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Ducks stop Polk, sack Price, spoil party

Husky Stadium, Seattle. Behind the running of LaMichael James and their stout defense, the sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks beat the Washington Huskies, 34-17, on a night that marked Husky Stadium's last hurrah before its renovation.

On Monday, 91-year old Husky Stadium begins its $250 million facelift. For Steve Sarkisian's Washington Huskies (6-3, 4-2, Pac-12) it's back to the drawing board.

"This is two games against two pretty good teams, Stanford and Oregon, and we have not performed up front. I'm still trying to figure out what happened," Sarkisian was quoted as saying.

"Six sacks is a crazy number to me. That's embarrassing."

The formula for beating Washington is simple: Stop RB Chris Polk and put an all out rush on young QB Keith Price, hoping he'll make some costly mistakes. The Huskies' feckless defense, which ranks 93rd in FBS football, speaks for itself. The result against Oregon: Polk gained 80 yards rushing on 24 attempts for a paltry average of 3.3 yards per carry; Price completed 24 of 35 passes for 143 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, which computes to a passing efficiency rating of 110.32, his lowest of the season.  Oregon rolled up 381 yards of offense, while Washington accumulated just 278 total yards.

Price's 2 picks led to two short-field Oregon touchdowns and a 17-3 lead in the second quarter.

"He (Price) was a little undisciplined in his footwork," Sarkisian said. "We didn't protect the quarterback very well. I don't think Keith was real comfortable in the pocket."

LaMichael James rushed for 156 yards on 25 attempts for an average of 6.2 yards per carry while, at times, Oregon's hurry-up offense had Washington's defense back on its heals.

Buoyed by the large crowd (69,407) and the celebration of its '91 national championship team, Washington drew within 7 points (24-17) in the third quarter. Two-and-a-half minutes later, however, Oregon spoiled the party, taking a 31-17 lead on a 9-yard touchdown run by De'Anthony Thomas.

Sarkisian was quoted as saying, "I'm proud of our defense." The Huskies held the Ducks to 381 total yards, which is 145 yards below their average.

"But I didn't think we'd have 278 yards (on offense), either, I can tell you that," Sark said.

Oregon also gained 212 yards on the ground -- 5.4 yards per carry -- which Sark didn't mention.

UW also failed to register a sack, ranking 81st in the FBS in sacks, 87th in sacks allowed and 111th in tackles for a loss.

The Huskies rank 101st in scoring defense, allowing 33.44 points per game, and have lost their last 8 games against the Ducks.

Oregon's mastery over Washington, its 8-game winning streak, began in 2004, not coincidentally with the emergence of defensive linemen Haloti Ngata in the rivalry.

The Huskies will begin to compete with the big boys, as in Stanford and Oregon, when defensive coordinator Nick Holt, out on the recruiting trail, begins to think "SEC front four" and settles for nothing less. (With this in mind, see Table 1 below for a significant defensive stat and its correlation with the Huskies' six victories and their three losses this season.)

Price's passing efficiency rating has tapered off in his last three games. (See Table 2).

Table 1. In its six victories, Washington has held its six opponents to an average of 51.5 yards per game on the ground, which would rank first in the FBS if those six games were all Washington had played. In its three losses, UW has allowed 322.3 rushing yards per game. In its nine games, UW ranks 52nd in the FBS in rushing defense (5th in the Pac-12), yielding 141.78 yards per game. This table seems to say stop the run and win the game.

School

W/L

Rush

UW Rush

Eastern Washington

W

31 yards

148 yards

Hawaii

W

55

151

Nebraska

 L

309

146

California

W

108

117

Utah

W

17

185

Colorado

W

62

295

Stanford

L

446

172

Arizona

W

36

179

Oregon

L

212

82

Table 2. Keith Price's cumulative passing efficiency.

