Heated foes renew rivalry when No. 7 Oregon faces Washington

SEATTLE, Regardless of the reason, Washington coach Jimmy Lake decided that this was the right time to take aim at No. 7 Oregon.

Heated foes renew rivalry when No. 7 Oregon faces Washington

SEATTLE, Regardless of the reason, Washington coach Jimmy Lake decided that this was the right time to take aim at No. 7 Oregon.

If Washington and Oregon renew hostilities, a counterpunch could be in place Saturday.

A rivalry week is a time when words and statements are carefully considered to avoid controversy. Lake, however, was not filtering his words for a moment as he added fuel to the simmering rivalry between Huskies and Ducks (4-4, Pac-12 3-2) and Ducks (4-1, 4-1).

Lake responded that Washington's coaching staff has a rivalry with Oregon when asked if they have a recruiting rivalry.

Lake stated that the schools against which we travel are far more academically-minded, such as Stanford, Notre Dame and Stanford. We fight a lot to win with these schools. That's a lot of fun and it gets you excited in your world. Our world has more academically-proficient teams."

Lake attempted to retract his comments later in the week on his radio show but the words were already taking off. Although it wasn't the most savage comment, it was certainly noticed.

Mario Cristobal, the Oregon coach, resisted getting involved. However, Oregon President Michael Schill was ready to take aim at Lake by referencing his predecessor in comments to The Oregonian.

Schill stated that UW is a fantastic school with a great history in football. Its president, its football program, and the former outstanding football coach Chris Petersen, are people I admire and care about. I look forward meeting our team on the gridiron Saturday."

After a year, the barbs have given the series a new flavor. Their last game was cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic among Huskies. This also saw Oregon take Washington's place in the Pac-12 title games.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon's defensive star, noticed the simmering disdain when they last played in Seattle in 2019.

Thibodeaux stated, "Knowing there's real hatred in people's hearts about this game and us, so just to be able go there and kinda quieten down the crowd and really play and put it out there that you feel it" That's why we play for the rivalries and the big games.

PASS RUSHERS ON DEPLAY

Two of the Pac-12's most elite pass rushers are from Washington and Oregon. Thibodeaux is credited with 23 quarterback pressures over the last three games. Thibodeaux had nine tackles in his career, including four and a half tackles for loss against UCLA two weeks ago.

Washington's Zion TupuolaFetui, who suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the third game, has returned to play. He's managed to exert pressure on the quarterback, even though he only had one sack.

"I'm happy with the progression he made after that injury. Lake stated that he is grateful for the help he has given us. "There have been no setbacks thus far, and knocking on wood he has stayed healthy. I'm still amazed that he is even back at this point."

CFP RANKINGS

Oregon is No. The College Football Playoff rankings for this season rank Oregon at No. 4. The only Pac-12 team to be ranked is the Ducks.

Oregon has been in top five CFP rankings seven times, but this is the first time since 2014 when the Ducks participated in the inaugural playoff. They finished the season at No. 2. Oregon was not in the top four for the first CFP poll of the season.

MISSING OUT

Johnny Johnson III, an Oregon receiver, will be absent for the first half due to a targeting call made in the third quarter last week against Colorado. Johnson is second on the Ducks behind RB Travis Dye with 21 catches for 255 yard and a touchdown this year.

"First half, you have guys who have been repping or prepping. Johnny will be there to assist and help those guys. He should be ready to go when the second half kickoff comes on. He doesn't need to leave the game. Cristobal stated that he would be well-rested.

FIND SOME OFFENSES

The biggest question of the game is whether Washington can sustain its offense against the Ducks. The Huskies were able to pass Arizona and Stanford without much offensively, but Washington's run game was strong with 230 yards against Stanford. The Huskies rank 104th in scoring offense in the country and have scored fewer than 30 points in six out of eight games.

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