Washington Football vs. Oregon: The Good, The Bad & The Unknown

Steve Dykes - Getty Images

A swift kick from the Ducks in the first quarter brought the Huskies back down to Earth and now leaves them searching for answers.

It may have only been one of nine-straight losses to Oregon, but Saturday's loss in Eugene was probably the most sobering of any the Huskies have suffered at the hands of the Ducks since 2003. I don't think many thought that the Huskies would win going in, but the way that the Ducks swiftly blew the Huskies away served as a reminder of just how dominant Oregon has become and just how far Washington has to go.

It's not easy to draw that many conclusions, especially positive ones, from a game that was essentially over in the first quarter, but I thought the same after the LSU game, and in retrospect, that actually revealed a lot about this year's Husky team.

The Good

I know that there isn't much, but you have to be able to keep your head up about something.

Ground Game - Bishop Sankey had his second-straight 100-yard game against a Top 10 opponent and was able to pick up yards on the ground consistently against what is probably the best defense in the conference. They may have picked up some of them in garbage time, but the Huskies had their best running game of the year, with 208 yards on the ground.

The Road Ahead - Even though the Huskies face a very dangerous USC team next week, they get them at home and the schedule only gets easier from here. Clearly, they can't hang with the top teams in the country on the but they should be favored in the majority of the games remaining on their schedule and don't face any more nightmare matchups.

Not so offensive line - Most fans were terrified of sending the Huskies banged up and inexperienced line to Eugene, but they came away with what was probably their best performance of the season. Yes, the Ducks probably let up early, but they only let Price get sacked once and were opening up holes in the running game all night.

The Bad

The Little Things - The swiftness and efficiency of Oregon's offense simply doesn't allow you to be able to make mistakes and survive and the Huskies were handing out candy on Saturday like they thought it was already Halloween. Regardless of opponent, good teams simply just don't have that many unforced errors. Whether it is costly turnovers, dropped passes, missed tackles or blown assignments, the Huskies still do too many of the things that held them back under Tyrone Willingham.

Are you ready for some no-huddle football? - After all the talk of Justin Wilcox knowing the Ducks offense, and the Huskies building a defense to specifically stop Oregon, their defense looked shockingly unprepared. When other teams have appeared to realize that they can't blink when the Ducks have the ball, the Huskies were repeatedly caught off guard by the no-huddle, appearing as they almost were surprised by it.

Under pressured - Defensive pressure is one of those things that the Huskies have never seemed to be able to maintain under Steve Sarkisian. Marcus Mariota had all day to sit back and pass all game and was able to easily escape pressure whenever it was there. The Huskies only chance was to force Mariota to beat him, and they made it way too easy for him.

The Unknown

Star power - It was clear that Keith Price, Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins were the stars for the Huskies going into the season, but other than Williams' star turn against Stanford, the trio haven't looked anything like Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Jay Novacek yet. These guys will have to start stepping up if they Huskies are going to contend for a bowl game.

One more week - Yes, there are no weeks off in the Pac-12 (Even when you play Colorado and Washington State), but do the Huskies have enough left in the tank to compete with USC next week after two-straight heavily emotionally and tolling games?

Forever, forever, forever... - I can't imagine how Husky fans would have reacted had you told them in 2003 that it would be the last time that they would beat the Ducks for at least 9 years. The fact that the Huskies haven't even gotten within 17 to the Ducks in that span, makes the idea of beating Oregon seem even more impossible for Husky fans, especially since the Ducks system seems to grow stronger each year.

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