SEATTLE (NWN) — By the time the last seconds ticked, most of the purple had been vacated, leaving Oregon to dance around the field once again and celebrate in arguably its hottest opponent’s stands.
The seventh-placed Ducks on a windy, rainy night showed little more “skill” than Washington—the word of the week in this rivalry.
“We are proud of the way our players came out and showed their skills in handling bad weather,” said Oregon coach Mario Cristobal. “We kept working hard throughout the game and made sure that our team responded really well to every critical situation.”
Travis Dye ran for a career-high 211 yards and a touchdown, Anthony Browne ran for one score and passed for another, and Oregon got off to a sluggish start to beat Washington 26-16 on Saturday night.
A year after the Border Rivals did not play within the Husky program due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Ducks (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) trailed behind and beat Washington before leading 21 consecutive points. For the seventh time in the last eight games played in Seattle.
“The ‘W’ means everything to me. The performance is just a plus,” Dye said.
Brown threw a 31-yard TD pass to Devon Williams late in the first half to take a 10-9 lead at the break and scored on a 2-yard run early in the third quarter. Dye captured the scoring streak when he ran for 19 yards for a score in the first game of the fourth quarter to give the Ducks a 24-9 lead.
Dye’s flamboyant performance was the most yards in the race against Washington’s Oregon since Jonathan Stewart’s 251 yards in 2007.
Oregon had a run of 215 yards and averaged 6.9 yards per carry in the second half.
“When you can knock the ball down someone’s throat, it’s the best feeling in the world,” Dye said. “When you have confidence in your offensive lineman and you’re driving it exactly where you’re driving it, that’s the best feeling.”
Washington’s disappointing offense that had done nothing all night suddenly went the length of the field and reached 24-16 with 11:13 remaining on Sean McGrew’s second TD run.
Oregon was able to take about nine minutes off the clock, even though they didn’t score. Johnny Johnson III hitting third and -10 for 13 yards by Dye and Brown helped prolong the drive. It was Johnson’s only catch after being suspended for the first half after a target ejection last week.
Washington (4-5, 3-3) took the ball back with a 2:14 to the left and a distance of 90 yards, but there were two dropped passes, one incomplete and when coach Jimmy Lake opted to punt the snap. So the race went to a safety at Porter’s head.
Lake said he opted to punt because Washington had two timeouts left and thought the Huskies could get the ball back with about 50 seconds left and a better field position.
“We clearly weren’t planning security there with our punt operation,” Lake said.
Washington had won two straight on the road, but missed several opportunities to cushion after taking a 9–3 lead due to its offensive shortcomings.
Carson Brunner intercepted Brown’s pass on Oregon’s opening drive and returned it to 7 for 50 yards. Washington took a 7–0 lead in less than three minutes after McGrew scored on a 1-yard run, and the Husky added a safety immediately after the 9. -3 leads.
But Washington failed to extend the lead. Washington punts near midfield twice on fourth and short. Morris was stopped trying to force a pass into the Oregon field in triple coverage. And McGrew was stunned on a fourth-and-1 run at Oregon 23 late in the second quarter.
“How disappointing. You have a team like that on the ropes in our stadium and all those big plays we are making, the defensive stops we are making,” said Lake. “Extremely disappointing.”
Oregon: The Ducks finished with a run of 329 yards, the second time this season that a team reached at least 300 yards against the Husky. Michigan had a run of 343 yards in September. Between 2014–20 only one team had covered 300 yards running against Washington. Brown added 63 yards running, and Byron Cardwell had 55 yards. Oregon ran 465 yards against Washington in 2007.
Washington: There needs to be some sort of change in Washington’s crime. He had no first down in the first quarter, and was dismissed three-six times. The conditions were dire, but a lack of ability and consistency from offense has been a problem throughout the year and has left the Husky in the position of needing to win two of their last three matches to be bowlable.
Oregon: hosts Washington State next Saturday.
Washington: Arizona will host the state next Saturday.
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