Friday, October 26, 2012

Huskies host undefeated #7 Oregon State Beavers

By  Kshell

The Washington Huskies(3-4,1-3) are riding a three game losing streak and they are hosting another top 10 team in undefeated #7 Oregon State Beavers(6-0, 4-0) this Saturday. There has been plenty of talk on the message boards and even columnist about the future of Huskies fourth year head coach Steve Sarkisian. Also talk about struggling quarterback Keith Price who hasn't played well this year. The Huskies offense has been awful this year and they are facing a tough Oregon State team who is only allowing 16.5 points per game. The Huskies who have lost all three road games by 30 plus points can't afford a loss here at home with three of their final four games at home. The Beavers despite getting owned historically in this series have won seven of their last eight meetings against the Huskies including last year 38-21 down in Corvallis.

The Huskies passing offense has been terrible this year which was supposed to be the strength. Price hasn't looked at all like himself this season as he is a turnover machine as of late. In the last three games which were all losses Price has turned the ball over 10 times.

For the season  he is 143-238 passing (60.1%) for 1,336 yards(5.6 YPA) with 8 TD's to 8 interceptions. He has ran for 16 net yards but take away the 143 yards he has lost in sacks he has ran for 159 yards this season(22.7 yards per game).  He clearly isn't himself and seems affected by a struggling offensive line. He also has no trust in his receivers not named Kasen Williams. Price last year was a guy who had no expectations while this year he is struggling to cope with all the pressure being on him.

In the 38-21 loss last year to the Beavers Price didn't start. In fact Nick Montana made his only start of the season. Price did come off the bench to complete five of nine(55.6%) for 76 yards(8.4 YPA) with a touchdown and an interception. Had Price started that game perhaps the Huskies win instead they lost yet another game on the road.

For the Beavers they are most likely to see quarterback Sean Mannion return this week. For the year Mannion is 107-169(63.3%) passing for 1,358 yards(8.0 YPA) with seven touchdowns to four interceptions. Last year in the upset win over the Huskies he was 26-37(70.3%) passing for 339 yards(9.2 YPA) with two touchdowns and one interception.

If Mannion can't go the Beavers are in good hands with Cody Vaz who is 36-58(62.1%) passing for 506 yards(8.7 YPA) with three touchdowns while not throwing an interception. The improved play at the quarterback position along with their stellar defense is a big reason why the Beavers are undefeated this season.

The Huskies rushing game has been pretty good this year led by Bishop Sankey. On the year Sankey has ran the ball well rushing for 574 yards on 122 carries(4.7 YPC) with seven touchdowns. Sankey also has 15 receptions for 96 yards(6.4 YPC) on the season. Last year in the loss to the Beavers Sankey only ran the ball two times but did gain 12 yards(6.0 YPC). Sankey has hard this year and been effective in red zone scoring six touchdowns this year.

His backup true freshman Kendyl Taylor has played well too. Taylor on the year  has ran for 96 yards on 15 carries(6.4 YPC). He busted a 30 yard run last week in the loss to Arizona. He also has eight receptions for 47 yards(5.9 YPC) as he began the year as the Huskies starting wide receiver. Teams this year are only averaging 80.3 yards rushing against the Beavers and only 2.9 yards per carry. The Huskies must establish a rushing attack to help the struggling Keith Price. If Sarkisian avoids running the ball like he has the last couple of weeks the Huskies could be in line to get blown out once again.

The Beavers rushing attack is led by freshman running back Storm Woods who has ran for 450 yards on 102 carries(4.4 YPC) with six touchdowns. His backup is Malcom Agnew who has ran for 154 yards on 37 carries(4.2 YPC).

Woods has also caught 19 passes for 147 yards(7.7 YPC). The Beavers rushing attack hasn't been that good this year averaging only 3.1 YPC on the season. Woods has only had one 100 yard rushing performance on the season as well. The Huskies defense has struggled against the run giving up an average of 196 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. The Beavers offense isn't very explosive so look for them to try and control the clock and play field position as they wait for the Huskies to self destruct.

The Huskies passing game has been struggling but don't think that is because of Kasen Williams. For the season he has 41 receptions for 442 yards with four touchdowns. Last year in the loss to the Beavers he led the team in receiving with three receptions for 54 yards including a 36 yard reception.

Another weapon in the passing game who is doing well is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  For the season he has 37 receptions for 447 yards with three touchdowns. Last year against the Beavers he had six receptions for 40 yards with two touchdowns. Problem for the Huskies is they aren't getting any production from anyone else. DiAndre Campbell has just nine receptions for 96 yards with a touchdown. Jaydon Mickens has only 13 receptions for 70 yards. If Williams or Seferian-Jenkins aren't making a play in the passing game then the Huskies are getting shut down. The Beavers pass defense has allowed only seven passing touchdowns while intercepting 12 passes this year.

Last year Markus Wheaton destroyed the Huskies. In the upset win Wheaton caught seven passes for 125 yards(17.9 YPC) with a 52 yard reception. He also ran the ball three times for 66 yards(22.0 YPC) with a long of 56 yards. He is cousins with Kenny Wheaton who had the famous interception for Oregon to defeat the #9 Washington Huskies back in 1994.

Wheaton is having a great year this year catching 48 passes for 654 yards(13.6 YPC) with six touchdowns. He has also ran the ball 10 times for 38 yards(3.8 YPC) with a touchdown.

Another weapon for the Beavers is Brandin Cooks who has 35 receptions for 667 yards(19.1 YPC) with two touchdowns. He has ran the ball nine times for 39 yards(4.2 YPC). The Huskies pass defense this year has allowed only 184 yards passing a game with 12 touchdowns to seven interceptions. The Huskies defense has only recorded nine sacks on the season while giving up 21 sacks.

Oregon State will be the fourth top 10 opponent the Huskies have faced this year which doesn't include the USC Trojans who are currently ranked 10th. For Steve Sarkisian this is a must win for him as well as Keith Price. The Huskies have lost three games in a row and three more losses would eliminate them from bowl contention. Another loss would clinch the fact that the Huskies won't improve on their seven wins from last regular season. The Huskies can't afford to lose to a program who they have been out recruiting like they did last week to Arizona.  One thing to lose to LSU, Oregon and USC but it's another to lose to middle of the road conference foes. Sarkisian is starting to slowly feel the pressure as he was named #22 on the coaches hot seat rankings. This is a must win for the Huskies and especially for Sarkisian if he wants any future with this program.

