Over a decade of dominance and it’s still going. Oregon beat Washington 45-20 with a great offensive performance by Marcus Mariota and Royce Freeman, extending their winning streak over the Huskies to 11 games.
Washington headed into the game with the hope of finally changing the pecking order in the Pac-12 North, but were instead handed their second loss of the season, once again finding it too difficult to compete with Stanford and Oregon for the division title, although things are still wide open with the Ducks losing one game this season and Washington on two losses right now. They haven’t beaten Oregon since 2003, and have lost all 11 games by 17 points or more.
The Huskies were able to make things a little bit difficult for Marcus Mariota when he tried running, but overall the option offense was too quick and overall too much for Washington to handle. The number nine team in the nation gained 554 yards and didn’t turn the ball over once on its way to taking sole possession of the top spot in the North division. With that kind of production, Washington had no chance of staying close.
And they didn’t. After two field goals and another slow start from Oregon, Washington didn’t score again until late in the third quarter. That Deontae Cooper touchdown from a Cyler Miles pass made it 35-13. A comeback was simply out of the picture, with only 184 yards of passing and averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. The change that should be brought on by Chris Petersen, or to be more exact the gradual upgrade, doesn’t include beating the best team in the division more often than not.
So what happened between the field goals of the first quarter and the touchdown in the third quarter? Mostly Marcus Mariota and Royce Freeman. The quarterback completed 24-of-33 passes for 336 yards and two touchdown passes, while Freeman was unstoppable, running 29 times for 169 yards and four touchdowns. Oregon also had a field goal missed by Matt Wogan, as they simply took over the game with their blinding speed in the second quarter.
The best team in the Pac-12? That remains to be seen. Despite their frustrating home loss to Arizona, they’ve managed to regroup. Right now, they’re in control of the Pac-12 North, but they’ve been in that situation before. A slumping and weaker than before Stanford team is waiting. There’s also the difficult Utah on the road. Oregon have messed up a clear path towards the Pac-12 title game two years in a row. They have it in their hands once more, but even a dominant win over Washington might not be enough to quell the doubts raised in the past as they’ve stumbled at key moments.