Oregon Ducks move up to No. 4 in ESPN’s latest power rankings after win vs. Washington

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The Oregon Ducks win over the Washington Huskies on Saturday night may not have been pretty, but it was certainly convincing.

Although they fell behind early following a near pick-six and an unfortunate safety, the Ducks were able to turn the corner offensively, and they managed to get whatever they wanted on the ground, rushing for 329 yards as a team and throwing the ball only 5 times in the second half.

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Both teams knew exactly what Oregon was going to do on offense, and the Huskies were still unable to do anything to stop it, leading the way for RB Travis Dye to turn in a career performance with 211 yards on the ground.

There may not have been style points involved, especially after the Ducks decided to run out the clock on the Washington 1-yard line, with the door wide open to add another 7 points to the scoreboard and widen the gap. Regardless, it’s clear that the physical win was enough to boost Oregon’s stock, with ESPN moving them up a couple of spots in their weekly power rankings, where they now sit at No. 4.

The No. 4 team in the country has had its fair share of close calls this season. But could it escape another close game and do it on a rainy night in Stok–ehh, Seattle? Washington clearly arrived on its home turf motivated to back up the strange verbal jousting that had gone on between head coach Jimmy Lake and Oregon over the past week. But whatever fuel Lake’s words provided was gone about halfway through Saturday’s game. After being held to three points for most of the first half, Oregon realized its winning recipe was to just run the ball over and over (329 total rushing yards) and away from any Pac-12 after dark shenanigans that could have derailed its season. The 26-16 final is nothing to write to the committee about, but being one of the first four teams in from the first week of the rankings means all the Ducks have to do is keep winning.

On a week where No. 3 Michigan State was upset, and No. 2 Alabama survived a scare against LSU, there is a lot to be said for winning, even if it was winning ugly.

The official College Football Playoff rankings will be released once again on Tuesday night, and it would come as no surprise to see the Ducks move up a spot after this victory.