Saturday, October 12, 2013

Good Luck Ducks, Week 7: Turning Point

Quack vs. Husky: Only one survives.

That Oregon is finally, supposedly getting their first true test of the season in #16 Washington today could be seen as a problem to some. It's an indictment of the Ducks schedule (so far), but I don't mind the easy early schedule this season as it gave new head coach Mark Helfrich ample time to work out any bugs against teams there was virtually no chance of losing to anyway. What came out of those first six games is that Oregon seems unstoppable, Marcus Mariota seems unflappable, and Duck victories on Saturday seem inevitable. Those are a lot of "seems" right now and not givens.

I think this could be a close game, at least for awhile. Washington is smarting from a tough loss against Stanford, the tallest tree in the conference right now. They have clearly stepped up their game from previous seasons and will be playing at home in newly renovated Husky Stadium. They've also modeled their offense after Oregon's "blur", which has to make Ducks fans giggle a little bit. Keith Price looks to be a solid quarterback with multiple weapons at his disposal, and Bishop Sankey has emerged as one of the top running backs in the Pac-12. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, one of the few bright spots of last year's Huskies/Ducks game, is a beast to try to contain. It's going to be a tough game... for awhile.

Oregon has this funny way of making everyone nervous until someone blinks and you realize that they are up by three touchdowns. That may yet happen in this game, but I don't think it will happen in the first half. Marcus Mariota has only played in the 4th quarter 4 times in his career (out of 18 games) because of all of the lopsided scoreboards Oregon handles, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him out there in the 4th today. De'Anthony Thomas's status remains uncertain, and without him this could be a nailbiter.

Kenny Wheaton's gonna score!

Game time is 1:00 PDT in Seattle with national coverage on Fox Sports 1. Go Ducks!

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