Losing streak against rival Ducks now at 12 games, although this was the closest contest in more than a decade
Despite what appeared to be their best chance in a decade to beat their most-hated rival, and despite a second-half comeback bid, the Washington Huskies still couldn’t find a way to knock off the Oregon Ducks.
Vernon Adams Jr. was back at Husky Stadium, and with him Oregon’s offense returned with a familiar swagger. The result was awfully familiar, too. It was Ducks 26, Huskies 20 on misty, rinse-and-repeat kind of Saturday night before a crowd of 69,285.
It was Oregon’s 12th consecutive victory in the series.
After a first half defined mostly by their penalties and punts, the Huskies (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) found some life late in the third quarter thanks to Myles Gaskin’s 72-yard rushing touchdown. That cut Oregon’s lead to 23-13.
Oregon added a field goal with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter to extend its leads to 26-13.
Washington then answered with Jake Browning 3-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jaydon Mickens, awakening the Husky Stadium crowd. That capped a 12-play, 71-yard drive and cut the Ducks’ lead to 26-20 with 3:35 left.
Oregon got the ball back at its 25-yard line and picked up one first down on a Royce Freeman run. On third-and-seven from their 39, the Ducks threw an incomplete pass to give the Huskies hope.
But with Browning sidelined by an apparent shoulder injury, the Huskies turned to redshirt freshman backup K.J. Carta-Samuels with 1:11 left and 80 yards to drive.
Carta-Samuels picked up one first down with his legs, before throwing an interception to Oregon’s Ugo Amadi that clinched the Ducks’ victory.
Adams, the fifth-year senior quarterback transfer from Eastern Washington, was the difference for the Ducks (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12), who had lost two of three games when Adams was sidelined with a broken index finger.
The Huskies, meanwhile, were coming off an upset at USC and were a three-point favorite over Oregon — the first time they’ve been favored in the series since 2003.
Adams returned and threw two touchdown passes for the Ducks — a year after throwing seven touchdowns while nearly leading EWU to an upset of the Huskies at Husky Stadium.
Saturday, Adams’ scrambling ability kept alive plays in the first half and tormented a Washington defense came into the game ranked as the best in the Pac-12. Adams threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Darren Carrington on the game’s first drive.
Bralon Addison added an 8-yard touchdown run for in the second quarter, helping the Ducks built a 16-3 halftime lead.
Oregon led 13-0 before the Huskies put together their first scoring drive, and even that was drive was marred by a dropped touchdown pass by running back Deontae Cooper. The Huskies settled for a 40-yard field goal from Cameron Van Winkle on the drive.
The Huskies were without junior running back Dwayne Washington and also played the first half without middle linebacker Azeem Victor, a carry-over punishment for his targeting ejection from the fourth quarter against USC.
|Oregon defense improves|
|Oregon’s defense entered Saturday’s game last in the Pac-12 in points per game, yards allowed per game and passing yards allowed per game. How the Huskies fared:|
|First six games||Category||Against Huskies|
|38.7||Points per game||20|
|474.7||Yards per game|
|323.5||Passing yards per game|