What mattered and what’s important Oregon’s 35-31 win over Washington.
Oregon 35, Washington 31
This was a fantastic gut-check win for the Ducks with two fourth down conversions, a late fourth down stop to seal it, and 21 second half points against a Washington team that brought the A game. They only averaged 4.4 yards per carry, but this was a tough, physical performance by the running game, Justin Herbert threw for 280 yards and four scores, and there weren’t any turnovers. When the D had to, it clamped down late after getting hammered on all game long by the Washington offensive front.
The Washington line was fantastic, Salvon Ahmen ran for 140 yards and a score, Jacob Eason was terrific with three touchdown passes and no picks, and then … the Oregon D turned it up a few notches. It took just a few key sacks to knock the Dawgs into a few drive-killing positions, and that made all the difference in the second half.
It was a well-played, no turnover, hard-hitting battle with both teams trading huge shots. This wasn’t the normal type of Pac-12 offensive shootout that the league gets labeled with – these two teams play as physical a fight as you’ll see this year. Yes, it really is a good thing, Pac-12, to play your games when most of America is awake and watching. The league is fun and the product is great. It needs to keep getting showcased with games like this.
It’s the win Oregon had to have. It’s still very, very much alive in the playoff chase, but there can’t be any slips against a sneaky-challenging schedule with road games at USC and Arizona State ahead. For a team good enough to survive this nasty game against a Washington team playing at its highest level, it’s good enough to run the table.
The Huskies took their best shot, but Oregon is just that good. With three Pac-12 losses, that’s it for any hopes of repeating, but it has to get fired up in a big hurry with Utah up next in two weeks. It might be a disappointing year for a team that’s a whole lot better than just hoping for a decent bowl, and there’s still a shot at a ten-win season if it can beat the Utes. At Oregon State, at Colorado, and Washington State are all winnable.