Jake Browning has a 7-1 record against ranked Pac-12 teams in his career.
UW GAME DAY
No. 7 Huskies (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) vs. No. 17 Oregon (4-1, 1-1)
12:30 p.m. Saturday at Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.
TV: ABC. Radio: KOMO-AM 1000/FM-97.7
LATEST LINE: Huskies are favored by 3.5 points.
UW KEY PLAYERS
QB Jake Browning: 12 total TD, 5 INT
WR Aaron Fuller: 35 catches, 574 yards, 2 TD
DT Greg Gaines: 20 tackles, 1.5 TFL
CB Myles Bryant: 35 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks
OREGON KEY PLAYERS
QB Justin Herbert: 16 total TD, 5 INT
WR Dillon Mitchell: 27 catches, 442 yards, 2 TD
DE Jalen Jelks: 27 tackles, 2.5 sacks
OLB Justin Hollins: 26 tackles, 4 sacks
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RUNNING FOR MYLES
Think Myles Gaskin enjoys running against Oregon? In three games against the Ducks, the Huskies senior running back has rushed for 475 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 9.3 yards per carry (his most against any Pac-12 opponent). Gaskin has never missed a game in his record-breaking career at UW, and even after an apparent fourth-quarter shoulder injury at UCLA last week he is “good to go” this week, Chris Petersen said.
Washington has the Pac-12’s top-ranked scoring defense for a fourth consecutive season, but there is one significant question about UW’s defense going into Saturday’s rivalry game: Can the pass rush get to Oregon QB Justin Herbert? The Ducks have one of the better offensive lines in the Pac-12, which has allowed just seven sacks in five games. Washington, meanwhile, ranks 106th nationally in sacks (1.33 per game) and 122nd in tackles for loss (3.67 per). Now, coaches will tell you affecting the quarterback is not just about sacks — it’s about making the QB uncomfortable and making him move in and around the pocket. It’s fair to say the Huskies will need to do a better job than they have been against Herbert on Saturday.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
When Autzen Stadium is at full tilt, Oregon has one of the best home-field advantages in the country — and Autzen Stadium is expected to be at max capacity (58,000-plus) on Saturday. Crowd noise will be a factor for UW’s offense. “I’m going to say something nice about Oregon. I will say that is one of the loudest stadiums I’ve ever played in,” Gaskin said in 2017. “From the very first play, I was amazed. Here (at Husky Stadium) on third down is the loudest place. Outside of here, I would say Oregon is probably the loudest stadium I’ve ever played in.” The Huskies won on the road last week at the Rose Bowl, and they believe the experience of playing in two hostile environments already — against Auburn in Atlanta and at Utah in their Pac-12 opener — should benefit them against the Ducks. UW’s young offensive line had four players making their first start at their new positions in the season opener against Auburn, and that inexperience showed in particular during the Huskies’ final series, when crowd noise helped disrupt the snap count. UW offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan this week said that issue has been address — the Huskies have new “silent stuff” in place now for Jake Browning and the O-line.
JUDE’S PREDICTION: Huskies 34, Ducks 28. Washington gets the edge here based on experience. Browning has a 7-1 record in his career against ranked Pac-12 teams (the lone loss coming to Utah his freshman season), and he had the best performance of his career in his first game at Autzen Stadium two years ago. And give Chris Petersen the edge in the coaching matchup against Oregon’s first-year coach, Mario Cristobal.
— Washington ranks third in the nation in scoring defense (13.7 points per game), and senior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven ranks third in the nation in tackles. His 74 tackles are 10 shy of his 13-game total from last season, which led the team.
— Fast starts: Oregon has led at the half in all five games this season and is outscoring its opponents 145-47 in the first half, including 52-17 in its two Pac-12 games.
— The game will air live to a national audience on ABC with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Holly Rowe (sidelines) on the broadcast, which can also be found on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
— The Washington IMG College Network broadcast (KOMO) features first-year play-by-play man Tony Castricone, color analyst Damon Huard and sideline reporter Elise Woodward. The UW broadcast is also available via TuneIn.com and the TuneIn app.