The Huskies face the most important game in the Sarkisian era this Saturday. Despite being undefeated and ranked in the top 10 the Beavers are only 4.5 point favorites against the Huskies this Saturday. The Huskies have played well this year at home as they are 3-1 with their only loss being by 10 points to USC. Sarkisian is 17-7 at home in career at home. The Huskies tend to play better at home and haven't lost back to back home games in the Sarkisian era since losing to Nebraska and Arizona State back in early 2010. The Beavers have a strong defense and average offense. While the Huskies have an average defense with an awful offense who has shown it can be productive last year. Perhaps this is finally the week the Huskies offense has that break out game.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sarkisian proves he isn't the right man for the job in 52-17 loss to Arizona

By Kshell

The Washington Huskies(3-4,1-3) were blown out by 30+ points for the third time this season under fourth year head coach Steve Sarkisian. The first two times were to the #2 team in the nation but this time was to the Arizona Wildcats(4-3,1-3) who had lost three in a row coming into this game. Sarkisian the offensive "guru" has seen his offense become a disaster this season. While his defense has improved it is still a very poor defense. Sarkisian now falls to 22-23 as a head coach and is 20-23 vs D-1 schools. He is also 4-15 on the road. Sarkisian despite having some talented players on his roster has proven that he isn't the head coach that many had hoped he would be. I was never a supporter of Sarkisian and I've noticed people are finally agreeing with me on him.

Sarkisian has landed some high profile recruits in recent years. Sophomore Kasen Williams who was a five star recruit recorded eight receptions for 80 yards last game. For the season he has 41 receptions for 442 yards with four touchdowns. Another high profile recruit for Sarkisian was tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who had a career game against Arizona in catching eight passes for 110 yards with a touchdown. For the season he has 37 receptions for 447 yards with three touchdowns.  The problem for the Huskies is their third leading receiver is running back Bishop Sankey who has 15 receptions for 96 yards. Williams was the only wide receiver to catch a pass until Jaydon Mickens caught two in garbage time. For all the talk of the great job of recruiting Sarkisian has done his offensive line is a mess and his skill guys aren't much better.

The running game despite losing Chris Polk and injuries has done well. Bishop Sankey a sophomore four star recruit had 87 yards rushing on 19 carries with a touchdown. His backup true freshman Kendyl Taylor had 47 yards rushing on three carries. Sankey also had six receptions for 32 yards while Taylor had three for 13. On the year Sankey has ran the ball well rushing for 574 yards on 122 carries(4.7 YPC) with seven touchdowns. Taylor has ran for 96 yards on 15 carries(6.4 YPC). Now a proven successful coach would be running the ball more. Keith Price attempted a career high 52 passes last game. Price has 238 pass attempts on the year while Sankey has just 122 carries. The offensive line can run block decent but can't pass block at all. Yet Sarkisian every game avoids running the ball until the second half when the Huskies are by then down by three scores.

Keith Price is struggling. He was 29-52 passing for only 256 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions plus a fumble. Price has turned the ball over 10 times in the last three times. For the year he is 143-238(60.1%) for 1,336 yards(5.6 YPA) with 8 TD's to 8 interceptions. To make matters worse Sarkisian threw Price under the bus after the loss. For Sarkisian he is now 22-23 he has seen his team lose by 30+ points eight times now. Tyrone Willingham lost by 30+ points only six times. Sarkisian has seen his team allow 50+ points six times while Willingham only did that five times. Sarkisian has only four road wins while Willingham has five. Anytime you are being compared to Willingham is bad. When Willingham is better than you in these comparisons speaks volumes for you as a coach.

Instead of blaming the players like what most crappy coaches do Sarkisian should look in the mirror. He was getting blown out with Jake Locker, now he's getting blown out with Keith Price. He was getting blown out with Willingham's guys, now he's getting blown out with his guys. He was getting blown out with Nick Holt, now he's getting blown out with Justin Wilcox. Perhaps instead of blaming all those guys we finally put that blame on Sarkisian where it belongs. Sarkisian isn't the guy to lead the Huskies to a Rose Bowl title he has way too many red flags. If fans want to continue to ignore these red flags then you are quickly becoming in the vast minority. The red flags are obvious that Sarkisian is closer to being Tyrone Willingham than he is Jim Lambright, Rick Neuheisel and especially Don James(the standard). Sarkisian was a bad hire to begin with as he had no head coaching experience. Hopefully after this year the Sarkisian experiment at Montlake is finally over as this team is no better than the team he took over as head coach in 2009. Actually I think this team is worse than 2009.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Washington Huskies host #11 USC Trojans

By Kshell

The Washington Huskies(3-2,1-1) led by former USC assistant Steve Sarkisian host his old team #11 USC Trojans(4-1,2-1) led by senior quarterback Matt Barkley. The Trojans began the year as the #1 ranked team but after losing to Stanford 21-14(who the Huskies beat immediately after) the Trojans are now turning their hopes on still winning their first conference championship since 2008. For the Huskies they are hoping to rebound from their embarrassing defeat last week to #2 Oregon 52-21. Sarkisian will take on his friend and former colleague at USC Lane Kiffin. Sarkisian is 2-1 all-time against his former team having pulled off the upset against #3 USC 16-13 in 2009 and again in 2010 defeating #18 USC down in the coliseum 32-31. Last year was a different story as #18 USC destroyed the Huskies 40-17 down in the coliseum. The Huskies who are currently 3-0 at home are hoping to extend the winning ways at home. In the last two years the Huskies are 9-1 at home.

Matt Barkley is looking to avoid being the first Trojan quarterback to lose to the Huskies twice in his career since Reggie Perry did in 1991 and 1992. Barkley has faced the Huskies twice in his career splitting the games. As a sophomore in 2010 Barkley was 14-20(70.0%) passing for 186 yards(9.3 YPA) as the Trojans lost 32-31. In 2011 as a junior Barkley fared much better completing 18-28(64.3%) of his passes for 174 yards(6.2 YPA) with a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown as well as the Trojans won 40-17. This year Barkley is having a terrific season completing 111-173(64.2%) of his passes for 1,308 yards(7.6 YPA) with 15 touchdowns to only five interceptions. Barkley will be a top draft pick and will test the Huskies secondary which features future NFL corner Desmond Trufant.

Slumping junior quarterback Keith Price is taking on the team where he threw his first career touchdown pass against. In 2010 as a freshman, Jake Locker was injured for a moment. Trailing in the fourth quarter 28-23 the Huskies called on Price who threw the go ahead touchdown pass. In 2011 in the blowout loss to USC Price was 12-16(75.0%) passing for 125 yards(7.8 YPA) as he was sacked four times. That would be the only start for Price last year where he didn't throw a touchdown pass.

This year Price is struggling. His numbers on the year are 94-158(59.5%) passing for 882 yards(5.6 YPA) with only five touchdowns to four interceptions. Price like the rest of the Huskies offense just doesn't look the same at all which is a big reason why the offense is struggling so badly. Currently ranks 107th in the nation, the running game is 87th in the nation. The Huskies offense is 97th in the nation in scoring which includes 52 points against an FCS school. Against D-1 schools the Huskies are averaging only 15.5 points per game which is pathetic. That falls on Price as this match up heading into the year was supposed to be a battle of the two best quarterbacks in the conference.

