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Oregon vs. Washington: ‘Tale of the Tape’ for No. 5 Ducks vs. No. 3 Huskies

Part one was so entertaining that it only makes sense we are getting a part two for what was one of the best games of the college football season.

The No. 5 Oregon Ducks and No. 3 Washington Huskies will meet for the second time this year, now down in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Conference Championship game. The first time these two teams met back in October, Washington won, 36-33, as a game-tying field goal from Oregon sailed right with time expiring.

It was clear then that these two teams were evenly matched as the two best in the West. Now we get to see what they look like on a bigger stage.

So how do the numbers stack up when it comes to specific matchups and statistics? What can we draw from those numbers when they are laid out in front of us? That’s what the tape is for. Let’s find out with the Pac-12 Championship edition of the ‘Tale of the Tape.’

QB Bo Nix vs. QB Michael Penix Jr.

Breaking down the quarterback matchup based on 2023 stats:

Nix

vs

Penix Jr.

6-3

Ht

6-3

214

Wt

218

Senior

Class

Senior

315

Comp

280

401

Att

427

78.6

Comp %

65.6

3,906

Yards

3,899

9.7

YPA

9.1

37-2 (43 total TDs)

TD-INT

32-8 (35 total TD)

Edge: Bo Nix

Analysis: Things have changed quite a bit since the last time these two teams met when it comes to the outlook of the QB spot. Back then, both were considered leaders in the Heisman Trophy race, with Penix actually leading the way. However, since then the Washington QB has seen his numbers trail off a bit as he’s fallen out of the running for the prestigious award. Penix has found a way to win every game, but when you look at the numbers and the pure performances of the players, I think it’s pretty clear and obvious that Bo Nix deserves the nod.

Oregon RBs vs. Washington RBs

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Breaking down the backfield matchup based on 2023 stats:

Oregon

vs

Washington

Irving

Johnson

James

Rogers

Limar

Nixon

286

Att

241

1,829

Yards

1,308

6.4

YPC

5.4

21

TDs

13

4

100-yard games

3

Edge: Oregon Ducks

Analysis: The Ducks have a much more balanced offense, so they are going to run the ball a lot more than the Huskies. While Washington has been able to find a lot more success on the ground since the last time these two teams played, it’s still pretty clear and obvious that the better rushing talent resides in Eugene.

Oregon Pass Catchers vs. Washington Pass Catchers

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Breaking down the receiving corps based on stats from 2023:

Oregon

vs

Washington

Franklin

Odunze

Ferguson

Polk

Johnson

Westover

Holden

Bernard

279

Target

280

214

Rec

192

76.7

Catch %

68.6

2,988

Yards

2,974

14.0

YPR

15.5

30

TDs

26

Edge: Split

Analysis: This one is really close. While Oregon’s WR group has more TDs and a higher catch percentage, you have to be impressed with what Washington’s group does on fewer catches with a less accurate QB. I think it’s fair to say that if you swapped the Ducks’ pass-catchers for the Huskies’ pass-catchers, and vice versa, you would get pretty similar results. This is a toss-up in my mind.

Oregon Defenders vs. Washington Defenders

Breaking down the top defenders based on stats from 2023:

Oregon (Tackles)

vs

Washington (Tackles)

Johnson (59)

Hampton (89)

Bassa (52)

Ulofoshio (77)

Stephens IV (41)

Bruener. (73)

Williams (71)

Tuputala (52)

Total

Team

Stats

32 (26th)

Sacks

19 (110th)

63 (88th)

TFL

54 (112th)

10

INT

15

15 (83rd)

Turnovers

17 (54th)

32.3% (22nd)

3D%

40.9% (86th)

82.4% (61st)

RZ%

82.5 (65th)

Slight Edge: Oregon Ducks

Analysis: When you look in terms of total defense, Oregon’s is 15th in the nation, while Washington’s is 93rd in the nation. The Ducks have a better rushing defense, passing defense, and a more physical defensive line. It’s going to be difficult to slow down Penix and the Huskies’ receivers in the passing game, but the same can be said for Washington trying to slow down Bo Nix and the Ducks. In the end, I’ll take Oregon/

Advanced Stats

When Oregon has the ball

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon

Washington

Passing Offense

351.4 (1st)

265.2 (122nd)

Passing Defense

Rushing Offense

188.8 (23rd)

134.6 (40th)

Rushing Defense

Total Offense

540.2 (2nd)

399.8 (93rd)

Total Defense

Scoring Offense

45.2 (2nd)

23.0 (46th)

Scoring Defense

Yards Per Play

7.6 (2nd)

5.4 (57th)

Yards Per Play

 

When Washington has the ball

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Washington

Oregon

Passing Offense

345.5 (2nd)

214.3 (48th)

Passing Defense

Rushing Offense

122.6 (103rd)

92.6 (7th)

Rushing Defense

Total Offense

468.1 (12th)

306.9 (15th)

Total Defense

Scoring Offense

38.0 (11th)

15.92 (7th)

Scoring Defense

Yards Per Play

7.2 (3rd)

4.7 (15th)

Yards Per Play

 

Who has the edge?

Oregon Ducks

When you look across the board, it’s pretty hard to argue against the notion that the Oregon Ducks are the better team. They have the better quarterback and the better rushing attack, and their group of wide receivers is virtually a dead split. The Ducks’ defense is also far better than the Huskies, standing as one of the best in the nation. Though this game will likely not be as big of a margin as the 9.5-point spread makes it seem, I think that Oregon should be able to win the game as the better team.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire