The 5-0 Oregon Ducks have moved into prime contention for a berth in this season’s BCS title game. They’ll look to stay on that path when they host the 3-1 Washington Huskies Saturday night in Eugene (10:30 pm ET, ESPN).
Oregon only returned 11 starters this season, and none of them were named Darron Thomas or LaMichael James. Nonetheless, the Ducks have exploded out of the gate. OU began this season with a 57-34 win over Arkansas State, beat Fresno State 42-25 and topped Tennessee Tech 63-14.
Oregon then opened its Pac-12 slate with a 49-0 whitewash of Arizona, and last week pulled away in the second half for a 51-26 victory over Washington State.
With their 5-0 start the Ducks have moved from No. 5 in the AP’s pre-season poll to No. 2.
On the other side of this matchup Washington, with 13 returning starters, including their starting QB and seven on D, began this season with a 21-12 victory over San Diego State, then lost at LSU 41-3. The Huskies then beat Portland State (FCS) 52-13, then last Thursday picked up a signature conference victory, rallying from down 13-3 to upset Stanford in Seattle 17-13. U-Dub held the Cardinal to 65 yards rushing.
With their start the Huskies have moved from the ranks of the unranked to No. 23 in this week’s AP poll.
Washington may try to throw the ball against an Oregon secondary that’s very young and a little banged up. However, that secondary has also returned three interceptions for touchdowns over the last two games.
The Ducks are also averaging 303 yards rushing per game.
Oregon may be 5-0, but its also just 1-4 against the spreads, because it’s already been favored by 37, 33, 52 and 30 points.
According to the college football odds the Ducks started off earlier this week favored by 25 points for Saturday’s game, with the OVER/UNDER at 65. And those numbers had held steady in the betting through the week.
Oregon has won the last eight games in the series vs. Washington by an average of 25 PPG. Last year the Ducks led by just a touchdown midway through the third quarter, but blanked the Huskies from there on out on their way to a 34-17 victory.