Oregon Ducks get their biggest test against hated rival Washington

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Is this the year the Mighty Ducks get grounded by the Washington defense? We answer five questions on the Ducks.

1. Oregon had an ugly game and still won by millions of points. Did you notice anything from any of the new playmakers?

Nothing out of the ordinary, honestly. Aside from a few hiccups from the offensive line, Oregon's offense looked fine on Saturday. Thomas Tyner just continues to impress. He definitely has some things to learn, but boy, Tyner may have the biggest upside out of any of Oregon's recent running backs (including De'Anthony Thomas, Kenjon Barner, and LaMichael James).

2. What do the Ducks have to improve upon before they face the Washington/UCLA/Stanford trio?

For whatever reason, Ifo-Ekpre Olomu and Terrance Mitchell seemed all out of sorts this past weekend against Richardson. They'll need to get back on track if they want to slow down Washington's passing attack.

3. The rich get richer: What type of recruits do you think would make the Ducks even better? Who are you liking that Oregon already has and who they might be targeting down the road?

Oregon has yet to field a truly elite wide receiver, and seeing Marqise Lee go to waste at Southern Cal has always been a painful reminder of who runs the show on the recruiting trail. If Oregon had a big time receiver that could physically dominate cornerbacks to go alongside their dynamic rushing attack, it would be game over for defenses everywhere. As mentioned before, Thomas Tyner is the main prospect right now, but the Robinson twins, Arik Armstead, and Bralon Addison are some of Oregon's biggest future(/current) stars.

4. What does Colt Lyerla's departure mean for the Ducks?

Obviously losing Lyerla hurts a bit; IMO Lyerla was the most talented player Oregon had on the roster. On the other hand, Lyerla had been having an abysmal year up to this point, both off the field and on. After dropping numerous easy passes in the Virginia game, Lyerla's role was reduced considerably and Johnny Mundt busted onto the scene as he helped Oregon wax Tennessee. With or without Lyerla, Oregon hasn't missed a beat on offense this year thanks to the massive pool of playmakers Mark Helfrich has at his disposal. When Oregon takes on teams with better defenses, however, Lyerla's absence may be felt. Ultimately though, Lyerla's decision was in his and Oregon's best interest.

5. Oregon now faces the most competitive version of Washington they've ever getting in the Steve Sarkisian era. What are the biggest concerns about facing this improved team?

I have full faith in Oregon's defense so Washington's new offense really isn't going to be the deciding factor in the game, simply because Oregon will find a way to get some stops. The real question is whether or not Washington's defense can get stops. While Justin Wilcox's game-planning is a real hot topic, Wilcox's last two go-arounds against Oregon's offense haven't gone very well (52 points allowed in 2012 and 48 points in Neyland Stadium in 2010). Of course, Oregon's offensive line has looked spotty for a few plays here and there over the past few weeks so it will be interesting to see how the Ducks handle a better defense for four quarters. The key to the game will be how Oregon's offensive line performs against a good Husky defensive front.

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