, bend, bend but never quite break. Give up field goals and score touchdowns. Get lucky — the Huskies drop a sure pick, the Ducks grab an INT off a tipped pass, every fumble bounces Oregon’s way. Get a buck fifty or 200 from Royce on the ground, keep grinding and get this game to the 4th quarter with a chance to steal it and hope for one more improbable Autzen finish

It’s not saying much, but Oregon has the best offense the Huskies have faced this season. I suspect the Ducks will move the pocket on pass plays to try and negate UW’s pressure like they did in the second half at WSU in 2014. With a freshman at QB, everything in the passing game has to be quick and simple — I’ll be stunned if Herbert is advanced enough to quickly go through his progressions. It has to be “A or B or throw it away,” I don’t think it can be “A or B or C or D or back to A” unless you want to give up a ton of sacks.

Defensively, if I’m Brady Hoke I’m doing whatever I can to make UW QB Jake Browning beat us. Now this is not a knock on Browning, but if Oregon can’t stop the run and if everything is 3rd and short, then this one will be over before we sing “Shout.” The more the Huskies have to throw, the more likely it is that something crazy happens. Ask Napoleon Kaufman about that last drive in 1994.

HerbertDaGAWD is why. He goes out there and throws for three TDs, making Carrington reappear, and single-handedly brings the offensive juggernaut that is Oregon football back from the abyss. The deep ball’s re-emergence into the offense’s repertoire stretches the safeties and linebackers which allows Royce to gash the puppy defense for 200 yards and two TDs of his own. Charles Nelson continues his reign as the All Purpose Yard King, delegating the princely duties to that chump down in Palo Alto. The offense, now being able to stay on the field, invigorates the defense and Jake Browning drops back to pass, looks to the left side, throws to the corner of the end zone, ITS INTERCEPTED. DUCKS HAVE THE BALL. THE 35, THE 40, SPRINGS IS GONNA SCORE, SPRINGS IS GONNA SCORRRE. THE MOST IMPROBABLE ENDING TO A FOOTBALL GAME.

Sorry, I got carried away.

Justin Herbert, against all sanity & logic, starts the game, walks on water, throws 13 (13!!!!!) touchdowns with no interceptions. UW’s defensive front is stricken with polio in pre-game warm-ups. Oregon’s Defense uses alien technology to remove talent from UW’s defense (a-la the Monstars in Space Jam) & infuses it into their bodies for one game. The Football God’s all just want to see Softy suffer some more (Who did he piss off?!).

Herbert is able to go out there and do what Mariota and VA did before him. Be so good it negates the dumb penalties and makes you forget about the poor defense.

Sometimes we need to throw reason, common logic and data out the window. This season and in particular this game, is one of those times.  But one thing we aren’t taking into consideration, and that is Autzen magic.  Now more than ever is the time for Ducks fans to rally and get loud.  I am cautiously optimistic that this team on this day will dig deep and find a way to make this game interesting.  Is it blind homerism?  Is it the extreme dislike of the Washington football team?  The answer to both is likely yes.

Why Oregon could LOSE to UW…

If you can’t stop the run as a defense it’s going to be tough.  And if Washington’s defense comes out and plays like they did last week it’s really going to be tough.  

Oregon could lose to Washington for a few simple reasons. 1 ñ Their defense stinks. 2 ñ Their defense stinks. 3 ñ Their defense stinks. 4 ñ Did I say stinks? I mean, heck, you’ve allowed 92 points in the last two games and over 1200 yards. Washington State ran for almost 300 yards on that defense and that was after Luke Falk picked them apart to begin the game. Colorado and Washington State have lit up the scoreboard against them. If Washington doesn’t do the same, then they are not as good as we thought they were.

