Defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha hangs his head as he walks to the bench in the fourth quarter of Washington's 45-24 loss to Oregon.
Defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha hangs his head as he walks to the bench in the fourth quarter of Washington's 45-24 loss to Oregon.Photo by Joshua Bessex
With 6:17 left on the clock Saturday afternoon, Oregon fans showered Husky Stadium with chants of “10 more years, 10 more years.” It was loud and commanding, just like No. 2 Oregon’s decade-long win streak over the Huskies.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota carved up No. 16 Washington like a Halloween pumpkin, thrashing the UW for 454 total yards and four touchdowns en route to a 45-24 loss for the Huskies. It’s the 10th straight loss for the Huskies to their rivals from Eugene, Ore., and yet another one that will go down in the record books as a defeat by more than 17 points. However, in this one, the Huskies at least showed signs of life in the second half.
After going into halftime staring at a 21-7 deficit, the Huskies roared back in the third quarter, scoring 17 points to Oregon’s 10 to make it a one-touchdown game going into the final quarter. Junior running back Bishop Sankey broke off a 60-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one on the UW’s opening drive after halftime to breathe life into the Huskies. But Oregon answered back. The Ducks did that all night until the UW ran out of breath.
“We just kept going back and fourth, toe-to-toe, and they just didn’t make a mistake to give us a chance to get even with them,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “They just kept making their plays. At some point, not ever would I say our team quit, I would never say that, but I think at some point you’re fighting uphill, you’re fighting uphill, you’re fighting uphill, and they feel like they’re playing downhill, you kind of get worn out.”
Nursing an injured thumb on his throwing hand, quarterback Keith Price went 19-of-32 for 182 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The turnover came on a miscommunication with wide receiver Jaydon Mickens in the second quarter, two drives after Sankey lost his first fumble of the season. Sankey finished with 167 rushing yards on 28 carries, scoring both of his touchdowns in the third quarter, but Mariota bested everything the UW offense threw at the Ducks.
The sophomore quarterback slipped through tackles, danced around UW defenders, and threw lasers through tight coverage. He did it all.
“He’s a dual-threat quarterback,” cornerback Marcus Peters said. “He can run, he can pass, and their system is perfect for him.”
The Huskies kept it close in the first quarter, beating Oregon at its own game, running and gunning as fast as they could. The Ducks got on the board first, midway through the first quarter from a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Byron Marshall. The UW immediately answered on the next drive, as Price hooked up with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for an 8-yard touchdown pass that capped a nine-play, 76-yard drive. Seferian-Jenkins stretched out for the ball and caught it in the back of the end zone to score his third touchdown of the year.
In the second quarter, the Ducks turned on their jets and blew open a 21-7 lead going into halftime. They outgained the UW 116-46 and scored twice, first off a touchdown pass from Mariota to wide receiver Bralon Addison and then on the ground from Marshall. Price only completed one pass for 8 yards.
The teams traded blows in the third quarter, but Oregon came away with the knockout punch Saturday night, just like each of the past 10 years.
Reach Sports Editor Thuc Nhi Nguyen at email@example.com. Twitter: @thucnhi21
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