The Huskies thrashed Stanford and then followed it up by dismantling the Ducks. The college football world is officially on notice now. Here is what the national media is saying.
There are statement wins, and there are wins that prove a point.
Last week’s romp over then-No. 7 Stanford let the college football world know, the Huskies are back. But Saturday’s 70-21 thrashing of the Oregon Ducks drove the point home. The Dawgs are here to stay.
While Husky faithful was ecstatic after a thorough butt-kicking of the Cardinal last week, the mood seemed eerily reserved. The Huskies still had an 800-pound gorilla on their backs, only this gorilla looked like an Oregon Duck. Losing 12 straight times to your most-hated rival has a way of building tension.
But that sound you heard Saturday night was the collective exhale coming from Montlake. The Huskies not only ended their run of embarrassment against their foes to the south, they dismantled the Ducks — embarrassing Oregon in Eugene, and causing many to question whether the Ducks are cooked.
Rivalry aside, blowing out an Oregon team that has lived atop the Pac-12 standings and AP rankings for the better part of a decade is enough to put the Husky hype train in full gear. With the Oregon hurdle cleared, it’s time for title talk — and that’s exactly what the national media is doing.
Matt Calkins of the Times says a College Football Playoff appearance should now be the expectation for the Huskies:
“Some might say UW’s No. 5 ranking already suggested as much, but its body of work wasn’t sufficient. Yes, the Huskies beat then-No. 7 Stanford by 38 points, but there wasn’t an Exhibit B to confirm that was something more than just a really good night.
But that 70-21 win over Oregon Saturday? That four-quarter quashing where Washington racked up 682 yards of total offense? That record-setting victory that erased 12 years of pain in one fell swoop?
That did it. A College Football Playoff appearance shouldn’t be the hope anymore — it should be the expectation.”
ESPN’s Chantel Jennings writes the Huskies are the class of the Pac-12, and it’s not even close:
“If there were any lingering questions about whether or not Washington was the Pac-12’s best shot at the College Football Playoff, they should have been answered on Saturday. On back-to-back weekends, Washington dismantled the two teams that have shared the Pac-12/Pac-10 title since 2009.”
George Schroeder of USA Today says the Huskies took out 12 years of frustration on the Ducks, and it showed:
“With another dominant victory, Washington continues to establish itself as the Pac-12’s best shot at the College Football Playoff. There’s a half-season left, but the Huskies have certainly looked legit, with a very fast defense—start with an elite defensive line—and an explosive offense led by sophomore quarterback Jake Browning.
As impressive as Washington was a week earlier in a 44-6 win over Stanford, ending the long losing streak to the Ducks was at least as important (and impressive, considering the setting). Meanwhile just two years after playing for the national championship, Oregon’s precipitous downward spiral continues.”
Meanwhile, the Huskies top this week’s ESPN Pac-12 power rankings, while WSU moves up four spots to No. 5:
One game isn’t going to purge 12 years of frustration. But a 70-21 win over Oregon is a good start. The Huskies look like a playoff team and Jake Browning looks like a Heisman quarterback. It’s a great time for a bye week to let the inevitable hype simmer.
Meanwhile, Ryan Thorburn of The Register Guard says Oregon’s day of reckoning has arrived:
“After enjoying bragging rights over their rivals to the north for 4,723 days, the Ducks’ 12-game winning streak against the Huskies came to an agonizing end with a humbling 70-21 loss to No. 5 Washington on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
The only time the program has allowed more points was during a 71-7 loss at Texas on Dec. 6, 1941. It was the third-most lopsided defeat for Oregon in the series with Washington behind losses in 1974 (66-0) and 1951 (63-6).”
John Canzano of The Oregonian says Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich might be ‘cooked’ after Saturday’s loss:
“I cringed watching the Huskies dominate on offense and defense while also looking more reasonable and stylish in the fashion department.
That used to be Oregon’s act. As much as Helfrich attempted to deflect after the game and preach process over result with, “We never talk about winning,” we all know better. The Ducks used to talk about winning on a daily basis. As in, “Win the Day.” Also, they happened to win with regularity. So much so that Oregon made success look boring.
I could dwell on the 682 yards of offense the Huskies managed against Oregon’s defense. Or how disinterested the Ducks appeared at times in competing. But this was pretty much Groundhog Day. It would be a waste of time to dwell on the particulars because the real focus for Oregon must be on determining the damage that has been done to the brand and the program, and figuring out whether Helfrich deserves a vote of confidence from his athletic director.”