It is never easy for any team to go undefeated in college football. In looking at the Pac-12 Conference this season, that is especially true. Teams that started out highly ranked were bound to have a loss (or two). Unfortunately, the Ducks were on the wrong end of the scoreboard on Saturday in a 36-33 loss to the Washington Huskies.
Oregon had their chances to for the win and Head Coach Dan Lanning, in the moment, called a great game for the Ducks. Unfortunately, on several key occasions, the team was unable to execute.
The Ducks had a chance to add a touchdown at the end of the first half and were turned away on fourth down. There were numerous fourth-down chances that were squandered. Oregon was 0 for 3 on third down. Just one of those could have made the difference. It was truly that close of a game.
Both Bo Nix and Michael Penix, Jr. had great games. Nix finished the game completing 33 of 44 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Penix finished with 302 yards and 4 scores, two of them at key moments in the game where the Ducks had injuries to key defense members. Penix and the Washington Huskies took advantage of key game points that ultimately led to the win.
A reliable Cam Lewis attempted a long field goal for the tie in the game’s final minute only to see the ball sail wide right securing the win for Washington.
Coaching can sometimes be a guessing game. I am personally happy that I don’t have the job. The second-guessing would probably kill me. Dan Lanning went into the game looking to be aggressive, going for it to gain more yardage rather than taking points several times. Those points may have given Oregon enough to win in the end. It’s a game.
We do know that Oregon and Washington will see each other again, next season in fact. As part of their respective moves to the Big Ten, the Huskies/Ducks matchup is protected and will continue.
Oregon returns home this week to face Washington State on October 21st, who lost to Arizona 44-6. The Ducks and Cougars meet at 12:30 pm Pacific Time on ABC.
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