The past eight years have been terrible for me. Whenever the O shows up on the schedule every year, I get fired up and am optimistic that this year could be the year the Huskies beat the Ducks. But time after time, the Ducks have just dominated the Dawgs, beating them by more than 17 each of the past eight victories. These are all well known facts about the Huskies and Ducks intense rivalry, but what may be unknown to some of you, are the position by position breakdowns of each team. Here is a look at which team has an edge at each position:
QB- Huskies- Keith Price has all the potential in the world. He just needs some time to pass the ball. Overall he has more experience and has better overall skills than the freshman Mariota. Key Player: KP17
RB- Ducks- This is what these stupid Ducks are known for. Their ground game. At times it seems unstoppable and that’s a fair assessment of the RB corps. DAT and Kenjon Barner are some speedy college kids. Key Player: Kenjon Barner
WR- Huskies- Again, as I have stated in the past, Kasen is most likely better than any of the opposing teams’ WRs. He is by far better than anybody that the Ducks have. The closest in skill to Kasen on the Ducks at the WR position is possibly, maybe, could be, Josh Huff. He’s always injured though. Key Player: Kasen Williams
TE- Huskies- ASJ is a first round NFL talent, and everybody knows that. The last time I checked, there wasn’t anything close to first round talent at the TE position for the Ducks. After all, how many players do they even have in the NFL? Key Player: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
OL- Ducks- The Huskies have been four lineman down for most of the season. That is a huge reason why our offense has been mediocre at best. The Ducks have a perfect offensive line to fit their scheme and that is why they win this position battle. Key Player: Nick Cody
Overall Offense- Ducks- Their just too quick and speedy. However, if the big three show up (KP17, ASJ and Kasen), look for the Huskies offense to be firing on all cylinders. Key Player: The X-factor, De’Anthony Thomas
DL- Ducks- This defensive line is scary. Probably the best in the PAC-12, with the exception of Star Lotulei at Utah, and it will be on full display for four quarters. Look for them to put up Seahawk-esque numbers in the sack department. The Dawgs’ line is solid, but can’t match the firepower of these big boys. Key Player: Dion Jordan
LB- Ducks- The Huskies LB core has been playing fantastically the past couple of games. With the emergence of Thomas Tutogi, the Dawgs look like they have a solid core for years to come. However, this group can’t beat the skill and experience of the Ducks. Seniors Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay (seems like he has been around forever) lead the talented crew in to battle. Key Player: Kiko Alonso
DB- Huskies- Even with the emergence of sophomore Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, the Ducks’ secondary doesn’t have the skill and experience that the Huskies have. The loss of John Boyett was a huge one for the Ducks, let me repeat HUGE. He was a senior leader and likely would have made the defense one of the best in the nation. The Huskies have a future NFL-er in Desmond Trufant, as well as Shaq Thompson, and Justin Wilcox will use these two stars in as many ways as possible. Key Player: Desmond Trufant
Overall Defense- Push- Both of these now stellar defenses have proved themselves this year, the Huskies more-so. The Ducks definitely have the edge up front and in the linebacking crew, but the Huskies aren’t far behind in skill in both of these positions. However, I think what makes this a push is the improved Huskies secondary under Keith Hayward and Justin Wilcox.
I’m always tempted to pick the Huskies over the Ducks and this can be credited to my passionate hate of Oregon. However, just like in sports, you can’t let your head and attitude get the best of you. The Ducks are still the superior team in this match-up. You just can’t deny the facts. Although I think the Huskies will win next year at home against the Ducks, the Dawgs will face a tough team in Autzen Stadium this year. My pick is the Ducks winning 41-24. I just don’t see the upset, but hey, these kinds of upsets have happened before. Just not that often.