The Trojans feature two wide receivers who are going to be first round picks in the NFL draft. Led by Marqise Lee who destroyed the Huskies last year. Lee had nine receptions for 74 yards with a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for 88 yards for a touchdown as well. This year Lee is lighting up college football as he has 52 receptions for 649 yards(12.5 YPC) with seven touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff for 100 yards for a touchdown this year. He has done all that damage in five games by the way. So the Huskies easy solution is stick their NFL corner Desmond Trufant on him. Sounds simple enough right?

Except that heading into the year Lee was supposed to be the #2 receiver as Robert Woods was supposed to be the guy. Last year against the Huskies Woods wasn't a factor as he had just two receptions for five yards and was shutout the previous year. Still didn't stop Woods from catching 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. This year Woods has 31 receptions for 272 yards(8.8 YPC) with five touchdowns. He also has one carry for 76 yards. With Trufant only able to cover one guy look for them to pick on Tre Watson quite a bit. Shaq Thompson who plays a lot of linebacker lately might have to play more safety this game.

The Huskies feature a talented wide receiver in Kasen Williams. Last year against the Trojans Williams caught five passes for 44 yards with a touchdown. For the year Williams has 31 receptions for 340 yards(11.0 YPC) with three touchdowns. Williams is having a solid season for the Huskies.

The other talented player is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who is having a quiet conference season so far. Even with that he has 24 receptions for 254 yards(10.6 YPC) with a touchdown. Last year against USC he caught four passes for 48 yards. After those two there is a big drop off in production for the Huskies. DiAndre Campbell has six receptions for 51 yards with a touchdown. True freshman Jaydon Mickens who is from L.A. has seven receptions for 46 yards. The Huskies passing game hasn't gone over 200 yards in four straight games. They must get their passing game going to have any chance at the upset.

The Trojans have a nice 1-2 rushing attack going with Silas Redd the transfer from Penn State and Curtis McNeal. Redd on the season has rushed for 415 yards on 75 carries(5.5 YPC) with five touchdowns. Redd ran for 1,241 yards(5.1 YPC) with seven touchdowns last year for the 9-4 Nittany Lions.

The other back McNeal killed the Huskies last year as he ran for 148 yards on 18 carries(8.2 YPC) with a 79 yard touchdown run. This year McNeal has ran for 225 yards on 33 carries(6.8 YPC). The fact the Trojans have two excellent wide receivers to go with a top tier quarterback means teams load up to stop the pass. Which makes it even more difficult to defend as the Trojans have talented running backs who can beat you on the ground. Justin Wilcox is going to have his hands full in this game.

The Huskies running game is in good hands with Bishop Sankey. Last year Sankey against USC ran the ball four times for 22 yards(5.5 YPC) including a 17 yard run. He also had four receptions in that game as well. For the season Sankey has ran for 433 yards(4.9 YPC) with six touchdowns through five games. In the last three games Sankey has ran for 351 yards(117 yards per game) on 59 carries(5.9 YPC) with five touchdowns. The Huskies are hoping Sankey can continue that type of production as the Huskies milk the clock and shorten the game.

Backing up Sankey is Kendyl Taylor who has ran for 38 yards on nine carries(4.2 YPC) and has five receptions for 34 yards. Taylor began the year as the Huskies starting wide receiver. Erich Wilson has ran for 140 yards on 25 carries(5.6 YPC) with a touchdown. Dezden Petty has ran for 99 yards on 29 carries(3.4 YPC) as he is the short yardage back for the Huskies. The Huskies only shot at the upset is running the ball effectively which could lead to play action passing.

This will be the Trojans first trip to Seattle since being upset back in 2009 16-13 in a game which Barkley missed due to injury. The Huskies haven't beaten USC in back to back home trips since 1997 and 2001. Sarkisian upset his old team his first two years on the job and like the previous three times against his old team the Trojans are ranked again. Unlike the Stanford upset this win would be more impressive. Against the Cardinal the Huskies were allowed to have an eight man box and force Josh Nunes to beat them. In this game the Huskies will put Trufant on either Lee or Woods hoping he can contain them. Then obviously double team the other with safety Sean Parker playing over the top. Wilcox will have Thompson the #1 safety in the nation coming out of high school last year help out on the run which he has been great at all year long.

If the Huskies can somehow win this game that would put them at 4-2 and probably back in the rankings as they would defeat another ranked opponent. A loss here puts the Huskies at 3-3 as they face the second half of their schedule which they went 5-1 against those same teams last year. The Huskies must get their offense back together and in particular Keith Price who has been struggling badly. The Trojans defense let Josh Nunes look like a decent quarterback so perhaps there is hope for Price this week against the Trojans. If the Huskies were to pull off this upset they must pressure the Trojans offensive line which appears to be the only weakness for the Trojans offense. They had problems against Stanford and Utah's defensive line and the Huskies can only hope they have those same problems. This should be a big game for the Huskies as whenever Sarkisian takes on the Trojans it is always a huge game. This game has a bigger feel to it because this is the last "great" team on the Huskies schedule and with a win here the Huskies can start dreaming of big things for this season.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#2 Oregon destroys #23 Washington for 9th straight year 52-21

By Kshell

For the ninth straight season the #2 Oregon Ducks(6-0,3-0) destroyed the #23 Washington Huskies(3-2,1-1) 52-21 in a game that was never close. Once again Steve Sarkisian saw his Huskies blown out in a big game showing that the Huskies are further away from being a serious contender in this conference than they had hoped. The Ducks were led by freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota throwing four touchdown passes and the Ducks offense ran for 299 yards on the Huskies. For the fourth straight week Huskies quarterback Keith Price failed to throw for 200 yards and he threw two interceptions. For the second straight week Price threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. The Huskies played a sloppy game committing five turnovers and having over 100 yards in penalties. Which has become a bad theme the Huskies proved once again they aren't ready for the Ducks.

After the Ducks first series ended with Shaq Thompson's first career interception the Huskies offense couldn't do anything. The Huskies had pinned the Ducks on their own 10 yard line when their defense would once again stop the Ducks on third down when Andrew Hudson recorded the sack on Mariota. That is when the first big play would happen next as Huskies true freshman punt returner Marvin Hall muffed the punt as the Ducks recovered the punt on the Huskies 20 yard line. Kenjon Barner would rush for four yards to the Huskies 16 yard line. On the following play the most exciting man in college football DeAnthony Thomas would take the carry 16 yards up the middle then shift to his left for the touchdown to give the Ducks a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter.

The Huskies offense would stall at the Oregon 45 after a big kickoff return by Hall. The Ducks offense would take over on their own 20 yard line looking to add to their lead. Barner would rush for 10 yards to their own 30 yard line. After a short gain by Barner, Mariota would hit his tight end Colt Lyerla for a gain of 48 yards up the middle down to the Huskies 21 yard line. Then the Ducks hurried up to the line and quick snapped it as Mariota found Tre Watson sleeping as he connected with Keanon Lowe for a 21 yard touchdown pass to give the Ducks a 14-0 lead. For Mariota he would shook off that interception and was poised for a big day against the Huskies secondary who up until that point had played well during the season.