If Oregon plays at the level they have been playing at this will be over very quick.  The Huskies are for real and will be in the discussion for the CFB Playoff.  Washington’s John Ross III has DeAnthony Thomas level speed and with Oregon’s poor tackling I expect Ross to have over 100 yrs receiving, rushing and in return yards.  This loss will be to the Webfoots and not the Ducks so THE STREAK LIVES ON.  (Punches self in the throat)

I’m going to be real with you all: it doesn’t look good. There is no favorable match up here. I have said since the preseason that Washington is not as good as the hype, and I still believe that. 
Stanford rode the (deserved) Christian McCaffrey hype straight into the top 10 — a generous spot at best. McCaffrey should have won the Heisman by all metrics last year, but he has been above average at best, and invisible at worst this year. Stanford is not as bad as last week suggested, and by the same measure, I don’t think Washington is as good as they looked.
That being said: they are verifiably better than the Ducks in all phases. The play more disciplined, they play confident, and they look downright mean. This one could be a blood bath. If you’re one for vices, bet the over and start drinking on Friday. No matter how the game turns out, one of those will pay off.

We get dominated in all aspects of the game by a Husky team eager to end the streak before it gets to 13. Our defense allows Miles Gaskin and the Huskies to roll up 300+ yards rushing, gained when Jake Browning is not picking apart the secondary for intermediate passes. Justin Herbert plays like a freshman QB, and he’s not exactly playing against our defense. If the offensive line can’t give Herbert time we’ll be in for a loooooooong day and a looooooong year of having to listen to Husky fans reminding us of their .5 of a national championship and making what they perceive to be witty and original comments about our uniform-to-championship ratio.

1) UDUB is really really really good at Football. I am not sure how that happened or why that happened or what Peterson traded to the devil himself to make this occur.
2) Prukup: nice kid and I feel terrible that his Oregon career isn’t panning out. Especially after choosing us over Bama. I don’t know again why its not working out but its just not. Is it nerves? Talent? Coaching? Leadership(lack of). Again, I am not in the locker room or team meetings so I have no idea ñ but its not working and if he stays in the game well I don’t see that going well for us.
3) Injuries:  seems to be haunting us more and more each game. And not just minor. Season ending heartbreaking senior/junior talent injuries. We simply can’t lose another Duck.
4) Defense: we all know they are having a difficult time making tackles/sacks. What more is there to say here? Its just lack of experience. I don’t think its Hoke per-say, he hasn’t had nearly enough time to be deemed good or bad yet.
5) See #1: Peterson made a deal with the devil and must have included beating the Ducks

I sure hope Autzen can be loud this Saturday. If ever there was a time, it is now.  I think we are down to the duck devoted and the Oregon faithful. I am pretty sure the Duck bandwagoners (aka Chips Children) moved on to purchase their purple jerseys and are practicing their victory barks.  So we must keep calm and quack on! Go Ducks! Huck the Fuskies!

The Ducks come out and play exactly like the Ducks have been playing this whole season. The defense has no fire. The play calling is questionable (at best). Either Herbert goes out under lights that are far too bright, or, for some unknown reason, they decide to keep the Prukop train rolling along.

For the first time in a decade-plus, the Huskies are the better team. They’re strong in all three phases, starting with their defense. They hardly ever blitz and still sacked Stanford QBs 8 times last week. Plus they held Christian McCaffrey to just 49 yards rushing.

Washington wins this one by forcing 3-and-outs, holding Royce Freeman in check, and playing their typical (for this season, anyway) mistake-free and efficient brand of offense. It’s not rocket science; this is a very good team taking on a mediocre (at best) team. If the very good team plays good football, they win.

Well, I just really don’t see how Oregon wins. Herbert can’t play on the defensive side of the ball, and the defense is exactly what we all know it to be, not very good. Oregon is tied for 120th in total yards allowed. Oregon is 115th in passing defense. Oregon is 105th in rushing defense. The defense stinks. Oregon will need to score 50+ points and keep the mutt’s offense off of the field with a few sustained drives in order to be able to sniff a chance. A true freshman who has taken 9 total live game snaps and a an offensive line consisting of 4 redshirt freshman going against a very good Washington defense is not typically the recipe for success in these conditions. But, stranger things have happened, I guess.

