|If Washington RB Bishop Sankey can top his 144-yard performance against Stanford, the Huskies could upset No. 2 Oregon. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Spread: Oregon by 24
Watchability: It's a game featuring two Top 25 teams, so most college football fans should tune in. Also, anyone who tunes in should keep their fingers crossed that this game is more exciting than Washington's last game against a top-5 opponent -- a 41-3 loss to No. 3 LSU in September.
Shining Stars: Oregon: RB Kenjon Barner. De'Anthony Thomas rightfully gets a lot of the press at Oregon, but don't overlook Barner. The senior running back ranks second in the Pac-12 in rushing with 121 yards per game. Washington: QB Keith Price. If Oregon turns the game into a shootout, it will be up to Price to keep the Huskies scoring. The Ducks rank fourth in the country in points per game (52.4), so Price may need to approach his 2011 Alamo Bowl numbers -- 23 of 37 passing, 438 yards, 4 touchdowns -- if the Washington's going to keep up with Oregon.
Who could steal the show: Oregon: RB De'Anthony Thomas. Not only could Thomas steal the show, he could be the No. 1 highlight on SportsCenter by the end of the night. Thomas' big-play ability from three different positions -- WR, RB, PR -- makes him difficult to match up with. Washington: RB Bishop Sankey. In Washington's upset of Stanford on Sept. 27, the first-year starter ran for 144 yards on 20 carries, proving he's more than capable of carrying the load for the Huskies. If Sankey can approach 200 total yards in the game, that means Washington's offense is rolling, which should give the Huskies a chance to win the game.
You going? Ranking the road trip: If you enjoy being outdoors, you're not going to do much better than Eugene, Ore., in the beginning of October. There are so many trails, parks and wineries to explore, you might not make it to the game.
Magic number for Oregon: 9.1. Opposing teams have only scored one touchdown in 11 visits to the Oregon red zone this season, a 9.1 percent conversion rate.
Magic number for Washington: 9. Washington will be looking to end a nine-year losing streak to Oregon -- the Huskies haven't beaten the Ducks since a 42-10 win in November 2003. Washington hasn't won at Oregon since November 2002.
The game comes down to: Washington's defense. The Ducks average 52.4 points per game, and if Oregon gets anywhere close to that number, it's hard to imagine Washington winning. Washington has had trouble scoring this season -- averaging only 13.7 points against FBS competition -- which means the Huskies are probably going to have to rely on their defense if they want to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Washington 31