Team C A Y T I PE C A Y T I PE
EWU 17 25 102 3 0 149.87 17 25 102 3 0 149.87
Hawai'i 18 25 315 4 1 222.64 35 50 417 7 1 182.26
Nebraska 21 37 274 4 2 143.83 56 87 691 11 3 165.91
California 19 25 292 3 0 213.71 75 112 983 14 3 176.58
Utah 22 30 226 3 1 162.95 97 142 1209 17 4 173.70
Colorado 21 28 257 4 0 199.24 118 170 1466 21 4 177.91
Stanford 23 36 247 1 1 125.13 141 206 1713 22 5 168.69
Arizona 16 30 277 1 3 121.89 157 236 1990 23 8 162.74
Oregon 24 35 143 2 2 110.32 181 271 2133 25 10 155.97

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Oregon 10 7 17 0 34
Washington 3 7 7 0 17


Time Team How Player (s) Oreg UW
1st qtr          
11:46 UO TD LaMichael James 18 yd run (Alejandro Maldonado kick) 7 0
7:17 UW FG Erik Folk 42 yd FG 7 3
6:06 UO FG Alejandro Maldonado 40 yd FG 10 3
2nd qtr
10:10 UO TD David Paulson 4 yd pass from Darron Thomas (Alejandro Maldonado kick) 17 3
:30 UW TD Michael Hartvigson 1 yd pass from Keith Price (Erik Folk kick) 17 10
3rd qtr
12:23 UO TD Kenjon Barner 1 yd run (Alejandro Maldonado kick 24 10
8:33 UW TD Kasen Williams 10 yd pass from Keith Price (Erik Folk kick) 24 17
6:05 UO TD De'Anthony Thomas 9 yd run (Alejandro Maldonado kick) 31 17
1:49 UO FG Alejandro Maldonado 35 yd FG 34 17

 

Statistics UO UW
Total First Downs 20 19
  Rushing 12 4
  Passing 8 12
  Penalty 0 3
Total Net Yards 381 278
Net Yards Passing 169 196
Net Yards Rushing 212 82
Completions-att-int 13-25-0 25-36-2
Punts, yards, average 4-171; 42.8 4-172; 43.0
Sacks by (number, yards) 6-30-0 0-0
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 4-123-0 7-116-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 0-0-0 0-0-03
Kickoff Yards 7-425 2-242
Net Yards per kickoff 44.1 29.8
Average yards per kickoff 60.7 60.5
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 0
Third-down conversions 5 of 12 8 of 16
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 2-65-0 0-0-0
Penalties, no., Yards 9-78 3-20
Fumbles; number/lost 2-1 1-1
Time of Possession  24:01 35:59

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Darron Thomas; 121.98 13 25 169 1 0
           
Washington          
Keith Price; 110.32 24 35 143 2 2
Nick Montana; 545.2 1 1 53 0 0
           
UO Rushing No. yds tds long  
LaMichael James 25 156 1 22  
Kenjon Barner 10 41 1 8  
DeAnthony Thomas 1 9 1 9  
Darron Thomas 3 6 0 2  
           
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Chris Polk 24 80 0 14  
Jessie Callier 1 4 0 4  
Devin Aguilar 1 4 0 4  
Keith Price 8 -27 0 2  
Bishop Sankey 2 21 0 19  
           
Ducks Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Josh Huff 4 60 0 22  
Lavasier Tuinei 4 25 0 13  
David Paulson 3 65 1 34  
Daryle Hawkins 1 13 0 13  
LaMichael James 1 6 0 6  
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
Tim Tucker 2 12 0 7  
Kevin Smith 1 14 0 14  
Kasen Williams 6 79 1 53  
Chris Polk 6 31 0 13  
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 1 -6 0 0  
Jermaine Kearse 3 24 0 13  
Devin Aguilar 2 34 0 20  
Mike Hartvigson 2 1 1 1  
Kevin Smith 1 14 0 14  
           
Punting        
Oregon No. yds avg long IN20
Jackson Rice 4 171 42.8 47 1
           
Washington          
   
Will Mahan 1 47 47.0 47 0
Kiel Rasp 3 125 41.7 45 1
Attendance: 69,407          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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