The first quarter was about to get real ugly for the Huskies. On offense starting from their own 24 yard line Bishop Sankey would rush for four yards to the 28 yard line. Facing a second and six, Keith Price completed a pass to Cody Bruns for four yards which happened to be Bruns first catch of the season. Facing a third and two from the 32 yard line Price would connect with Kendyl Taylor for a gain of nine yards to the 41 yard line picking up the first down. Price on the following play would attempt an out route on the far side of the field intended for DiAndre Campbell. That pass was jumped by Ducks defender Avery Patterson who returned the interception Kenny Wheaton style 43 yards to give the Ducks a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Huskies had two turnovers that directly led to 14 points for the Ducks as the Ducks had out gained the Huskies 153-63 yards in the first quarter.

The Huskies would respond after the dreadful first quarter. Starting from their own 42 yard line Sankey would rush for 15 yards to the Oregon 43 yard line. Sankey again would rush for six yards down to the Oregon 37 yard line. Sankey who had a good first quarter would rush for five yards down to the Oregon 32 yard line for the first down. Price would then hit Campbell for a gain of six yards to the Oregon 26 yard line. Price would hit Kasen Williams for a gain of nine yards to the Oregon 17 yard line. On a wide receiver screen Price would hit Jaydon Mickens for a gain of 16 yards as Mickens was pushed out of bounds at the one yard line. That would set up Sankey who would score from one yard out to cut the lead to 21-7. More importantly the Huskies showed they could run the ball on the Ducks.

The Ducks would quickly take momentum back with a classic Oregon drive. On second and 10 Mariota would rush for seven yards to their own 31 yard line setting up a third and three. Thomas would get the first down with a four yard run. On second and 10 Barner would rush for nine yards up the middle setting up another third and one from the 44 yard line. Barner would again rush up the middle for a gain of 10 yards to the Huskies 46 yard line. Mariota would then rush for 20 yards down to the Huskies 26 yard line. Barner would rush for 11 yards then five yards down to the Huskies 10 yard line. On second and five from the Huskies 10 yard line Mariota would connect with tight end Lyerla for a 10 yard touchdown pass to give the Ducks a 28-7 lead over the Huskies in the second quarter.

The Huskies would see Keith Price fumble at the Oregon 36 yard line on the following drive as the Ducks took over. Mariota would hit Will Murphy for a gain of 11 yards to their own 47 yard line. On the next play Mariota would hit Murphy again for a gain of eight yards to the Huskies 45 yard line. Barner would rush up the middle for a gain of 11 yards to the Huskies 34 yard line. Mariota would then hook up with Josh Huff who made the catch then made a terrific stiff arm on Huskies top defensive NFL prospect Desmond Trufant as Huff scored from 34 yards out to give the Ducks a commanding 35-7 lead over the Huskies.

The Huskies offense would go three and out. The Ducks drove down to the Huskies 24 yard line as Rob Beard missed a 41 yard field goal. The Huskies actually showed some life starting from their own 24 yard line. Taylor began the drive with a gain of eight yards to their own 32 yard line. After a short run facing a third and one from the 33 yard line the Huskies had a play action pass as Price connected with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of 28 yards down to the Oregon 39 yard line. On that play Seferian-Jenkins suffered an injury and didn't return to the game. After a two yard run by Sankey, Price connected with Williams for a gain of eight yards to the Oregon 29 yard line. Price would scramble for 10 more yards to the Oregon 19 yard line. That is where the Huskies offense would stall as Sarkisian chose to go for it trailing by 28 points and Price threw an incomplete pass.

At halftime the Ducks led 35-7 over the Huskies out gaining the Huskies 319-201 in yards. In first downs the Ducks had 17 first downs but the Huskies did have 13. The difference was turnovers as the Huskies had three turnovers which led to 14 points.

Keith Price was terrible in the first half completing 13-22(59.0%) of his passes for 116 yards(5.3 YPA) with a costly interception. He ran four times for 15 yards with a costly fumble. His main target was Kasen Williams who had five receptions for 42 yards. Seferian-Jenkins had two receptions for 33 yards. Kendyl Taylor had two receptions for 17 yards with a rush of nine yards. Jaydon Mickens had two receptions for 13 yards. Bishop Sankey added 62 yards on 13 carries(4.7 YPC) with a touchdown.

For the Ducks they were led by their quarterback Marcus Mariota who was 10-18(55.5%) passing for 160 yards(8.8 YPA) with three touchdowns and one interception. He also had five carries for 34 yards. His main target was his tight end Lyerla who had two receptions for 58 yards with a touchdown. Josh Huff had the one grab for a 34 yard touchdown. Kenjon Barner had 83 yards rushing on 13 carries(6.3 YPC). While DeAnthony Thomas had 42 yards rushing on six carries(7.0 YPC) with a touchdown. He also added one reception for 12 yards. It was total domination by the Ducks in the first half over the Huskies.

The Huskies began the second half going three and out. While the Ducks went on a 12 play drive going 65 yards ending with a 28 yard field goal by Beard to lead 38-7. After a good kickoff return the Huskies began on their own 46 yard line.

Sankey would rush for four yards, then Price would hit Bruns for eight yards to the Oregon 42 yard line. Sankey would rush for four yards followed by Taylor for two yards. On third and four Taylor would rush for five yards to the Oregon 31 yard line. Sankey would rush for seven yards to the 24 yard line. Facing a third and five from the 26 Price would hit Campbell for a gain of seven yards to the 19 yard line. Price would hit Bruns for five yards to the 14 yard line. Taylor would rush for four yards setting up a third and one from the 10 yard line. Price would hit tight end Evan Hudson for a gain of four yards to set up first and goal from the six yard line. Sankey would appear to be stopped for a loss but would break a couple of tacklers as he would spin into the end zone for his second score of the game cutting the lead to 38-14.

Starting from their own 17 yard line the Ducks would go to work. Barner would rush for nine yards to the 26 yard line. Mariota would rush for six yards then complete another six yard pass while the Huskies committed yet another dumb personal foul. With the ball on the Huskies 47 yard line Barner would rush for 11 yards on the next two carries but the Ducks would commit the 15 yard penalty. With the ball on their own 49 yard line Thomas would take over. He would rush for four yards to the Huskies 47 yard line then for 20 yards down to the 27 yard line. He would rush for nine yards on his next two carries to set up a third and one from the 18 yard line. That is where Barner would pick up the first down with a five yard gain to end the third quarter. First play of the fourth quarter Mariota would hit his tight end again Lyerla for a gain of 13 yards for the touchdown to put the Ducks up 45-14 over the Huskies.

