Three Plays That Made the Difference: Washington
This was a game many thought would be a shootout, myself included. Instead, the Ducks turned in their best defensive performance of the season shutting down a very good offense and a great running back.
1st Quarter, 13:24
After the Huskies started with possession, early indications were that the Washington offense would be able to move the ball on Oregon. But then the Duck defense put the clamps down. After a 13 yard pass for a first down, Keith Price threw a quick pass to his superb freshman tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins that the Ducks defense swarmed for a 6 yard loss. Right after that play Keith Price sailed a pass over his receivers head that Eddie Pleasant picked off and returned 17 yards to the Washington 38. It set the tone for a dominant defensive performance.
2nd Quarter, 10:51
Against the Cougars last week Darron Thomas missed a wide open David Paulson for what would have been an easy touchdown. The very next play, the ball bounced off of a receivers hands and into a Washington State defenders hands which he took back for a long touchdown. It was important to get Paulson involved against Washington. On 2nd and goal form the 4 yard line, Darron Thomas rolled to his right. While rolling out, he spotted a wide open David Paulson in the end zone and threw back across his body witha perfect strike for the touchdown.
The play was important as it made Paulson a legitimate concern for the Husky defense and it also showed that Darron Thomas' mobility has improved as he works his way back into form from an injury to his left knee.
3rd Quarter, 15:00
Leading just 17-10 to start the second half, the Ducks had the ball to start the second half.On the first play of the half, the Ducks used a wrinkle just installed for this game which had been successful earlier in the game, but the play really set the tone for the second half. Taking a quick pitch to the left, LaMichael James was able to hit the hole quicker than normal to the outside and took off for a 22 yard gain. The play came from Oregon's 10 yard line so was important in getting out of bad field position set up by an illegal block on the opening kick. Two plays later, James took the same pitch to the right side for another 16 yard gain.