Anthony Brown and the Ducks prepare for Washington’s nation-leading pass defense

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Scoring points hasn’t been much of a problem lately for the Ducks, as quarterback Anthony Brown has found his rhythm and chemistry with his receiving corps.

But that might change some on Saturday as the Ducks face the top-ranked passing defense in the nation with the Washington Huskies secondary.

The offense is a major issue with the Huskies, but they’re really good on the other side of the ball. Washington allows just under 150 yards through the air. That’s it. But they do allow 179 yards on the ground, which is 10th in the conference. Look for Oregon to exploit that weakness on Saturday. A good run game can set up the passing game.

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Washington head coach Jimmy Lake knows the first order of attention for the defense is to contain Ducks tailback, Travis Dye.

“He’s one of those guys and I know it’s one of those often-used phrases, but he a football player,” Lake said in describing Dye. “I bet you could line him up at safety, at linebacker, at nickel, you could line him out at receiver and he would have a bunch of catches.”

Lake doesn’t need Dye on his defense because he has plenty of defensive players on his own roster that are excelling. Washington has eight interceptions as a team with six different players picking off at least one pass. Defensive backs Asa Turner and Kyler Gordon have two each.

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“They have one of the top passing defenses in the country,” said Brown. They’re really physical and they play really, really hard. We have to create (mismatches) and execute. It’s going to be hard because it’s a rivalry game, but that’s what we live for.”

Washington’s second level of defense is led by linebacker Jackson Sirmon, the son of former Oregon standout Peter Sirmon, who leads the Huskies with 60 tackles. The sophomore is 6-foot-3 and weighs 235 pounds and it seems like he’s in on every play as is Oregon’s Noah Sewell.

Sirmon’s fellow linebacker, Edufuan Ulofoshio, is second on the team with 51 tackles. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska was on several pre-season All-American lists and he’s living up to his billing through eight games.

Oregon and Washington is scheduled for a 4:30 PT kickoff and it will be televised on ABC.

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