On the Huskies next possession facing a fourth and one from their own 35 yard line down by 31 points Sarkisian would try a fake punt which the Huskies fumbled. So the Ducks took over on the Huskies 35 yard line. At this point Chip Kelly had emptied his bench as Byron Marshall the Ducks third running back took the hand off and went 32 yards down to the Huskies three yard line. After a one yard loss, Marshall would finish the short drive on the next play with a four yard touchdown run to give the Ducks a 52-14 lead over the Huskies.

The Ducks would fumble the punt on their next possession and despite being handed the ball on the 17 yard line the Huskies couldn't take advantage. Facing a third and one from the eight yard line Price would throw his second interception of the game as he would be held out of the end zone.

The Huskies would have one last drive left in them though for pride. Starting from their own 45 yard line, Dezden Petty would rush for 14 yards to the Oregon 41 yard line. Petty would rush for eight more yards to the Oregon 33 yard line. Erich Wilson would then rush for seven yards to the 26 yard line then again for nine yards to the Oregon 17 yard line. Wilson on second and one would rush for five yards to the 12 yard line. Petty would rush up the middle for five yards to the seven yard line, then for three more to the four yard line setting up a third and two. Petty would rush for three yards to get the first down and set up a 1st and goal from the one. Wilson would then rush for his first career rushing touchdown for the Huskies as he cut the lead to 52-21.

That would be the final score for the Huskies as they lost 52-21 for their second 30+ point loss of the season. Keith Price was awful finishing 19-31(61.3%) of his passes for 145 yards(4.7 YPA) with two interceptions. He also ran five times for 24 yards but had a costly interception. His main targets were Kasen Williams who had six receptions but only 48 yards. Seferian-Jenkins who was injured had two receptions for 33 yards. Cody Bruns had three receptions for 17 yards as well. Jaydon Mickens and DiAndre Campbell both had two receptions for 13 yards.

The lone bright spot was the running game which ran for 208 yards led by Bishop Sankey. Sankey ran for 104 yards on 25 carries(4.2 YPC) with two touchdowns. Dezden Petty had five carries for 34 yards(6.8 YPC), Kendyl Taylor had five carries for 29 yards(5.8 YPC) while also having three receptions for 17 yards. Erich Wilson had four carries for 21 yards(5.3 YPC) with a touchdown. The running game did well for the Huskies and has done well the last three weeks. The passing game for the fourth straight week failed to reach 200 yards passing.

As for the Ducks they have defeated the Huskies nine in a row with only one game being by less than 20 points(last year 34-17 win). The Ducks were led by freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota who was 15-24(62.5%) passing for 198 yards(8.3 YPA) with four touchdowns to just one interception.  He also ran for 40 yards on seven carries(5.7 YPC).

The Ducks ran for 299 yards on the day led by Kenjon Barner who ran for 122 yards on 20 carries(6.1 YPC). DeAnthony Thomas had 75 yards rushing on 10 carries(7.5 YPC) with a touchdown plus caught a pass for 12 yards. Byron Marshall ran for 59 yards on eight carries(7.4 YPC) with a touchdown. Tight end Colt Lyerla caught three passes for 71 yards with two touchdowns while also rushing for four yards. It was a dominate effort by the Ducks who held back most of the second half.

For the Huskies for the second time this year they were reminded they have a long ways to go before they are an elite team. The Huskies were out played, out classed, and out coached in this game as they weren't prepared for the moment. The Huskies shot themselves in the foot with stupid penalties and worse yet costly turnovers. The Ducks killed the Huskies by over 30 points despite letting up in the second half as Chip Kelly was taking it easy on his good friend Steve Sarkisian. For the Huskies who had a once proud program at what point will these blowout losses be too much? The Huskies must like they did against the LSU Tigers and move on. It is a shame that the Huskies in Sarkisian's fourth year just aren't able to compete with teams like Oregon still.


- For the second straight week against a good defense Bishop Sankey ran hard as he went over 100 yards rushing. After struggling terribly in the first two weeks Sankey has ran really well the last three weeks. Against the Ducks he ran for 104 yards with two touchdowns.

For the season Sankey has ran for 433 yards(4.9 YPC) with six touchdowns through five games. In the last three games Sankey has ran for 351 yards(117 yards per game) on 59 carries(5.9 YPC) with five touchdowns. For the season Sankey is on pace to rush for 1,039 yards with 14.5 touchdowns. That is also for a 12 game season not including the bowl game so safe to say Sankey would more than be the bright spot on the season for the Huskies.

- I felt Kasen Williams struggled and against good defenses his lack of speed will be easy to game plan for. He had six receptions which is good but only 48 yards as his longest reception went for 12 yards.

He has caught a touchdown pass in all three Husky wins while being shutout of the end zone in both losses. In the Huskies three wins Williams has 22 receptions(7.3 per game) for 273 yards(91 yards per game, 12.4 YPC) with three touchdowns. In the two losses he has only nine receptions(4.5 per game) for 67 yards(33.5 yards per game, 7.4 YPC) with zero touchdowns. Basically if you shutdown Kasen Williams you beat the Huskies.

For the year Williams has 31 receptions for 340 yards(11.0 YPC) with three touchdowns. That would put him on pace to finish with 74.4 receptions for 816 yards with seven touchdowns. The reception total for a sophomore would be terrific while the yards should pick up since he is the #1 option. Williams though should feast at the back end of the Huskies schedule which will be a little bit nicer to them.

- Shaq Thompson the highly recruited safety out of Sacramento showed everyone a nice flash on the first series of the game. Starting at outside linebacker as the Huskies want more speed on the field Thompson made a terrific interception that Desmond Trufant tipped in the air. Thompson dove to make the incredible interception and if this was NFL rules instead of college he would have returned it for decent yards.

Thompson the #1 safety coming out of high school will eventually become a strong safety in a year or two. He is built more like a Kam Chancellor than let's say an Earl Thomas. He is a bigger safety but is quick like a small athletic corner. The Huskies defense in the future needs to land more guys like Thompson if they wish to defeat Oregon or any top tier program for that matter.

- First of all Marvin Hall will have better days as a Husky punt returner and may even take a punt return for a touchdown.

Second of all, I blame Sarkisian for that fumble. In a big night game on the road why put the freshman back there? Why not put Kasen Williams back there who returned punts for you all of last year? If not Williams why not senior Cody Bruns? Sure neither guy is going to take one for a touchdown but neither guy has ever fumbled.

Then Hall fumbled later in the game on the kickoff return. With Don James or Jim Lambright coaching he's done for the year doing returns. While Sarkisian seemed to dismiss it as "growing pains" in the post game which I found disturbing.

- What is wrong with Keith Price? Price committed three turnovers and all three were bad. He had a red zone interception, an interception that was returned for a touchdown and fumbled when the Huskies were in Oregon territory. Price hasn't looked right all season long.

His numbers on the year are 94-158(59.5%) passing for 882 yards(5.6 YPA) with only five touchdowns to four interceptions. Take away the game against FCS Portland State and against D-1 schools he has two touchdowns to four interceptions this year. Price is on pace to throw for only 2,116 yards with 12 touchdowns to 9 interceptions which simply won't cut it.

