The Oregon Ducks defeated the Washington Huskies 45-24 at Husky Field in front of a ruckus crowd in Seattle, Washington. Though the score was close at times through three quarters, the Ducks pulled away in the fourth. Oregon’s offense just wouldn’t let up, accumulating 631 yards including 366 through the air. The Ducks have now completed a decade of supremacy over their rivals to the north.
“To go into a hostile environment, make some adjustments and execute the adjustments. It’s a sign of a mature team,” Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich said.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota added, “I just told our guys, relax we’ll be fine. Take it one play at a time and we’ll be successful.”
Mariota delivered another jaw-dropping performance, throwing darts with precision all around the field. He finished the game with 466 total yards including 97 on the ground and four total touchdowns. Bralon Addison also continued his outstanding play on his birthday. The explosive receiver tallied 157 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Running back Byron Marshall added his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, running for 106 yards on 19 carries.
[gn_quote style=”1″]“This is actually the first time I’ve ever playing football on my birthday. To get a team win, it was great,” said Addison.[/gn_quote]
The game started out a little wacky to say the least. And Keanon Lowe’s drop of a would-be easy touchdown catch was only the beginning of the madness. On the Ducks’ first touchdown drive, the referee’s reviewed three plays in a row. First, the refs ruled a touchback on a Josh Huff fumble just outside the end zone. But after review, the fumble was overturned and the ball was placed at the 1-yard line. Then, a Mariota touchdown run was reversed and once again placed at the one-yard line. Finally, the referee’s got it right the first time after legitimizing a Marshall touchdown run after another stint in the booth.
The Huskies retort was a successful one, scoring a touchdown via a reception in the end zone by tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The first quarter ended 7-7 and remarkably ended in a 115-115 tie in yards gained. However, the second quarter was won handily by Oregon. Addison scored a pivotal four-yard touchdown and Marshall added another touchdown, this time from 15-yards out. The Ducks out-gained the Huskies 166-46 in quarter two.
Unfortunately, Huff suffered an injury to his lower right leg on a WR screen and was forced to visit the Huskies health facility. But, the Ducks were able to contain both quarterback Keith Price (80 passing yards) and running back Bishop Sankey (54 yards) in the first half. The Ducks led 21-7 at the break
But Sankey broke free in a big way in quarter three. The star running back scored on a 60-yard run and a 25-yard run. Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti commented on Sankey’s breakout quarter.
“People don’t want to hear this but sometimes player A is better than player B in space, and that goes for our guys as well,” Aliotti said. Sankey finished the game with 174 yards on the ground.
On the other side, Huff played through his injury and remarkably caught a 65-yard touchdown pass. The two squads also exchanged field goals in the third quarter.
“I was told to sit out the second half, but I wasn’t having it. I wanted to be in this game and compete with my teammates,” Huff said.
Despite the injury, Huff surpassed the 100-yard mark for the fourth time this season. The receiver had four catches for 106 yards on the night.
In the fourth quarter, Mariota scored his first touchdown run of the game on a 5-yard QB draw to the right side of the field. The run solidified the continuation of his career long streak (19 games) of both running and throwing for at least one touchdown in a game. Later, he through another touchdown pass to Addison from three yards out.
In the end, although the Huskies put forth a valiant effort, it just wasn’t enough. Oregon’s defense was able to contain the dynamic Husky offense for most of the game. Oregon only allowed 376 yards of total offense, forced two turnovers and sacked Price four times.
Addison attributed the Ducks success to preparation and a lack of satisfaction from Helfrich and the UO coaching staff. Allioti gave the UO defense a C + grade. Helfrich added that the team could still improve its execution.
“He doesn’t let us feel complacent, feel like we’ve arrived,” Addison said of Helfrich.
It’s hard to imagine an even better Ducks team.