Why Oregon Should Worry: Vegas Pac 12 Predictions Week 8

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Saturday Blitz Vegas Pac 12 Predictions Week 8

Game of the Week

Washington Huskies at No. 9 Oregon Ducks

Line: Oregon by 20.5

Why would we put a team as a 20.5 favorite in our game of the week for a conference? Because this is arguably the worst point spread of the year. Seriously. How the heck is Washington, which has lost only one game by a touchdown, a 20.5-point underdog to anybody? Sure, Oregon scores quickly, but as we are about to document, the Huskies are the perfect match-up. This game is going to be a lot closer than people think, and at the same time that Florida State and Notre Dame is on, the 8 p.m. time slot will have produced another great game you want to tune into here.

Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies are the exact team that gives Oregon trouble: tough running, physical play, and good defense. That’s exactly what they have to do to pull off the upset on the road against the Ducks. If they can shorten the game, mount long drives on the ground, and use their physical rushing attack to overpower the Oregon defensive line, they’ll be in the game until the end. And if the defensive line of Washington can get pressure against the Oregon offensive line without blitzing, then this game is Washington’s to lose, even on the road. The best story about the Huskies so far is that Cyler Miles still hasn’t turned the ball over. He may not be posting huge numbers, but his efficiency is off the charts, and he is keeping the Huskies on the field. That’s a huge plus. It has allowed for Lavon Coleman and the other backs to continue to pick up yards. Doing that and not turning the ball over will be key again Saturday.

Oregon, meanwhile, simply has to get tougher up front. The offensive and defensive lines can’t be torched the way they were against Arizona because Washington is the type of team, just like Arizona, that could gash them doing that. They also can’t turn the ball over at all given the fact that Washington doesn’t turn it over. Winning in the trenches and holding onto the football are the two biggest keys for the Ducks. Then it comes down to being able to still make the amount of big plays they are able to make. If they can do that, and Mariota can have his typical Heisman-type game the way he did against UCLA last week, this is a win for the Ducks. But they have to make sure they do it without creating too many errors, and they can’t get destroyed in physicality.


Washington matches up perfectly with Oregon. Washington can slow the game down. Washington can run the ball. And Washington can play physical with anybody, which can force Oregon out of its element. For that, we have agreed this is the worst point spread of the year, and everybody should bet on the Huskies to cover. But they still won’t win the game.

We hate to be anti-climactic like that, but Petersen’s team is not Arizona. They can’t dominate in the trenches the way the Wildcats did. Even though they can win up front, they have to dominate and force the Ducks into making mistakes. They’re not good enough to do that for a full 60 minutes. This game is still worth watching and will be on upset alert the whole time, but the Ducks will pull out a close one in the end.

Oregon: 28 Washington: 27

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