EUGENE, Ore. - Washington senior quarterback Jake Browning played the best game of his career at Oregon two years ago, and considerably more will be at stake when Browning and the No. 7 Huskies return to Eugene to take on the No. 17 Ducks in a Pac-12 game on Saturday afternoon. Browning matched the Pac-12 single-game record with eight touchdowns in the 70-21 win against Oregon on Oct. 8, 2016, which is the most points Washington had scored since 1944.
TV: 3:30 p.m., ET, ABC. LINE: Washington -3
Washington has won five in a row since a season-opening loss to No. 21 Auburn, but three teams with one loss in conference play sit directly behind the Huskies in the North Division, and one is Oregon. The Ducks had a light nonconference schedule before losing in overtime to Stanford in their Pac-12 opener. Oregon regrouped to beat California 42-24 in an impressive road victory on Sept. 29, and the Ducks have had two weeks to prepare for Washington and get healthier. Oregon defensive end Austin Faoliu missed the Cal game with a foot injury, but is expected to rejoin a defense that scored two touchdowns off turnovers against the Golden Bears.
ABOUT WASHINGTON (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12)
Huskies senior running back Myles Gaskin has as much experience against Oregon as Browning does and maybe even better results. He rushed for 155 yards and a 72-yard touchdown against the Ducks as a freshman, then came back with 197 rushing yards and a touchdown in the blowout victory in 2016. He put up another 123 rushing yards and a touchdown against Oregon last season, and enters this game after gashing UCLA for 116 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-24 win last week.
ABOUT OREGON (4-1, 1-1)
Ducks junior quarterback Justin Herbert made his first college start against Washington two years ago and it went surprisingly well, considering the one-sided outcome. He missed the Washington game last season after breaking his collarbone against California, but his stock has continued to rise among NFL scouts, and this will be a huge test against a Washington defense that ranks third in the nation in scoring defense (13.7 points). Browning has a talented receiver in Aaron Fuller, but so does Herbert in Dillon Mitchell, who caught 14 passes for 239 yards in the loss to Stanford.
1. Washington coach Chris Petersen was an assistant at Oregon from 1995-2000, and then moved on to Boise State, where he led the Broncos to BCS bowl games in 2006 and 2009.
2. Huskies S Taylor Rapp leads the nation with three fumble recoveries.
3. Oregon has outscored its opponents 145-47 in the first half this season.
PREDICTION: Oregon 28, Washington 27
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