Washington vs. Oregon didn’t disappoint (well, from a game standpoint)
The 2018 Border War was a back and forth battle, but what can Husky fans take away from this installment of Washington vs. Oregon? With the loss, we can find the good, the bad and the ugly.
Every team lives and dies with their quarterback, and say what you will about him in big games, Jake Browning was fantastic. The interception on the first drive of the game was bad, really bad. But Browning bounced back in a huge way, going 15-24 for 243 yards and a TD after the pick. One play that really stands out is his first pass after the interception, weaving through pass rushers as Oregon brought pressure before finding Cade Otton for a big gain.
Trying to stay optimistic, the offense really did look good. They put up 437 total yards on the Oregon defense, and who knows what type of numbers they can put up next year when Jacob Eason takes over. Salvon Ahmed is a very different type of back from Myles Gaskin, but he proved what he can do on Saturday, scoring twice.
The Oregon offense rushed for 177 yards on 49 carries, which is only 3.6 yards per carry, but compared to Washington defenses of years past, that number isn’t what fans want to see. CJ Verdell rushed for 111 yards on 29 carries, including the soul-crushing, game winner. The Huskies held Justin Herbert to 200 yards and two touchdowns in the air, which is perfectly fine for someone who will probably be picked in the top 5.
Side note: it doesn’t go along with rushing defense but at least the Huskies recorded a sack, thanks to Tevis Bartlett.
He single-handedly killed the Huskies at receiver. His eight catches for 119 yards and a touchdown were the most in the Oregon offense by a longshot. The Ducks’ next leading receiver was Jaylon Redd, who caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown.
3rd/4th Down Defense
Oregon was 9/18 on 3rd down, and 3/3 on 4th down in this game. Enough said.
The Kicking Game
Husky fans know that Peyton Henry isn’t incredibly reliable, and in his biggest test, he failed to show up to the occasion. Of course, Husky fans want to hold out hope that he can improve since he’s a redshirt freshman, but Husky fans were spoiled with Cameron Van Winkle. Miss him yet?
What Could Have Been
The Husky rushing attack showed up in full force, totaling 194 yards on the ground. Gaskin and Ahmed both missed time during the game with injuries, and who knows what could’ve happened if they were both healthy and played the full game. Then there was the Jaylon Johnson targeting call. Johnson is a huge piece on the defense and this call, which was questionable at best, was a huge blow to the Husky defense.