Oregon vs. Washington: ‘Tale of the Tape’ for No. 6 Ducks’ rivalry vs. No. 25 Huskies

It hasn’t been hard to drum up excitement about this game for Oregon Duck fans. While the past couple of weeks have come against teams that sit near the bottom of the Pac-12 Power Rankings, the next opponent on the schedule has the attention of everyone in Eugene. Not only because it’s Washington, and the Huskies are arguably the biggest rival there is inside the walls of Autzen Stadium, but also because it’s another top-25 matchup and one that Oregon absolutely needs to win if they want to continue their impressive run in the 2022 season.

Take out the rivalry, and this would still be a good game. The Ducks and Huskies match up well. With a pair of great offenses and a couple of middling defenses, we should expect points and entertainment on Saturday. Who has the ultimate edge, though?

To answer that question, we wanted to dive into the tape and see what the numbers tell us.

Bo Nix vs. Michael Penix Jr.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the quarterback matchup

Nix

vs

Penix Jr.

6-3

Ht

6-3

214

Wt

218

Senior

Class

Senior

200

Comp

260

273

Att

391

73.2

Comp %

66.5

2,495

Yards

3,232

9.1

YPA

8.3

22-5 (36 total TD)

TD-INT

23-5 (26 total TD)

Edge: Bo Nix

This might be the best quarterback matchup we’ve seen so far this year in Eugene, especially if you take out Week 1 vs. Stetson Bennett. It’s clear that both Nix and Penix, a pair of fifth-year seniors who transferred to new schools in 2022 and have found immediate success, are among the best in the conference. I think that when you compare the two, though, Nix gets the edge.

The numbers are similar, but Nix has done more with fewer opportunities. While Penix is averaging 43 pass attempts per game, Nix has just 30 per game. Despite that, both have an almost identical TD-INT ratio, and Nix’s total TD scored is through the roof.

No disrespect to Penix, who is a great QB with an NFL future, but Nix takes the cake here.

Oregon RBs vs. Washington RBs

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down Oregon’s backfield and Washington’s backfield

Oregon

vs

Washington

Irving

Taulapapa

Whittington

Davis

James

Newton

216

Att

199

1,336

Yards

1,008

6.2

YPC

5.1

9

TDs

16

1

100-yard games

1

Edge: Oregon

If you look past the number of touchdowns that each backfield has, then it’s pretty easy to see that Oregon gets the edge here. That’s no disrespect to Washington because they simply are a pass-happy team that doesn’t try to utilize the running game as much as the Ducks do. As I mentioned above, Michael Penix averages over 43 pass attempts per game, not leaving a ton of room for the rushing game to thrive.

On the other side of things, you have Bucky Irving, Noah Whittington, and Jordan James getting the job done behind arguably the best offensive line in the nation down in Eugene.

Oregon Pass Catchers vs. Washington Pass Catchers

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the receiving corps

Oregon

vs

Washington

Franklin

Odunze

Cota

McMillan

Ferguson

Polk

Hutson

Jackson

144

Target

235

111

Rec

158

77.8

Catch %

67.2

1,529

Yards

2,248

13.7

YPR

14.2

11

TDs

17

Edge: Washington

I’ll say it again…when you attempt more than 43 passes per game, your receiving numbers are going to get boosted. Don’t let that take anything away from the talent that the Huskies have at WR, though. There’s a reason that they choose to air it out so much each and every week. With two guys over 650 yards this season (Oregon’s leading receiver is Troy Franklin with 636 yards) and 6 TD a piece, it’s pretty clear that the Huskies get the edge in this category.

When Oregon has the ball

Ranking Comparison (FBS Ranking)

Oregon vs. Washington

Passing Offense

289.3 (21st)

237.8 (79th)

Passing Defense

Rushing Offense

231.2 (11th)

116.1 (27th)

Rushing Defense

Total Offense

520.6 (2nd)

355.3 (38th)

Total Defense

Scoring Offense

43.1 (3rd)

26.89 (74th)

Scoring Defense

Points Per Play

0.562 (10th)

0.430 (97th)

Points Per Play

 

When Washington has the ball

Ranking Comparison (FBS Ranking)

Washington vs. Oregon

Passing Offense

370.2 (1st)

276.6 (117th)

Passing Defense

Rushing Offense

125.3 (99th)

107.4 (15th)

Rushing Defense

Total Offense

495.6 (10th)

384.0 (76th)

Total Defense

Scoring Offense

38.6 (13th)

26.33 (70th)

Scoring Defense

Points Per Play

0.567 (19th)

0.398 (77th)

Points Per Play

 

Who has the edge?

I give the Oregon Ducks an edge here. Yes, both teams have great offenses, and both teams have defenses that are middle of the road, and downright bad in some cases. The two things that I think will determine this game the most is how Oregon’s passing defense (No. 117) goes up against UW’s passing offense (No. 1) and how Washington’s rushing defense (No. 27) goes up against Oregon’s rushing offense (No. 11).

In the end, I think that the Ducks’ offense is so versatile and multiple that they will find the areas in Washington’s defense and exploit it. Meanwhile, the Huskies may be better than anyone in the nation at passing the ball, but outside of that, they can’t really hurt you in many other places.

It’s going to be a competitive game, and likely a high-scoring affair, but I think that Oregon should be the favorite on paper, at the very least.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire