12:30 p.m. | Husky Stadium | Seattle
TV: ABC | Radio: 1000 AM / 97.7 FM | Stream: WatchESPN
5:10 | Oregon 35, Washington 31 The Huskies offense cooled off, and the Ducks have taken advantage. They march 70 yards on eight plays to re-take the lead, with Jaylen Redd finishing it off with his second touchdown catch of the day. On third and short the previous possession, Washington opted to run the wildcat, rather than a QB sneak or handoff up the middle. It did not work.
Quick-hit thoughts from Mike Vorel after three quarters:
Washington is one quarter away.
But it won’t be easy.
Still, Jacob Eason and Co. have made it look that way through three quarters. Eason has completed 19 of 24 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back Salvon Ahmed added 121 rushing yards, 6.7 yards per carry and a score.
But the Oregon offense also scored two third quarter touchdowns to keep this one close, including a 43-yard screen pass TD on fourth-and-3 to end the quarter in an emphatic way. Justin Herbert has completed 20 of 33 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns of his own.
Which team will get third (and fourth) down stops? Which team will force a turnover? Which team’s quarterback will make the extra play?
That’ll be your winner.
0:00 | Washington 31, Oregon 28 What a way to end the half. The Huskies force Oregon into a fourth-and-3 from the 36-yard line. The Ducks go for it and pick up much more than a first down. Trent McDuffie gets fooled by fake motion, and the same receiver, Mycah Pittman, takes a screen all the way into the end zone.
3:39 | Washington 31, Oregon 21 Chico McClatcher went down in what replays showed to be a possibly ugly injury. Official word to come there. But after an extended break in play to tend to McClatcher, then review the play he was hurt on (forward progress stopped before losing the ball), Peyton Henry comes on to drill a 30-yard field goal, extending Washington’s lead back to two scores.
8:36 | Washington 28, Oregon 21 The Huskies’ run defense falls apart and Cyrus Habibi-Likio answers for the Ducks. Oregon ran the ball seven times on a 10-play, 79-yard scoring drive, including a 14-yard scamper by Habibi-Likio into the end zone.
13:16 | Washington 28, Oregon 14 That’s exactly how the the Huskies drew it up. Score going into half, score coming out of it. Jacob Eason finishes off another quick-strike drive with a 33-yard pass to Puka Nacua, who dodges defenders to take it most of the way himself. Eason is 17-21 for 214 yards and three touchdowns.
Quick-hit thoughts from Mike Vorel after the first half:
Washington’s offense lost senior wide receiver Aaron Fuller on the first play of the game with an ankle injury. Running backs Sean McGrew and Richard Newton are both out as well.
And yet …
Here we are at halftime, and the Huskies have scored three touchdowns against an Oregon defense that had allowed one touchdown in its last five games. Junior running back Salvon Ahmed has rushed 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. Jacob Eason has completed 15 of 19 passes for 168 yards and two scores. The Huskies have piled up 235 total yards.
It’s not what anyone expected, both in personnel and execution. But Washington fans will certainly take it. (And, by the way, UW gets the ball to begin the second half.)
0:58 | Washington 21, Oregon 14 Hunter Bryant made a mind-blowing back-shoulder catch to set up a fast score going into halftime. After Bryant pulled in the 27-yard catch, Jacob Eason found Andre Baccellia on a screen, which he ran six yards into the end zone. Reminder: UW gets the ball out of the half.
2:59 | Washington 14, Oregon 14 After trading punts on back-to-back-to-back-to-back drives, Oregon finds the end zone again to end the scoring drought. Jaylon Redd takes a screen pass 16 yards to tie this game as time winds down in the first half. UW, set to receive the opening kickoff of the second half, has a chance for a double dip here.
12:48 | Washington 14, Oregon 7 Talk about a variety of attack. After taking 13 plays to go 54 yards on their last scoring drive, Jacob Eason finds freshman Jordan Chin for a 48-yard bomb and a quick-strike TD. Ahmed’s rushing on the previous drive certainly helped set up the play-action strike.
14:44 | Washington 7, Oregon 7 After Oregon pushed around the Huskies on its first drive, the Ducks have struggled to get anything going on back-to-back drive. Oregon punts after another three-and-out, and UW takes over at its 26-yard line.
Quick-hit thoughts from Mike Vorel after one quarter:
Jacob Eason ran the option on fourth-and-goal from Oregon’s 9-yard line.
Just as we all expected.
The play resulted in Washington’s game-tying touchdown late in the first quarter, as Eason pitched to junior running back Salvon Ahmed and Ahmed slipped through a tackle and skirted into the end zone. It was just the third red zone touchdown the Ducks’ defense has allowed in six-plus games this season.
Through 15 minutes, the Huskies have rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown. Their ground game has been effective, and that may be enough. Oregon, on the other hand, has rushed for just 19 yards on nine attempts. That stat could be the difference the rest of the way.
0:20 | Washington 7, Oregon 7 Salvon Ahmed carried the load on this methodical game-tying drive. The Huskies took over near midfield after a short Oregon punt, and Ahmed rushed it six times on UW’s 5-minute, 44-second, 13-play drive. He finally punched it in on fourth-and-1 from the 9-yard line on an option toss from Jacob Eason.
9:35 | Oregon 7, Washington 0 After the Ducks’ score, Chris Petersen tries some trickery on the following kickoff. Chico McClatcher laid down and received the lateral from Aaron Fuller, but it’s called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty — for laying in the end zone. Here’s the play, which would have given UW the ball around midfield. Instead, the Huskies’ drive stalls and they have to punt.
9:44 | Oregon 7, Washington 0 Asa Turner gets the start at safety for the second straight week, but the true freshman makes a big mistake after Justin Herbert had to chase down an errant snap and had already given himself up when Turner went in to make contact. Ariel Ngata also missed Herbert deep in the backfield, turning a potential 10-plus yard loss into a 15-yard personal foul and automatic first down. It doesn’t take the Ducks long after that to punch it in for a touchdown.
12 p.m. Sean McGrew produced his second 100-plus-yard rushing game of the season last week, piling up a team-best 106 rushing yards and 8.2 yards per carry in a 51-27 win over Arizona.
He won’t be contributing similar statistics on Saturday.
Washington’s 5-foot-7, 186-pound junior running back will miss the Oregon game because of health reasons, a UW spokesperson confirmed on Saturday morning. With redshirt freshman Richard Newton also out with a left foot injury, UW will have just three scholarship running backs available: juniors Salvon Ahmed and Kamari Pleasant and true freshman Cameron Davis.
In seven games this season, McGrew has rushed for 330 yards with 6.5 yards per carry and a touchdown.