After the Auburn game, this game is the biggest on the Washington schedule. They’re traveling to Autzen Stadium for a matchup with the #17 Oregon Ducks. What’s going to be the biggest key to Saturday’s game? Easy, Washington’s defense against the Oregon offense. Most draft experts are projecting Oregon QB Justin Herbert to be the first quarterback picked in next year’s draft. That puts a lot of pressure on the nation’s best secondary.
Herbert has been very good so far this season, throwing for 15 TDs compared to only 5 interceptions. His completion percentage has been very good, completing 64.7% of his passes. This is going to be without a doubt the toughest test for the Husky secondary. They allowed UCLA freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson to complete 71% of his passes for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns. Before UCLA, the Huskies had only allowed one passing touchdown, which Jared Stidham threw in the first quarter of Week One.
Taylor Rapp, Byron Murphy and the rest of the Washington secondary need to come up big this Saturday. Murphy and Jordan Miller have barely been tested outside the numbers this season. Most quarterbacks haven’t had a good time when challenging the corners. Thompson-Robinson and Stidham had the best days against Washington and led their respective offenses to over 400 yards. Outside of those two games, no team has been able to gain over 270 yards on the defense.
Thompson-Robinson also broke a string of four straight quarterbacks who threw for under 200 yards. Herbert is by far the best quarterback the Huskies are going to face this season, and he won’t be afraid to challenge Murphy or Miller on the outside. If the Huskies can get back to playing good defense against the run, and force Oregon into 3rd and long situations, they’re going to win handily. One bold prediction for this weekend, the Huskies are going to double their interception total on the season, and pick off Herbert twice.