Gosh, hmm, lets see. We have a defense (have a defense, HA, that’s rich) that doesn’t look like it could force a high school JV team into 3 & outs. We look to be starting a QB with ZERO college starts against a Top 5 team. UW this season is just light years ahead of where Oregon is at currently this season. Yeah, we don’t have unlimited space to list all the reasons this game is already over.

Sloppy penalties, poor defense, unimaginative playcalling, poor coaching decisions. Basically, the same way we lost our last three games

Yes, Washington has a future NFL QB who has looked very impressive.  John Ross is reminding PAC12 fans of Desean Jackson.  The Husky defense leads the nation in takeaways and sacks, and will be facing a true freshman quarterback.  We can go on and on about why UW is poised to snap Oregon’s dominance in this rivalry.  Without a dig your heels in “last stand” type of performance from the Ducks, this is likely to happen.

The Picks…

Iím defiantly going Ducks, 35-32

Washington is going to win because it’s been 12 years in a row and I’m sick and tired of it. I think Oregon fans are even sick and tired of winning against Washington. It’s gotten old so let’s change it up and actually have some fun. Washington 59 (in honor of their 59th victory all time vs Oregon) Oregon 0 (in honor of their number of national championships).  

Browning is gonna go back to throw the ball… Sets up, looks, throws to the corner of the endzone… It is INTERCEPTED! INTERCEPTED the Ducks have the ball!  Down to the 35, the 40…  KENNY WHEATON’S GONNA SCORE! KENNY WHEATON’S GONNA SCORE! 20, the 10  Touchdown! Kenny Wheaton, on the interception!  The most improbable finish to a football game!  Duckies win, 58-55.  Don’t tweet @ me. 

If WE win: 24-21     *If THEY win: 80-9*

Oregon wins, 43-29. I’ve been wrong the past three games, and now I’m completely addicted to making bad homer picks. 

Oregon Wins.  35 DUCKS, 31 UDUB

If UO wins, 42-41.  If UO loses… 

We had a good run, y’all. Washington 45-16.    

Hey! What’s this lying around shit? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! Browning, he’s a dead man! Petersen, dead! Washington…! DEAD. Oregon 31-20.

Iím really torn here. The homer-ish Duck fan in my heart really wants to say Herbert is the spark that was needed and the ducks pull off the upset. My brain says, quit being a complete idiot. Bet the farm, the pension, the 401k, the HSA, cash withdrawals from credit cards, one of my kids (they are getting big and expensive to feed), my kidney, get the wife to sell eggs to fertility clinics, take back the bottles and cans, and raid the kid’s piggy biggy banks to take Washington and the points. With that being said, my prediction is: Washington 49, Oregon 52!! DUCKS WIN!!! (The heart wants what the heart wants).

UW 63, Oregon 17
Sure, come at me with the Negaduck comments, that’s fine by me. I’ve predicted the streak ends this season for months and months now. Of course I thought it would be a little bit closer of a game, but sometimes you don’t get what you want (i.e. this Presidential election cycle). Maybe the Miracle At Autzen (Trademark pending) happens this weekend, but my gut tells me that’s just not setup to happen. The streak ends, as all good things do, and we look to start a new one next year. Nobody stays on top forever, so take solace in the 12 straight years we made those annoying puppies to the North miserable. This was always going to happen at some point. Be happy for the ride we all got to take.

Score: 48 – 24 UW

Here I am as a long time fan of the Oregon Ducks, backed into a corner, and making a prediction on a game that is already decided by the majority of cfb fans and talking heads. In the words of Lee Corso, “not so fast!” 

Ducks 34
Dawgs 33

The Herbert era begins with a game that will live in Ducks lots forever.

((EDITORS NOTE: Go Ducks))


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