Dawgs vs. Ducks: Thoughts From the Stadium


OK, ONE MORE ITEM: Port Orchard native Benji Olson was just honored at the end of the third quarter. The former Husky All-American from South Kitsap was introduced as a Husky Legend. His wife, Tracy, and kids Wyatt and Olivia — both wearing No 10 Jake Locker jerseys — were with him.

ONE MORE THOUGHT: It’s been a tough day for Jake Locker. He’s 17 for 33 for 197 yards and two interceptions. That’s an average of six yards per completion. He’s been sacked four times and hurried a bunch.

NO MIRACLE AT MONTLAKE TODAY: I’m going to sign off. If something dramatic happens, I’ll fire this thing back up. But don’t count on it.

ROUT IS ON: Oregon 36, UW 6. It took the Ducks two plays to get in the end zone after recovering a Chris Polk fumble. Polk gained 15 yards before caughing it up.

PLAYING FASTER: Oregon’s no-huddle offense is giving UW trouble. They’re playing fast. Quick snaps etc. Huskies have been late gettng set a couple of times. Despite a holding call and block in the back that set them back, the Ducks keep motoring down the field. Touchdown: Masoli to D.J. Davis for a 16-yard TD. The drive: 13 plays, 96 yards, 4:08 time of possession. Score: Oregon 29, UW 6.

ROLLER COASTER: Just when you write the Huskies off, Locker hooks up with Kearse for a 45-yard pass. Then, two plays later, Locker’s intercepted at Oregon’s 4.

NOT A GOOD START: Locker sacked on third down and Huskies punt it away. Ducks’ D seems to have figured out Washington. Their linebackers are doing a nice job of dropping into coverage. Locker’s having trouble finding people to throw to. … A Masoli scramble for big yards, a long pass and a 3-yard TD run by Masoli gives Oregon a 22-6 lead. The scoring drive: 3 plays, 53 yards, in 50 seconds. I thought Oregon was going to be Washington’s toughest opponent to date, and as the game goes on, they’re certainly looking like it right now.

WASHINGTON BALL: Huskies will start the second half with the ball after winning the coin toss and deferring to Oregon.


STYLE: Oregon’s wearing black pants and white jerseys with black helmets and green numbers. All in all, not a bad look by Oregon standards. Wait a minute, I just noticed some duck feathers on the shoulder pads. They just went from kinda cool to, ah, OK.

GOOD START FOR UW: With 3:27 left in the first quarter, Washington leads 3-0. UW defense stopped Oregon twice, forcing a punt that led to good field position for Huskies. Jake Locker marched the team inside Oregon’s nine, where the UW sputtered and settled for a field goal.

WOOF FACTOR: So far, there’s been no in-your-face stuff by either team. No quacking or woofing. At least, that’s the view from high in the sky. Which reminds me, Baird said the Ducks were a “Bobblehead,” kind of team. What he means, I think, is that they’re not afraid to strut their stuff after a big play and give you that “I’m bad,” kind of stuff.

A FIRST: Washington’s up 3-0 after one quarter and that’s the first time the Huskies have held an opponent scoreless in the first 15 minutes this season.

MOMENTUM CHANGER: Oregon’s Rory Cavaille just blocked a Husky punt that Oregon recovered in the end zone for a TD. He blocked it at the 33. A two-point conversion out of the PAT formation gives Oregon an 8-3 lead. with 12:45 left in the half. … Right before the blocked punt, Oregon sacked Locker for the second time on a third-down play. That’s two sacks and two tackles for losses for Oregon.

POLK GOES AND GOES: Chris Polk takes a pitch and runs 34 yards. He tacked on another 20, but stepped out of bounds. That was some Jim Brown kind of stuff. He wouldn’t go down. … Run sparked a drive that got the ball inside Oregon’s 10, but the Dawgs stalled. On fourth and goal form the 2, Locker’s pass was intercepted in the end zone. It wasn’t a bad throw. He rolled right, had nowhere to run and nobody was open so he tried to loft it up high to the back of the end zone, but Oregon had it covered all the way. Should they have kicked a field goal? Note: Polk wasn’t on the field for any of the final four plays. He was walking behind the bench without a helmet I think he dinged something.

DUCKS GET IT GOING: The blocked punt for a TD and pick in the end zone seems to hve fired up the Ducks, who drove to Washington’s 38. Just as I type that, UW’s Mason Foster sacks Oregon QB for a 16-yard loss. Faced with a 2nd and 36, the Ducks complete two passes, the last a beauty to tight end David Paulson, to get the ball down to Washington’s 20. Fans are getting their money’s worth. Can I say that again. Oregon just ran for 7 yards on a fake-field goal to get a first down at the eight. With 2:22 left, QB Masoli scores from a yard out to cap a 14-play, 80-yard drive that took 5:55. Oregon leads 15-3.

DIFFERENCE SO FAR: Special teams. Blocked punt. Fake field goal.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Locker’s pass intended for Middleton should have been picked off and returned for a TD by Oregon LB Casey Matthews. Ducks D starting to step it up, making things tough on Locker and Co.

END OF HALF: Oregon 15, UW 3. Maybe. They’re reviewing the last play to see if there’s 1 second left. There is. Huskies will get a shot at a Hail Mary. The ball’s at Oregon’s 45. Timeout Washington. Locker sacked. Wait. It’s not over yet. There’s a flag on the play. Personal foul on Ducks. Washington will snap it from Oregon’s 30 after 15-yard penalty. Huskies going to attempt a field goal. But, first, there’s time for another commercial because Oregon just used a timeout. This is the half that won’t end. Folk’s 48 yard FG is good.

END OF HALF II: Oregon 15, UW 6. It’s over. Really.


It’s less than 30 minutes to kickoff.

No signs of hostility so far. No obnoxious Duck fans. No obnoxious Husky fans. So far, it seems like it’s just another game.

But we know it’s not. It’s Oregon-Washington. Beyond the rivalry that it’s become, there’s a lot at stake today. An upset by Washington puts the Huskies back on track to earn a bowl bid, which is pretty remarkable considering where they were a year ago.

For Oregon, the Ducks are 3-0 in the Pac-10, and another road win (they won at UCLA last week) keeps them in control of their own destiny.

I’m not sure anybody saw this coming — for either team. Washington and coach Steve Sarkisian jump-started the expectations in Huskyville with the huge upset of USC. If the UW doesn’t give up a last-second touchdown at Arizona State last week, they would have been playing for the Pac-10 lead today.

After Oregon’s beat down at Boise State in its season opener, nobody would have predicted the Ducks would have rebounded with five straight wins.

Benji Olson was interviewed on the Husky Honks pre-game show. The former South Kitsap and UW star will be honored at the end of the third quarter today. I hope to bump into him. Last month he was inducted into the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame and somehow I wound up acepting his award. So I’ve got the trophy on his desk. I was going to bring it today, but, yeah, I forgot it.

During the interview, former UW assistant Dick Baird (who writes a blog for us: Coach Baird on Husky Football) reminded Benji about the Toyota pickup truck he drove when he first game to Washington. (Baird thinks the homefield advantage will be the difference today. Read his blog here.)

“Yeah, my knees were up around the steering wheel,” he said. “Felt like I was in a go-kart.”

Olson, after a 10-year NFL career with the Tennessee Titans, now drives an H2Hummer.

Baird joked that after Olson and Olin Kruetz left for the NFL after their junior seasons, that he was fired along with the rest of Jim Lambright’s staff.

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