Be very easy to say Price's problems are due to the offensive line and injuries at the wide receiver position. Now those are valid excuses but it goes further than that. He was only sacked once all game and that same "crappy" line has been producing in the run game the last three weeks. Price is missing easy throws and just looks like a shell of what he was last year. Perhaps people were right that he did overachieve last year. Anyways this is a disturbing trend for Husky football that back to back quarterbacks under Sarkisian have regressed the longer they are with him.

- Steve Sarkisian falls to 22-21 as Huskies head coach. For the seventh time already he has lost by 30 points or more which is more than Tyrone Willingham. This is also the fifth time in the Sarkisian era the Huskies have allowed 50 or more points which again is more than Tyrone Willingham. He also joins Tyrone Willingham as the only Husky head coaches to ever lose to Oregon four years in a row.

Anytime you are being compared to Tyrone Willingham as Huskies head coach that means you aren't doing your job. His constantly smiling after blowout losses are also getting old as well. The Huskies passing offense which is Sarkisian's specialty currently ranks 107th in the nation, the running game is 87th in the nation. The Huskies offense is 97th in the nation in scoring which includes 52 points against an FCS school. Against D-1 schools the Huskies are averaging only 15.5 points per game which is pathetic.

In the fourth year this should fall on Sarkisian. He turned the program from 0-12 into a bowl team which should be applauded. When he was hired if someone told you he'd lose to Oregon 43-19, 53-16, 34-17 and 52-21 would you accept that? No you wouldn't! So why rationalize that now? Sarkisian being stubborn and refusing to run the spread offense since day one has hurt this program. It made Jake Locker from an electric quarterback into a bad quarterback at Washington. Price would also thrive in the spread instead he is getting killed. Sarkisian needs to figure it out soon because despite what some think he isn't that safe.

Once again the Huskies fail a big test against their rivals. Once again the Ducks proved they are in national title or bust mode which has been their motto since 2010 as they have only lost three games in that span. For the Huskies they face a hungry USC Trojans team who was ranked #1 for a while this year already. If the Huskies win and go to 4-2 the Oregon loss will sting less. If the Huskies lose or worse yet get blown out then this could start a downward spiral which has plagued Sarkisian since he has been Huskies head coach. The Huskies have lost at least three games in a row all three years Sarkisian has been at Washington. This was once again an embarrassing defeat for the Huskies who proved to the nation they aren't ready to be legitimate contenders for a while. The question is will the Huskies ever be legitimate contenders under Sarkisian? I'll guess we'll have more clarity to that question at the end of the season.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eddie Johnson gets the call for two critical upcoming World Cup qualifying matches

By Money Mike

After almost two years since his last international cap, Eddie Johnson finds himself back in the ranks as he gets called up to the U.S. men's national team for two huge World Cup qualifying matches against Antigua and Barbuda this Friday and against Guatemala next Tuesday. EJ's last cap for the U.S. came on October 13, 2010 against Colombia. Since then, his form began dipping during his spell in Europe and he eventually fell out of the picture. On Friday, Johnson sent out a tweet saying that he was called into the squad, but we didn't officially find out until yesterday. Johnson has appeared in 26 matches and scored 14 goals this season for the Seattle Sounders.

Again, it has felt like a long time since we've last seen EJ in a USA jersey and I'm pretty sure everybody was aware of the season why that was the case and why most of them hated the trade this past offseason that sent Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle to the Montreal Impact. Back then, I did say that I was gonna keep my thought on the trade to myself and see what happens, but now I'll tell you that I thought it was a good move all along. I knew they made the right move, because as hard working as Fucito was, I didn't think he was that good and Fredy Montero needed a true stike partner and it did take a while for the Johnson-Montero partnership to click, but these two have combined for 27 goals this season. I'm really glad Johnson got called up after a terrific season with the Sounders. He deserved it.

Rest of the team:

As happy as I am to see EJ back on the roster, with these two upcoming WCQ matches, you need to stick with your big guys. Guys that have come into the ranks and put together some solid performances day in and day out. I think the U.S. should stick with the same backline that started against Jamaica in the last qualifying match with the Cameron-Bocanegra partnership in the center of defense. Fabian Johnson has been solid at left back. It's gonna be interesting to see who's gonna get the start in the midfield because Jose Torres has been left out of the squad and Sacha Kljestan was recalled along with Michael Bradley, so I think Klinsmann will probably switch things around in the center of midfield. Last game I think the U.S. went with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but by the look of things, they might go 4-4-2 with diamond look to it which means somebody will be left out of the starting 11, but who? Of course Torres is not in the squad, which was no surprise because he sucked last match against Jamaica. Jermaine Jones put in a good performance. Graham Zusi was very impressive last match. And Danny Williams also put in a solid performance in a holding midfield role. So we'll see what Klinsmann will do.

There were complaints about Jozy Altidore being left out of the squad because he is having a terrific season for Alkmaar Zaanstreek. He's currently tied to the league lead with eight goals scored. But to hear Jurgen Klinsmann say that it had to do with his attitude, you know, his frame of mind going into camp just goes to show you nobody's safe. Alan Gordon was sort of an odd call up. We still have yet to see Joe Corona in a WCQ match. He's made two friendly appearances and that's it.

The match on Friday away to Antigua and Barbuda I think will determine USA's fate going into their home match on Tuesday against Guatemala. I mean, a lot of things could happen here. A win will surely boost their chances of advancing to the final round of qualifying. Right now they're in a three way tie with Jamaica and Guatemala in the group table with 7 points. I think USA will advance to the final round of qualifying after it's all said and done.

U.S. squad by position (caps/goals):


Brad Guzan (Aston Villa; England) - 20/0

Tim Howard (Everton; England) - 81/0

Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) - 6/0


Carlos Bocanegra (Racing de Santander; Spain) - 107/13

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; England) - 8/0

Edgar Castillo (Tijuana; Mexico) - 7/0

Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96; Germany) - 85/2

Maurice Edu (Stoke City; England) - 40/1

Clarence Goodson (Brondby IF; Denmark) - 32/3

Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim; Germany) - 9/0

Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland; Denmark) - 14/0


Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) - 23/1

Michael Bradley (AS Roma; Italy) - 69/10

Joe Corona (Tijuana; Mexico) - 2/0

Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04; Germany) - 24/2

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht; Belgium) - 35/4

Danny Williams (1899 Hoffenheim; Germany) - 8/0

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) - 4/1


Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur; England) - 89/28

Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna; Mexico) - 16/5

Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes) - 0/0

Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC) - 42/12

Projected Lineup:


          Cameron          Bocanegra            
                           Cherundolo                                                 F. Johnson

                                Zusi                                                          Kljestan

Dempsey           Gomez

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sounders take down the Timbers 3-0 in front of 66,452

By Money Mike

After clinching a fourth consecutive playoff berth up in Vancouver and with four games remaining in the regular season, it was important that the Seattle Sounders ended their regular season on a high note, starting with a stretch of three straight at home. And what better way to kick off that stretch with a victory over your arch rivals in front of a record crowd. Last night, the Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 in front of a record crowd of 66,452. After a somewhat disappointing month of September, the Men in Rave Green bounced back and completely dominated this match on both sides of the ball from start to finish to kick off the final month of the regular season. The Sounders also move up to third place and are three points behind Real Salt Lake for second position in the Western Conference with a game in hand. These two will square off on October 17th at CenturyLink and if the Sounders can win this match, they will move up to second in the Western Conference. This could be a potential quarterfinal matchup in the MLS Cup playoffs, but we don't know for sure. The Sounders still have three games to go before we find out who their opponent will be.

