The Oregon Ducks looked dead in the water against the Washington Huskies. Instead, they ride into Saturday's game against Washington State enjoying a six-game win streak after their comeback win at rival Washington, and a jump to No. 11 in both the Associated Press Top 25.
The Ducks, the first Pac-12 team to start 4-0 in conference play since Stanford in 2017, are going put that defense to work this week against Washington State, slowing Mike Leach's offensive machine down.
Oregon still controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 North, and the path to a division title continues in against the next big obstacle.
The Ducks are winning because of the seventh-best scoring defense in the country. Years ago, under Chip Kelly, we talked about offense with this team. Now, we're talking about a stingy defense that I feel can go in and shut down the Cougars' high-powered offense after last week's confidence-building win against Washington.
Oregon's defense doesn't gets enough credit, and yet over its last six games it's allowed just 56 points - less than 10 points per game.
And Saturday we'll see the trend continue. The Ducks have shut down the air game of their opponents, allowing a modest 178.6 yards per game passing on average, 15th best in the nation.
Oregon held its first three conference opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1933, before giving up 31 to Washington. Prior to the Huskies, the Ducks allowed just one touchdown over the last 63 opponents' possessions.
Washington woke things up for the Ducks offense, as they fell behind. But behind the right arm of senior quarterback Justin Herbert and a physical run game, Oregon came back from 14 points down in the second half at Washington.
It marked the first two-touchdown second half comeback since 2008 at Purdue. Two of Herbert's four scoring strikes passes came in the final quarter.
Too much confidence coming into this one.
Play Oregon here.