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Oregon Football: Dismantled

Washington v Oregon
EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 08: Wide receiver Dante Pettis #8 of the Washington Huskies rushes against defensive back Arrion Springs #1 of the Oregon Ducks on October 8, 2016 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Budda Baker committed to play college football at the University of Oregon. Upon continued consideration Baker decided to rescind his commitment from Oregon and play football for the University of Washington. The fact that University of Washington was closer to his hometown of Bellevue, coupled with the “poor” location of Eugene were both contributing factors to Baker’s recommitment. But the biggest reason of all was that Oregon wanted Baker to play offense.

Oregon certainly could have used Baker on defense Saturday against Washington. The Washington junior intercepted Justin Herbert’s first pass to start what turned into nothing short of a beat down.

The final score read 70-21. Oregon lost not only its 12 game win streak against Washington, but also its pride. The Ducks were beat in every aspect of the game. Washington finished the game with 682 yards of total offense. The Ducks allowed the second most points in program history, just behind the 71 points put up by Texas in 1941. Husky Running back Myles Gaskin ended the game with 202 yards on 16 carries. The best performance came from quarterback Jake Browning who finished the game with as many incompletions as passing touchdowns: 6. On top of it all, Oregon running back Royce Freeman rushed for just 52 yards on 11 carries and didn’t take a single snap in the second half. Though Oregon will not report on injuries, it appears that Freeman may still be battling the leg injury he sustained against Nebraska.

“It’s embarrassing,” said Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood, who vowed earlier in the week that the streak would not end. “This program has a lot of pride. To see one hung on us like that, it hurts. Particularly to a big rival.”

Throughout the game the Huskies did not use very many blitz packages on defense. This was due to the domination by Husky defensive lineman according to Washington coach Chris Peterson.

“When those linemen are pushing it, we don’t need to bring extra guys. (But) even if we don’t need to, we may still do that just to give different looks and different pressures and have (the opposing offense) trying to figure different things out so they can’t completely dial us up,” Peterson said.

Something is missing from this year’s Oregon team, that is clear. Tackling on defense continues to be an issue and the offense continues to sputter. Apart from the X’s and O’s the Ducks seem to lack the willingness to win games.

“We’ve got some guys on our team who are busting their tails to win and other guys on our team that don’t even care if we win or lose,” senior Cameron Hunt said, estimating 30 to 40 percent of the team falls into the latter category. “I don’t think everyone is bought-in.

“I think people really need to evaluate if they want to play. As a coach, figure out what guys want to play and what guys don’t want to play, and if they don’t want to play, they can leave.”

The Ducks haven’t started a season 2-4 since 1984. They now enter a bye week looking to regroup before they travel to Berkeley to face the California Bears.