Washington played conservatively early going for a pair of field goals in the red zone in the first half. Things turned into a shootout in the second half but a Peyton Henry 43-yard field goal proved to be redemption for Henry and the Huskies as Washington held on for a 37-34 win over #6 Oregon. The Washington win ended Oregon’s 23-game home winning streak and propelled the Dawgs to an 8-2 record while ending the Ducks’ College Football Playoff dreams. You love to see it.
From the early going it was clear that Oregon’s crowd would have an impact on the game. Michael Penix had to burn a timeout on the 2nd play of the game when he couldn’t communicate an audible to the O-line in time. That didn’t seem to matter though as Washington still made their conversions on 3rd and long. Michael Penix Jr. spun out of a sack and jogged for a 1st down on 3rd and 15 then he found Odunze later in the drive on a 3rd and 10. Wayne Taulapapa was given a ridiculously gigantic hole in the red zone and he walked in from 11 yards out to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
Oregon seemed to move down the field without much opposition picking up a 4th and inches conversion along the way. Starting UW corner Jordan Perryman injured his shoulder on that play leaving true freshman Jaivion Green as the 2nd corner on the outside. The Dawgs caught a bit of a break when Oregon was called for hands to the face which negated what would’ve been a 1st and goal. Instead the Husky defense stepped up after the 1st and 25 allowing just 12 yards on the next few plays. Then Bralen Trice beat Oregon’s left tackle to hit Bo Nix and force an incompletion. Oregon’s Camden Lewis made the 44-yard FG to make it 7-3 Huskies.
Washington again moved the ball fairly easily down the field on their 2nd possession. Jalen McMillan was featured with 3 catches including 19 yards on the first play. A pair of McMillan catches left it 3rd and 2 and the Huskies snapped the ball just before the 1st quarter ended. Unfortunately, Wayne Taulapapa only picked up a single yard bringing up a 4th and 1. Coach DeBoer opted to just kick the field goal which got more complicated after Henry committed a false start and Oregon committed an offsides. UW still chose to take the field goal and made it 10-3 UW.
The Huskies’ tackling woes showed up on the next drive as it seemed that every ball carrier broke at least one tackle and as many as 3. The Ducks moved the ball into the red zone when a pair of Bo Nix keeps brought up a 3rd and 1 after a booth review overturned an initial generous Oregon spot. The Ducks shifted their entire offense but got too cute as Bo Nix fumbled the snap and Washington recovered for the much needed red zone turnover.
Unfortunately, that left the Huskies with the ball at the 1 yard line which became the 1⁄2 yard line after a false start penalty. A beautiful diving catch from Ja’Lynn Polk gave the Huskies a shot by making it 3rd and 1 but a run blitz stopped Davis just short and forced a UW punt from their own 10.
It took a little longer than expected but Oregon finally got their touchdown. A line drive lackluster punt from his end zone by McCallister was caught in UW territory. The Ducks ran the ball on every single play until facing a 3rd and 6 in the red zone. Jeremiah Martin rushed to the outside with no worry of contain and couldn’t make the play opening a huge hole for an easy Nix scramble. On the next play Nix ran a QB draw up the gut to the tie the game at 10.
Oregon went for a surprise onside kick and made it earlier in the season in a ranked matchup against UCLA. The Ducks did it again but the Huskies recovered and took over at midfield. Washington got fortunate on the first play as McMillan and Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez had a contested catch situation. The refs ruled it a McMillan catch but it easily could’ve been called a pick. The Huskies though rushed up and got a play off before it could be reviewed. Still, Oregon forced a 3rd and 4 and a pass to Cam Davis had no chance and caught it for no gain. Washington once again opted for a short FG and Henry kicked it through from 27 yards to make it 13-10 UW.
The Ducks made that call for the chance to score just before halftime and then also receive after the break. An ineligible man downfield penalty on 2nd down led to the Ducks ending up with a 4th and 2 inside their own 40. Oregon looked like they were just trying to draw Washington offsides but snapped it with 1 second on the clock and Nix converted on a QB sneak with 28 seconds left. The Ducks managed to get the ball in range for a long field goal but came well short on a 54-yard attempt preserving the Dawgs’ halftime 13-10 lead.
Oregon started with great field position yet again after Gross’ kickoff went out of bounds. On 3rd and 3 the Ducks got UW to completely vacate the middle and Nix coasted to a 1st down on the QB draw. Then he finally hit on the deep ball that had been there several times as Dom Hampton was beat deep for the score to put Oregon up 17-13.
