Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oregon 44 - Washington 10

The Ducks sent the Huskies home with their tails tucked between their legs. On a cool, somewhat breezy evening, Oregon came away with their fifth straight win over our long time rivals from Seattle.

You have to give the defense a ton of credit for containing Locker and the Washington running game. The pass defense was as solid as advertised. Spencer Paysinger (replaced Kevin Garrett) was the surprise star for the defense with 12 tackles. Jake Locker cannot be effective unless he starts getting a lot more help from his O-line.

The merry-go-round at quarterback continues for the Ducks as Justin Roper went down with a mild concussion late in the second half. Jeremiah Masoli and Chris Harper filled in very nicely. They both had some early jitters but overcame them to give solid performances. Harper is going to be very special, the kid is very quick and elusive with the ball in his hands and a true freshman.

Jeremiah Johnson (pictured) is awesome and shows no signs of being hampered by his season ending surgery from last year. Blount didn't get very many carries but showed that he can power the ball with defenders hanging on him. Wide receiver Terrence Scott played a big role as the QB's threw to him most of the game, and rightfully so. Jaison Williams dropped a TD pass but flew down the left sideline for a TD later in the game after receving a short screen pass from Masoli with no Dawg defenders to be found anywhere.

The special teams were exceptional. Matt Evensen kept kicking it deep or completely out of the endzone on kickoffs but did miss a short field goal attempt and an extra point. Josh Syria averaged 43 yds. per punt which frequently kept the Dawgs pinned inside their 20 yd. line. Sure-handed Jairus Byrd returned five punts for 78 yds. and almost broke free for a TD when he ran it back 51 yards. The cover guys for punts and kickoffs held the Huskies to a skimpy 37 yards in 6 tries.

It was a satisfying start to the season to say the least. Oregon will be back at Autzen next Saturday to face Utah St.


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