In the 17th minute, Portland fails to capitalize on some miscommunication. Jack Jewsbury's corner found Rodney Wallace unmarked in the middle of the area but he missed wide of Michael Gspurning's left hand side. The problem there was either Jeff Parke or Brad Evans were supposed to cover him, but they were both marking David Horst.

In the 25th minute, the Timbers struck first. The problem was, they scored in their own net. Ozzie Alonso took control of the ball from midfield. Adam Johansson made a darting run from his right back position. Alonso threaded the ball through and Christian Tiffert made a nice dummy and Johansson had plenty of space to cross after Rodney Wallace tried to break up the play with a sliding tackle and the Swedish international played the ball across looking for Fredy Montero and Mamadou Danso kicked the ball into his own net and the Sounders took a 1-0 lead after an own goal by Futty.

Three minutes later, the Sounders doubled their lead. Brad Evans delivered a very good ball to the middle and right there was Eddie Johnson, unmarked and he made the most of it as he slid the ball home on a half volley for his 14th goal of the season and the Sounders jumped out to 2-nil lead with two quick goals. As for Eddie, he has really improved his form throughout the year since returning to MLS after a dreadful spell in Europe. And earlier today Eddie Johnson was called up to the U.S. national team for their crucial World Cup qualifying matches on the road against Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and at home next Tuesday against Guatemala. I'll talk a little more about that later.

A minute later, the Sounders nearly made it 3-0. Mauro Rosales fed the ball to Eddie Johnson, who then poked the ball to Fredy Montero after he saw there was no room to turn and shoot. Montero took a couple of small touches and went for the floater and Donovan Ricketts got a hand to the ball to deflect it off the post. Did these guys not prepare themselves for this match (the Timbers)? Do they not remember that they've played against this guy before? He's scored three times against this team, they should know that they can not give Fredy Montero that kind of space, because he'll burn you in a blink of an eye.

Nearing the end of the first half, Portland looked to pull one back. Diego Chara poked the ball back to Franck Songo'o, who saw that he had room to shoot and decided to have a crack at goal and was just inches wide.

In the 61st minute, the Sounders would extend the lead to 3-0. A long throw in by Brad Evans found the head of Eddie Johnson who flicked the ball to Fredy Montero who's flick was denied by Donovan Ricketts. The Timbers struggled to clear the ball out of danger and Fredy Montero put home the rebound for his 13th of the season. Both EJ and Montero have now combined for 27 goals this season. And that would turn out to be the final score of the match as the Men in Rave Green sent 98% of the fans home happy with as they struck three times and came away with three points.


People have been buzzing about this tifo for quite a while now. As you can see on this picture, it doesn't have the full tifo. I do have a shot of this tifo on my mobile phone, but it's not a great picture. One because my phone is crap and two I was in the nosebleed section. This was shared on the FOX Soccer fan page on facebook (that was the first pic I saw since coming home from the match) and we had a bunch of morons from England saying the same B.S. as always (hopefully you know what I mean).

I was really impressed with performance from start to finish from the lads. Down in Portland, they had a lead in that game and were outplayed since. They were outplayed against San Jose and were outplayed against Vancouver. And although the numbers favored the Timbers, you have to say the Sounders were the better side in this game. This is what we want with the playoffs looming.

As for me, my perfect record in attending Sounders matches rolls on. Since they moved to MLS, I've been to six Sounder matches and they've won all six of them. I've been to a few before that when they were in the USL, and they've drawn and lost a couple during that stretch. And there was no doubt I enjoyed being part of it. Mainly because the entire stadium was packed. CenturyLink Field is a great venue for soccer and the U.S. soccer federation needs to think about making this place a possible venue for any future USA matches. As for you folks out there. If you haven't gone to a Sounders match at all, I would suggest you get your tickets to one of the last two remaining matches on October 17th or the 21st. You would have to be an idiot to deny that Seattle is the greatest Soccer City in America.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Own goal (Mamadou Danso) 25'

Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson 14 (Brad Evans 4) 28'

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 13 (unassisted) 62'

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Christian Tiffert (caution; foul) 69'

Portland Timbers - Diego Chara (caution; foul) 72'


Portland Timbers - Donovan Ricketts; Lovel Palmer, David Horst, Mamadou Danso (Eric Brunner 68'), Rodney Wallace; Sal Zizzo (Mike Fucito 46'), Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe (Eric Alexander 78'), Diego Chara, Franck Songo'o; Bright Dike

Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez (Marc Burch 77'); Mauro Rosales (Andy Rose 87'), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (David Estrada 88'), Brad Evans; Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero

Saturday, October 6, 2012

#23 Washington Huskies travel down to face #2 Oregon Ducks

By Kshell

This week the newly ranked #23 Washington Huskies(3-1, 1-0) fresh off their upset of then #8 Stanford Cardinal are looking to have an even bigger upset this week. The Huskies travel down to Eugene to take on the #2 Oregon Ducks(5-0, 2-0) as they are looking for their first win in this series since 2003. The Huskies still lead the all-time series comfortably 58-41-5 despite losing eight in a row. This will be the first time both these teams will square off as ranked teams since 2000 when the #20 Oregon Ducks defeated the #6 Washington Huskies 23-16. The last time the Huskies won where both teams were ranked was back in 1990 when the #17 Huskies blew out the #19 Ducks 38-17. In fact only 1990, 1995, and 2000 were the only years these teams have squared off where both were ranked since 1990 which is pretty incredible. The Ducks are used to winning big national spotlight games while the Huskies are still trying to figure that out. A win down in Eugene would be Steve Sarkisian's biggest win of his young coaching career.

If the Huskies were to pull off the upset they'd need a big game from Keith Price. Price is returning to the stadium where he made his first career college start as a freshman against #1 Oregon back in 2010. In that game Price was 14-28 passing for 127 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. It was a 25-16 game in the middle of the third until it turned ugly. Last year against Oregon Price struggled badly as he was 24-35(68.6%) passing for only 143 yards(4.1 YPA) with two touchdowns and two costly interceptions. Price for the season is 75-127 passing(59.1%) for 737 yards(5.8 YPA) with five touchdowns to two interceptions. Those are well below his capabilities as his offensive line must buy him some time so he can finally make some plays. Price hasn't thrown for over 200 yards this year since the first week of the season.

