Photo credit: Abbie Parr / Getty Images
The Washington Huskies celebrated too soon as they held a 14-point lead over the Oregon Ducks on Saturday. The game was back and forth all day as the Ducks jumped on top in the 1st quarter with a touchdown early. But by halftime, the Dawgs would fight back to grab a 21-14 lead and with an early 3rd quarter 33-yard pass from Jacob Eason to Puka Nacua for a TD, Husky stadium erupted into a frenzy. That would be the last TD that the Huskies would score on the day as Oregon would outscore UW 21-3 in the remainder of the game.
In what was billed as a showdown of two future NFL QBs, it seemed as if the stats pretty much told the story. Oregon’s Justin Herbert went 24/38 for 280 yards passing with 4 TDs and zero INTs. Eason would come close to matching with 23/30 passing for 289 yards, 3 TDs, and zero interceptions. And while those numbers were close, it seemed to be a matter of timing as Herbert saved his best for later in the game.
The trick plays were not there for the Huskies on Saturday. UW ran the wildcat 3 times and failed all 3 times. It was an odd persistence to continue with what didn’t work, seeing as how RB Salvon Ahmed ran 24 times for 140 yards, only to submit to gimmickry in key situations when it wasn’t needed.
Additionally, to open the game, the Huskies tried a backwards pass on a kick off to little effect. While the result of the play was quite good with a 50+ yard kick return by Chico McClatcher; however, unbeknownst to Chico or the coaching staff, they broke the rules by having Chico lay down in the endzone to avoid being seen by the kick coverage teams. Whether or not you think this is a fair or unfair rule, it is a rule and someone on the Huskies coaching staff should have pointed it out during practice—granted, I did not know it was a rule; however the special teams coach at the D1 level should be up on these things.