It had been 12 years — 12 very long years — for Washington football but they took out their frustration from a dozen seasons of agony and losses to lay it on their Pacific Northwest rival Oregon in a 70-21 victory on Saturday night that all but cemented a power shift in the Pac-12 North.
And the worst thing for the Ducks might have been that the scoreboard didn’t even properly reflect the level of domination from their neighbors to the north either.
The Huskies first team offense averaged 10.1 yards per play in just over three quarters worth of work and racked up seven plays over 25 yards. They were paced once again by their terrific sophomore backfield tandem in running back Myles Gaskin (197 yards, one touchdown) and budding Heisman candidate Jake Browning at quarterback (six incompletions against six touchdown passes and two more rushing).
Washington’s defense also got involved in the dismantling by making life miserable on nearly every snap. JoJo McIntosh led the team with eight tackles, while Budda Baker snagged an interception on his first play of the game and Keishawn Bierria recovered a fumble to go with his five tackles.
If there was one bright spot for Oregon it likely came at quarterback in the form of new starter Justin Herbert. Though his first pass was picked off, he rallied to throw two touchdowns while doing his best to scramble out of several sacks. Three players had over 50 yards rushing for the Ducks too.
The win all but gives Washington the Pac-12 North title before the middle of October and the only tricky spots left on the schedule could be a road game at Utah and their in-state rivalry game at Washington State in the Apple Cup. The Huskies are already ranked in the top five of the polls and it’s safe to say they are legitimately a College Football Playoff contender right now.
As for Oregon, the blowout will only increase speculation as to the job status of head coach Mark Helfrich and further question his hiring of Brady Hoke to fix the still-leaky defense. The team will need to win four of their final six (four of which are on the road) to even make a bowl game.
It’s a spot that Huskies fans remember being in quite a few times at this point in the season but a feeling they certainly put to rest this year with a cathartic burying of their local rival on Saturday night.
Stadium names change all the time in college football and we’ve seen some strange mash ups over the past few decades but there’s been an interesting twist in upstate New York.
Thanks in part to a growing spat with the company over the naming rights to the aptly named Carrier Dome, Syracuse has embarked on a bit of a rebranding for their longtime football and basketball home by shortening things to just ‘The Dome.’
As spotted by Syracuse.com, the school has removed some 64 mentions of the word Carrier in their annual football media guide and have even gone as far as to leave out any mentions of the company in their season ticket materials too.
“We will be contacting the university to discuss further,” Carrier Senior Director of Communications Ashley Barrie said in a statement to the site.
Orange officials have said they are not de-emphasizing the ‘Carrier’ part of the Carrier Dome to send any sort of message but rather reinforcing the ‘Dome’ part of the stadium’s name.
Something says that as much as that may be their public stance, this rebranding battle is something that figures to get some lawyers involved in soon enough. The football team’s home opener isn’t until Sept. 14 against defending champion Clemson so there’s certainly some time to work things out but it sure seems like a new name for the venerable venue is something we’ll all have to start getting used to.
After going from AU to the ACC, tailback Asa Martin is now ticketed for the AAC.
Per 247Sports, Martin has apparently enrolled at Memphis for the 2019 season. Per transfer rules he’s sitting out the year either way unless there’s some sort of NCAA waiver involved but it’s still the sophomore’s third school in nine months.
Martin was originally a four-star recruit in the class of 2018 and saw action in five games for the SEC Tigers as a true freshman, rushing for 57 yards all told while catching two passes for 36 yards. He entered the transfer portal in late December though, just after Auburn’s season had concluded.
Eventually Martin found a home at Miami and enrolled in time for spring practice. Perhaps he was not thrilled at the situation because come mid-June the tailback was back in the transfer portal looking for a new program to play with.
We’ll see if this latest move to Memphis sticks because we’ve certainly seen that Martin is no stranger to moving around.
Tommy Stevens’ reunion with Joe Moorhead has proven to be a fruitful one.
The Penn State transfer was named the starting quarterback on Thursday by the Mississippi State head coach, ending a camp battle with Keytaon Thompson and others in the bid to replace Nick Fitzgerald under center for the Bulldogs.
Stevens made his way to Starkville rather surprisingly this offseason after spring practice for the Nittany Lions wrapped up. While he was expected to be the heir apparent to Trace McSorley in State College for the 2019 campaign, it seems that a competitive battle with fellow Penn State QB Sean Clifford pushed him to enter the NCAA transfer portal instead.
While some may have questioned the move initially given that Thompson has starting experience at MSU and in Moorhead’s system, things apparently worked out in the end as Stevens takes over for Fitzgerald instead.
A noted dual-threat with the ball in his hands at PSU, Stevens rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns last year while also passing for 110 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mississippi State opens the season against Louisiana-Lafayette in New Orleans on Aug. 31 before their home opener against Southern Miss on Sept. 7.
The non-conference scheduling wheel in college continues to roll.
It has been a particularly busy month for Arkansas in terms of lining up future opponents. Hot on the heels of confirming another home-and-home series with Oklahoma State deep into the future, the Razorbacks announced on Thursday that they have agreed to a 2-for-1 series with old, old rival Tulsa over the next decade.
The Razorbacks will host the Golden Hurricane in Fayetteville on Nov. 21, 2026 and Sept. 1, 2029. The return trip to Tulsa is set for Sept. 4, 2027.
The regional rivals were old foes back in the day and have met 73 times over the years. Arkansas won 23-0 last season in their most recent meeting and will make their first trip to Northwest Oklahoma since 1952 when that 2027 date rolls around.
The Golden Hurricane also had some additional scheduling news from earlier in the week when they announced a home-and-home with ex-CUSA foe Louisiana Tech. The old conference rivals will meet in Ruston on Sept. 21, 2024 and then play a return game the following year on Sept. 27, 2025 at Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.