One thing I can say after watching Oregon football on Saturday night is that Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. Unfortunately for Oregon, he showed that off versus the Ducks.
Oregon really struggled on defense, especially against the pass, for most of the night which kept the game close. An injury to Oregon quarterback Bo Nix late in the game sealed the Ducks’ fate in a 37-34 loss at home vs the Huskies.
Late in the game, the Ducks would go for it on fourth down, and running back Noah Whittington slipped on the turf and was short. With that slip, so went the hopes of a College Football Playoff for the Ducks this season. The loss snapped a 23-game home winning streak for the Ducks, just one win shy of the school record. It also snapped a streak of eight straight wins since the opening week loss to Georgia.
Nix did return to the game but appeared to not be 100 percent. He was able to scramble and get the ball downfield on Oregon’s final possession, but head coach Dan Lanning decided to have Nix throw a hail mary rather than a potential game-tying field goal in the final seconds of the game. It was likely the Ducks’ best option, but the ball hit the turf and the Ducks lost the game.
In the end, Lanning said the loss falls squarely on him and his decision-making. The Oregon defense throughout the game gave up too many big plays. Penix Jr. had several long touchdown passes including a 62-yarder. Seven of their nine drives on the night resulted in points. Washington had the lone turnover of the game when they were on the Ducks’ 3-yard line.
The Huskies scored the first points on their opening drive and when the game was tied at 10-10, you could feel the shift in momentum. At that point, both teams had 167 total yards. Oregon had their ground game working hitting the 100-yard mark into the second quarter, but both teams would answer, and Oregon never had the chance to build a lead. It was literally a game of inches.
With the loss, the Ducks will certainly fall out of the College Football Playoff race. There is still plenty to play for. Oregon is still chasing a Pac-12 Championship and a possible Rose Bowl berth. The Ducks will need to take care of business over the next two weeks.
Oregon returns to Autzen Stadium for their final home game of the season on Saturday. The Ducks welcome the Utah Utes for a 7:30 pm Pacific Time kickoff on ESPN.
Want your voice heard? Join the Autzen Zoo team!Write for us!