Washington football has the best tight end in the country, and along with a strong run game, he holds the key to beating Oregon this weekend
I feel like I’m beating a dead horse at this point when talking about Washington football’s superstar tight end Hunter Bryant. He’s a future first-round NFL Draft pick, All-American, and Pro Bowler. He’ll get there in time, but for right now, he’s the key to beating the 12th ranked Oregon Ducks.
There was a lot of preseason hype around Oregon linebacker Troy Dye, but he hasn’t impressed so far this season. He recorded 15 total tackles against Auburn, but at least eight of them were unimpressive trailing, shoestring tackles, and the offensive player was already at the end of a decent gain. Since then, he hasn’t recorded more than four. If Oregon expects him to cover Bryant, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. The 6’3 Bryant is an excellent route runner with great speed, and is the best player on this Washington team which has the best offense that the Oregon defense has faced this season. That matchup of Dye vs. Bryant is one that Jacob Eason will want to exploit all day. Bryant should have somewhere around 10 targets in this game.
Sure, the UW offense has had their issues this season, but they can put all those issues behind them this weekend. If the receivers can’t find ways to create separation, and Puka Nacua is mysteriously on the sideline again, Bryant deserves all the love from Eason that he can get.
Nacua broke out against Arizona, Salvon Ahmed and Sean McGrew are one of the best running back pairings in the Pac-12, and Jacob Eason is a top-five talent at quarterback. Don’t forget the offensive line, which is one of the best in the Pac-12. There’s hope for the Huskies to improve even further on offense (which is also ranked higher than Oregon’s).
If the Huskies can find a way to run the ball effectively, and free up Hunter Bryant over the middle, they’ll have ample opportunities to score on this Oregon defense. The biggest wild card right now is junior receiver Ty Jones, who Chris Petersen has said is ready to play and practicing at full speed, but they want him to redshirt. In a big game like this, could they use one of his four games this weekend? He’d give Bryant more room to operate in the red zone, and another big target for Jacob Eason to find in the red zone.