For all the talk of the Oregon offense, it is the Oregon defense that had made the most improvement this season.
The No. 2 Ducks came into their game with No. 15 Washington allowing just 11.8 points per game, good for second nationally. True to form, Oregon stifled the Huskies in the first half on Saturday, allowing just seven points and 159 total yards while forcing two turnovers.
And this was a Washington team that was averaging 557 yards of offense and nearly 38 points per game.
The Ducks did a great job containing Huskies running back Bishop Sankey, who entered the week fourth nationally in rushing at 146 yards per game. He managed just 47 yards on 16 carries in the first half. UW struggled through the air, too, as quarterback Keith Price had just 80 yards on 9 of 15 passing.
It’s a good thing that the Oregon defense is playing at such a high level as the Washington defense is also playing well, holding the Ducks to 21 first-half points. That doesn’t sound like a huge accomplishment until you remember that Oregon came into the game averaging 59 points per game.
If the Ducks defense continues to play like this, they might as well punch their ticket to Pasadena.