SEATTLE — Travis Dye rushed for a career-high 211 yards and a touchdown, Anthony Brown ran for a score and passed for another and No. 7 Oregon overcame a sluggish start to beat Washington 26-16 on Saturday night.
A year after the border rivals didn’t play due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Huskies program, the Ducks (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) fell behind early before running off 21 consecutive points and beat Washington for the seventh time in the past eight games played in Seattle.
Brown threw a 31-yard TD pass to Devon Williams late in the first half to take a 10-9 lead at the break and scored on a 2-yard run early in the third quarter. Dye appeared to provide the capper when he rumbled 19 yards for a score on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Ducks a 24-9 lead.
Washington’s languishing offense that had done nothing all night suddenly went the length of the field and pulled to 24-16 with 11:13 remaining on Sean McGrew‘s second TD run.
Oregon was able to grind nearly nine minutes off the clock even though they didn’t score. The drive was helped by a long run from Dye and Brown hitting Johnny Johnson III for 13 yards on a third-and-10. It was Johnson’s only catch after he was suspended for the first half following a targeting ejection last week.
Washington (4-5, 3-3) got the ball back with 2:14 left and 90 yards to go but had two dropped passes, an incompletion and when coach Jimmy Lake opted to punt the snap went over Race Porter’s head for a safety.
On a miserable, chilly night with breezes blowing off Lake Washington and unrelenting, heavy rain pelting the field, players and fans, the Ducks avoided the kind of stumble that befell Michigan State earlier in the day and should give Oregon the chance of moving up in the College Football Playoff rankings. Oregon was No. 4 in the first rankings and remained in control of the Pac-12 North.
Washington had won two straight on the road, but its offensive deficiencies led to several missed chances to create a cushion after taking a 9-3 lead.
Carson Bruener intercepted Brown’s pass on Oregon’s opening drive and returned it 50 yards to the 7. In less than three minutes Washington had a 7-0 lead after McGrew scored on a 1-yard run and the Huskies added a safety shortly after for a 9-3 lead.
But Washington failed to extend the lead. Washington punted twice on fourth-and-short near midfield. Morris was intercepted in Oregon territory trying to force a pass into triple coverage. And McGrew was stopped on a fourth-and-1 run at the Oregon 23 late in the second quarter.
Oregon: The Ducks finished with 329 yards rushing, the second time a team rushed for at least 300 yards against the Huskies. That had happened only once in the previous seven seasons against the Huskies. Brown added 63 yards rushing and Byron Cardwell had 55 yards.
Washington: Some type of change needs to be made to Washington’s offense. They had no first downs in the first quarter, and went three-and-out six times. The conditions were awful ,but the lack of potency and consistency from the offense has been a problem all year and has left the Huskies in the position of needing to win two of its last three games to become bowl eligible.
Oregon: Hosts Washington State next Saturday.
Washington: Hosts Arizona State next Saturday.
No. 7 Oregon avoids stumble, rallies to top Washington 26-16 originally appeared on NBCSports.com