In the end, that confidence wasn’t enough as the Huskies couldn’t hold onto their double digit lead, they had established in the second half.
In the beginning, the Huskies defense was tested when Oregon received the ball and marched all the way down the field to score.
The Ducks marched all the way down the field on a 12-play, 75-yard drive, while taking a 5:16 chunk off the play clock and gaining momentum.
At the end of the first quarter, the Huskies would eventually settle in and answer back with a score of their own. Junior running back Salvon Ahmed ran in from 9-yards out for a touchdown.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 7-7 with both teams still trying to impose their will on their opponent and gain the upper hand.
The score would put the Huskies on top with a 14-7 lead, with the offense showing signs of life early – a good sign for the Dawgs.
Towards the end of the first half, the Ducks would answer back with a score of their own, when Herbert connected with junior wide receiver Jaylon Redd, who caught a 16-yard touchdown pass.
With the score tied at 14-14, the Huskies would get the ball back and march down the field for a 5-yard touchdown catch by senior wide receiver Andre Baccellia from Eason.
Heading into halftime, the Huskies were up 21-14 and feeling great about themselves, firmly in position to upset their rival from down south.
What was encouraging was the Husky defense held the Ducks to only 46 yards rushing in the entire first half and kept them in check.
At the start of the second half, the Huskies received the ball first and scored immediately, when Eason hit true freshman wide receiver Puka Nacua for a 33-yard touchdown catch.
With the Huskies leading 28-14 and 13:16 left in the third quarter, things were looking great for the Huskies as they seized control of the game.
Oregon answered back with a 14-yard rushing touchdown, by sophomore running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio, cutting the Husky lead to 28-21 halfway through the third quarter.
The Huskies would score next when they marched down the field, but had to settle on a 30-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry, which extended the lead to 31-21, and 3:39 left in the third quarter.
In probably the biggest momentum shifting play of the entire game, the Ducks converted a critical 4th and 3 into a 36-yard touchdown. Herbert connected with freshman wide receiver Mycah Pittman and the Huskies lead was now only 31-28 to start the fourth quarter.
The Ducks completely took control of the game after that touchdown, and had their way with the Husky defense throughout the rest of the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Huskies were not able to stop the run in the second half and the Ducks ran over the Huskies repeatedly with their rushing attack.
At the 5:10 mark of the fourth quarter, the Huskies were now down on the scoreboard, when Redd caught a 5-yard pass from Herbert. The score would put the Ducks in front 35-31.
The surging comeback by the Ducks was done methodically by their ability to run the football, which setup their efficient passing game.
Offensively, the Huskies had the final drive of the game and the opportunity to win the game outright, with the ball in their hands.
It was not to be – the Huskies drive stalled on 4th and 3 at the Oregon 35-yard line, when Eason’s pass to Nacua was incomplete, and the Ducks took over on downs.
“I mean it’s pretty frustrating. Given the fact that we were playing pretty well on offense. You know, it’s pretty frustrating. We got to make sure that we go back to the drawing board and fix the things that we didn’t do right in that last quarter,” senior center Nick Harris said.
The last play was questionable as a pass interference call may have been missed by the officials, when Nacua looked to be hit before the ball got there.
“What did it look like to you guys? You guys have a better vantage point than me. I think we know,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said after the game.
In the end, the Ducks completed their come from behind victory over the Huskies, as they were celebrating on the Huskies “W” after the game with chants of “Go Ducks”, heard loudly through Husky Stadium.
A second consecutive defeat to the Oregon Ducks for the Huskies, and once again in heartbreaking fashion, as they just couldn’t seal the deal.
With their loss, the Huskies fell to 5-3 (2-3) on the season and any conceivable chance of repeating as Pac-12 Champs was quickly squashed.
“I don’t. We just keep playing. I don’t worry if we win, I don’t worry if we lose in terms of what it means for the end of the season. There is a lot of football left to play. I think we have a lot more to us. We can just keep rolling, and get these guys better. There is a lot of football left. We are going to see things that are weird. We just try to control what we can control and that is focusing on getting a win against Utah,” Petersen said when asked about worrying that they can’t win the Pac-12 Championship again this season.
After the loss, the Husky players felt motivated to keep going with a lot of football left to be played this season and a chance to finish strong.
“Keep going..keep going, we still got what – five games left? Keep going! The season isn’t over, there’s a lot of football left. Keep your head down and take this as a lesson and go back and watch yourself and watch your team. Watch the details and make sure you are doing everything you can..that’s kind of the message that we put out for our team. We’re all brothers so we are all going to have each others back when it comes to executing on your assignment,” Husky junior running back Salvon Ahmed told DubLife after the game.
Next up for the Huskies is the much needed BYE week. The Huskies will practice very little and enjoy their rest.
“We will practice twice. We will lift a little bit. They also have played for eight weeks straight. So these guys need some time off. We have a lot of guys that are banged up that need a break,” Petersen said.
After the BYE week, the Huskies return to action on Saturday, November 2nd at Husky Stadium against the Utah Utes, with the kickoff time yet to be determined.
Below is some actual “Game Notes” for the Huskies…..
Husky Stadium – 47 degrees, light rain, no rain.
- The captains for today’s game were: Myles Bryant, Jacob Eason, Nick Harris and Elijah Molden.
- Oregon’s touchdown in the opening quarter was the first allowed by the Huskies in the first quarter this season. UW is outscoring opponents 97-13 in the first quarter.
- Hunter Bryant became the sixth Husky tight end to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving mark in his career. He now has 1,021 yards in his career and joins the likes of: 1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (1,838), 2. Dave Williams (1,133), 3. Jerramy Stevens (1,113), 4. Mark Bruener (1,102) and 5. John Brady (1,040).
- Bryant also moved up to seventh all-time in UW history for reception by a tight end. He now has 63 for his career.
- Salvon Ahmed eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the third time this season. His 140 rushing yards were the second most of his Husky career and the 10th highest total by a UW player against Oregon.
- Ahmed rushed for his team-high seventh TD of the season – four of which have been in the last two weeks – and he has now scored in five out of seven games he has played.
- Jordan Chin’s 48-yard touchdown reception was a career long and it was the first time the junior has found the endzone.
- Terrell Bynum set a new career high for receptions (6) and yards (43). His previous highs were 2 receptions for 32 yards on Aug. 31 vs. Eastern Washington.
- Cameron Davis became the 12th UW freshman and 22nd player to make their collegiate debut in 2019 when he entered the game for first time in the second quarter.
- Peyton Henry improved to 15-for-15 in field goals this season. He has the most makes nationally among kickers that are perfect this season.
- Marquis Spiker’s 20-yard reception in the fourth quarter was the first catch of his UW career.
- The 11 tackles recorded by Brandon Wellington were the most in the senior’s career and were the most by a Husky in 2019.
- The 31 points the Huskies scored against the Ducks were more than the last five games combined scored against Oregon (25). Conversely, the 35-points Oregon scored were the most by a UW opponent since Nov. 8, 2014 when UCLA beat UW, 44-30.