The Washington Football team (7-1, 4-1) hopes to stretch their winning streak to two as they host Oregon (5-4,2-4) and QB Justin Herbert, or is it Braxton Burmeister? Here’s how to catch the game today, November 4, 2017
And here we go again. The 7-1 Washington Huskies made up no ground last week in the national rankings and remained ranked 12th in the nation despite winning impressively against UCLA.. Now at 12/12th in the nation in both the AP and Coaches poll respectively, the Huskies must not only win, but hope for help along the way. The biggest disappointment is finding last season’s playoff team sitting at 12 in the CFP Rankings as well.
But there is certainly plenty of fun to be had this week as well. The Oregon starting quarterback, out for four-six weeks with a broken collarbone, is baiting the media to think he is the starter this weekend. Justin Herbert is an incredibly talented young man. Still, I cannot fathom a good reason to risk reinjury to a just healed player on a lost season. Look for the Oregon Ducks to send backup Braxton Burmeister onto the field today.
These Huskies are the real deal. But their schedule has not blessed them with much of an advantage. That is all it takes for the east coast bias to take over.
Passed the passing quiz, now for the running quiz
This Washington defense is incredibly special. With two starting cornerbacks out, the team continues to step up and keep games under control. The team has only allowed one team to score 20+ points so far this season, and that was to a UCLA game that was already won by the middle of the third quarter. That was against one of the most formidable passing attacks in the nation.
Now, the team faces a running threat. Running back Royce Freeman is already over 1000 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns. His colleague, Kani Benoit, has only rushed for 446 yards but 9 touchdowns. Both backs average better than six yards per carry, despite opponents knowing the Ducks will run the ball. In sharp contrast, combine Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman together and you get the equivalent of Freeman. That is a tremendous test for this defense, once more.
When Oregon has the ball
Without the services of quarterback Justin Herbert, the Oregon offense is somewhat one dimensional. But when you have Freeman and Benoit running the ball for you, it’s not necessarily a bad emphasis for any football game.
Don’t look for much deception, misdirection, or gadget plays at first. Oregon has to be confident enough in the running game to stick with it as long as the score is close. If Washington jumps out to a two-score lead, Oregon will likely switch gears to trickery, and perhaps give that passing game a look.
Look for Washington linebackers to have huge games in this one.
When Washington has the ball
The Washington offense is somewhat more dangerous on the ground as well. But that may pose a problem. Oregon is praying for a low scoring defensive struggle in this one. And the coaches had rubbed the defense’s face in last year’s 70 point blowout in the hopes of making that happen.
Oregon is coming into the game knowing how devastating the Huskies ran against UCLA. Now, they are focused on stopping the run. And since this team practices against a great running offense, they are pretty good at it.
But against the pass? Not so much. And Washington has a better passing offense than recent games have shown. Dante Pettis has magnetic hands, and he never fails to impress in a game. Whether it is a circus catch, strong routes, or just having an incredible run after a catch.
The Huskies will likely try to get Salvon Ahmed involved in the offense today. He is finally ready to emerge. And the trio of running backs may zerg pass routes to give quarterback Jake Browning more targets today.
Keys to victory for Oregon
Braxton Burmeister cannot defeat the Washington Huskies with his passing arm. But if he makes the Husky defense believe he is passing, the Oregon Ducks offense has a chance. That means plenty of high-percentage passing out of play-action. That also means passing on first down. Not all game, but in the first quarter.
A greater key to this game for Oregon is their defense. They must deliver an “ASU-like” stand against the Huskies, thwarting the passing game, and launching such impactful blitzes that it throws off the entire Washington game plan.
If the Ducks can get to halftime with the lead, they can unleash their running attack in varying ways in the second half to maintain the lead. But if the Ducks are down at halftime, don’t look for a magical ending.
Keys to victory for Washington
This Washington defense must somehow find a way to frustrate that Oregon running game. That’s easier said than done. But the tandem of Vita Vea and Greg Gaines has performed very impressively so far this season. As that pair works havoc on the line of scrimmage, look for the pair of Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierra to play huge roles in today’s game.
Offensively, the Huskies need to get Dante Pettis back on track. But to do that, the team needs to bring more weapons on line. Will Dissly, Drew Sample, and Salvon Ahmed have shown flashes of brilliance in the past. One of the three must be a beacon in this game.
Washington needs to take the lead and keep it. To do that, someone on the offense must ignite the rest of the team.
I called this game 56-24 back in June 2017 and I’ll stick with it. The Huskies need an offensive outburst today. Coach Petersen recognizes where the Huskies are in the national rankings, so he will be less inclined to take the foot off the gas in this one.
The Washington running game needs to step up. After losing a very winnable game in Arizona State, the running game roared to life against UCLA. Now the Husky rushers must deliver once more. A second loss in the Pac-12 crushes any NCAA playoff hopes as well as hopes for a Pac-12 championship.
Oregon – Washington game time, details:
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
What TV channel is Oregon-Washington on?
The Oregon vs. Washington game is televised via Fox Sports 1.
How can I watch Oregon – Washington online?
The Oregon versus Washington game will stream on Fox Sports Go by cable or satellite subscription, or via the Fox Sports Go app on your tablet, iphone, Android, or other mobile device
Will the Oregon – Washington game be broadcast via the radio?
The Oregon – Washington game will make the radio on either 1000 KOMO-AM or 97.7 KOMO-FM in the Seattle area, or on the Sirius Satellite Radio channel 98.
Coaches and Players
Weather – Seattle, WA
At kickoff (projected): Temp –41 F, Rain – 90%, Humidity – 78%, Wind – E 5 mph