Washington needed an answer and they ultimately got it. The Dawgs gained 9 yards on 1st down for consecutive plays and each time eventually ran for the first down. Penix found Jack Westover open in the zone and connected down to the 5-yard line. From there the Huskies gave it to Cam Davis twice who kept his legs moving and barely extended the ball over the line for a TD to put UW back on top 20-17.
The Husky defense offered little resistance after special teams finally stopped an Oregon returner short of the 25. The Ducks ran the ball repeatedly and Washington repeatedly missed tackle after tackle. Eventually Whittington broke loose up the middle and went untouched 29 yards for an Oregon score to put them back up 24-20.
Penix wasted no time answering. Wayne Taulapapa got brought down for -1 yards on the first play of the drive which was Oregon’s first tackle for loss of the game. On the next play though Penix threw it 55 yards in the air to hit Polk in stride for a 76-yard touchdown bomb and a 27-24 UW lead with 5:30 left in the 3rd quarter. Oregon committed roughing the passer on the play which was enforced on the kickoff and backed the Ducks up.
The shootout was on though as Washington continued to be unable to tackle Oregon RB Bucky Irving. A holding penalty drawn by Bralen Trice gave the Huskies hope bringing up a 1st and 20. It didn’t matter though as true freshman Jaivion Green got cooked by Troy Franklin and it resulted in a 67-yard TD strike to give Oregon back the 31-27 lead.
Cam Davis made a critical mistake on the kickoff return as he slipped and had his knee down at the 1-yard line meaning the Dawgs would have to go 99 yards to retake the lead. It looked like they would do it as the Huskies marched down the field 10-15 yards at a time. An Oregon facemask meant Washington had 1st and goal at the 1 and a great chance to go back up by 3. Instead, Michael Penix Jr. chose to rocket a ball into a window that didn’t exist. It was tipped and picked and instead Oregon had a 99-yard drive of their own.
The Huskies were unable to stop Oregon’s rushing attack all game and the Ducks used that to march down the field without much if any opposition. Oregon ran the ball 16 times on the drive and while Washington forced a couple of 3rd and 1’s it was inevitable that the Ducks would be able to pick them up on the ground. On 2nd and 5 in the red zone a high snap seemingly gave the Huskies a shot but Nix was able to jump and receive it then alertly throw it at his running back’s feet to make it merely an incompletion. Oregon once again went back to the QB draw and Alex Cook finally made a great tackle stopping Nix short and he was shaken up on the field and that meant Oregon kicked the short field goal to go up 34-27 with 3:54 left.
For the 2nd time in the game Oregon drove the kickoff out of bounds giving Washington great field position. On 3rd and 7 Michael Penix Jr. uncorked a ridiculous throw to the far sideline in between 2 defenders and Taj Davis caught it, tiptoed the sideline, kept his balance, and finished it with a 62-yard score to tie it back up at 34 with 3:07 remaining.
Bo Nix’s injury on the previous guy kept him out of it which led redshirt freshman QB Ty Thompson to try to be the hero for Oregon. A trio of runs picked up 9.5 yards and brought up a crucial 4th and inches. And with Bo Nix trying to tell Lanning that he was ready to come back in, Whittington for Oregon slipped and lost 2 yards giving the Huskies the ball with less than 90 seconds left already in field goal range.
Washington picked up 9 yards on first down yet again but that was as far as they would get after a throw away and a Cam Davis stuffed run. Peyton Henry marched out for a 43-yard attempt and drilled it straight through with 51 seconds left to put the Huskies up 37-34.
The Huskies finally got a sack on a hobbled Bo Nix as Bralen Trice corralled him bringing up a 4th and 14. The Ducks though converted and continued to drive with no timeouts until Kris Hutson caught a 1st down with 6 seconds left. He immediately went down with a “cramp” and because he got a 1st down which stops the clock briefly there was no 10 second runoff. Troy Franklin seemingly got Oregon in field goal range with 1 second left on the clock but he barely stepped out of bounds and so it was illegal touching for a loss of down bringing up a Hail Mary with 1 second left. The throw was well short of a receiver and the Dawgs held on.
This victory is an absolutely massive statement for Coach DeBoer and the Huskies. Oregon used this as their big in-season recruiting showcase and Washington was the one coming out on top in front of all of that talent. The Dawgs ended Oregon’s CFP hopes and have all of the momentum to try to rally for a 10-win regular season.
Michael Penix Jr. made the one critical mistake but otherwise was exemplary and finished with 408 passing yards. The defense gave up nearly 600 yards but did just enough to give the offense a shot.
Washington returns for their home finale on Saturday night against Colorado before finishing out the year in Pullman in the Apple Cup.