At quarterback the Ducks once again have a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota who is only a freshman. This will be the third different starting quarterback in four years for Chip Kelly. His two most recent starting quarterbacks beat out the previous years backup as well. Mariota this year is 99-144(68.8%) passing for 1,103 yards(7.7 YPA) with 11 touchdowns to four interceptions. He has also ran for 181 yards with a touchdown.

His backup quarterback Bryan Bennett who many expected to be the starter is 13-23(56.5%) passing for 135 yards(5.9 YPA) with one touchdown and two interceptions. He has ran for 57 yards and three touchdowns on the year. Oregon has plenty of weapons to make these quarterbacks look good including the most exciting player in all of college football.

The most exciting player in the game today is sophomore play maker De'Anthony Thomas. Last year against the Huskies he only carried the ball one time but scored on a nine yard touchdown run. He also ran back a kickoff 69 yards to set up a score. This year Thomas has rushed for 302 yards on 31 carries(9.7 YPC) with five touchdowns. He also has 19 receptions for 193 yards(10.2 YPC) with three touchdowns. He has four kickoff returns for 53 yards(13.3 YPR) and 10 punt returns for 150 yards(15.0 YPR) including a 48 yarder. Add it all up and Thomas is averaging 139.6 yards a game.

The other weapons for the Ducks include Bralon Addison who has 15 receptions for 185 yards(12.3 YPC) with a touchdown. Colt Lyerla has nine receptions for 118 yards(13.1 YPC) with two touchdowns. Keanon Lowe has 12 receptions for 112 yards(9.3 YPC) with a touchdown. Dwayne Stanford has 11 receptions for  106 yards(9.6 YPC). When you add it all up the Ducks have five different guys with double digit receptions already and six guys who are over 100 yards already. Eight different Ducks have also caught a touchdown pass this year showing you the kind of depth they have.

The Huskies might be one of the few teams on Oregon's schedule who could make an argument they have more talented skill players than Oregon. They are led by sophomore wide receiver Kasen Williams. Williams last year against the Ducks caught six passes for 79 yards(13.2 YPC) with a touchdown plus a 53 yard reception as well. Williams on the year has 25 receptions for 292 yards(11.7 YPC) with three touchdowns. He is coming off of a career game last week where he had  10 receptions for 129 yards(12.9 YPC) with the game winning touchdown against Stanford.

The other standout the Huskies have is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who the Ducks shut down last year. He was held to just one catch which went for negative yardage. For the year Seferian-Jenkins has 22 receptions for 221 yards(10.0 YPC) with a touchdown. Outside of Seferian-Jenkins and Williams the Huskies are lacking production. Kevin Smith has six receptions for 68 yards(11.3 YPC) hopefully this week he can return to health. DiAndre Campbell has four receptions for 38 yards(9.5 YPC) with a touchdown reception. Jaydon Mickens has five receptions for 33 yards(6.6 YPC) as he is a true freshman.  Kendyl Taylor has two receptions for 17 yards(8.5 YPC) as he is being moved to running back this week. The Huskies going forward need another receiver to step it up to get the passing game going.

Despite issues with the offensive line Bishop Sankey has had a great back to back weeks. Last year against Oregon he had two carries for 21 yards(10.5 YPC) with a 19 yard rush. This year Sankey has 329 yards rushing on 64 carries(5.1 YPC) with four touchdowns. He also has six receptions for 39 yards(6.5 YPC).

He is coming off of a career game last week against the 3rd rushing defense in the nation Stanford. He ran for 144 yards on 20 carries(7.2 YPC) with a 61 yard touchdown run on a 4th and 1. Backing up Sankey now is Taylor who last week ran for only nine yards on four carries. He also has Erich Wilson who has ran for 119 yards on 21 carries(5.7 YPC). The Huskies also have big back Dezden Petty who has ran for 65 yards on 24 carries(2.7 YPC) as he picked up a crucial fourth and one last week. The Huskies running game is in pretty good hands despite injuries and losing Chris Polk to the NFL.

The Ducks under Chip Kelly once again feature the best running game in the Pac-12 if not college football. This year they are led by Kenjon Barner along with De'Anthony Thomas who I already mentioned. Barner against the Huskies in 2010 ran for 60 yards on only nine carries(6.7 YPC) including a 30 yard touchdown run. Last year against the Huskies Barner ran for 41 yards on 10 carries(4.1 YPC) with a one yard touchdown to open up the second half.

This season Barner has rushed for 605 yards on 95 carries(6.3 YPC) with nine touchdowns. He also has 11 receptions for 111 yards(10.1 YPC) with a touchdown this season. He will eventually make his money playing on Sunday's in the NFL as he is a talented back who the Huskies must contain to have any shot at keeping this game close.

The Ducks have another running back who has done well in Byron Marshall who has ran for 199 yards at a 5.0 YPC clip with two touchdowns. Through five games this year the Ducks are rushing for 1,535 yards(307 YPG) with 21 touchdowns. In 2010 the Ducks ran for 279 yards at a 5.1 YPC clip with six rushing touchdowns against the Huskies. In 2011 the Ducks ran for 212 yards at a 5.4 YPC clip with three rushing touchdowns. The Ducks ability to run the ball down the Huskies throats is the main reason why they have dominated this series lately.

This rivalry is officially a friendly rivalry again since both coaches are friends with each other. This is like when Don James and Rich Brooks were friends. Only now Kelly is playing the role of James and Sarkisian is playing the role of Brooks. Sarkisian has another chance to showcase his program and prove to everyone his program is going in the right direction. Even if the Huskies don't win but are competitive along with last weeks upset of Stanford would indicate that. For the second time this year the Huskies are playing the #2 team in the nation on the road. For the third time in five games the Huskies are playing a top 10 opponent. For Sarkisian he has nothing to lose and everything to gain with a win over Oregon. He can make a lot of friends with a win. On the flip side another embarrassing blowout loss would start the negative chatter once again.

The Huskies have an opportunity to put a scare into the Ducks and then try and upset them. The Huskies have first down NFL draft picks on their roster just like the Ducks do. The Huskies program last year saw themselves ranked and were on ESPN on the road in a big game. They lost to Stanford 65-21 as they are hoping to avoid such a letdown again. For the bulk of this rivalry the Huskies have dominated the Ducks but in the past decade the Ducks have been the ones dominating. Can the Huskies steal back the rivalry down in Eugene? Can Sarkisian pull off back to back top 10 wins something the Huskies haven't done since 1982 when in late November they defeated #9 UCLA 10-7 at home then defeated #3 Arizona State Sun Devils 17-13 on the road. They then famously lost to 2-7-1 Washington State to get bounced from the Rose Bowl. So it has been 30 years since the Huskies won back to back weeks against top 10 opponents. Perhaps this can be the year where the Huskies do it again.