Oregon vs. Washington: Key Stats to Know for the Pac-12 Rivalry Game

Oregon vs. Washington is arguably the biggest game of the 2023 college football regular seasons, and could be decided by a specific set of stats.

Here. We. Go.

From the minute that the 2023 college football season schedule was released, a large circle was wrapped around Saturday, October 14, 2023. In the light of preseason expectations, Washington vs. Oregon has always had Pac-12 and even College Football Playoff ramifications. And so it has come to pass.

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Washington vs. Oregon: Key Stats to Know for the Pac-12 Rivalry Game

The Huskies and the Ducks will meet on the shore of Lake Washington in national primetime, with the cast of College GameDay in attendance, to duke it out as the frontrunner for the Pac-12 title and the right to represent the conference in the final four.

There are some key stats that could help define which team reaches that destination.

Anti-Turnover Machine: Oregon Leads the Nation in Turnovers Allowed

What wins football games? Sure, quarterbacks earn all the attention. Cornerbacks and wide receivers go into battle to win reps and bragging rights. As an extension, the debate over whether cornerbacks and pass rushers are more important to defensive success will forever rage on with no definitive answers.

Trench warfare is the closest real answer to the question.

However, turnovers, well, turnovers are the killer of game-winning opportunities for an offense. While these two teams go into Oregon vs. Washington undefeated, one holds the advantage in the offensive turnover stakes.

Oregon has allowed just one turnover this season, tying the national lead. QB Bo Nix has just one interception, and the team has tallied no fumbles this fall.

Immovable Object: Oregon Defense Suffocates Opposition Quarterbacks

If the old adage that offensive wins games but defense wins championships, it might be time to punch the Ducks’ ticket to all the big games — the Pac-12 Championship Game and the National Championship Game. Dan Lanning’s team heads into Oregon vs. Washington with a bevy of defensive statistics bolstering their claim to being one of the most complete teams.

MORE: Dan Lanning’s Contract & Salary at Oregon

Their pass defense has been particularly impressive. Oregon ranks fifth for passing yards allowed per game, ties the Georgia Bulldogs in restricting opposition quarterbacks to 4.8 yards per attempt, and has allowed the third-fewest passing yards so far in 2023.

Most impressively, the Ducks defense hasn’t allowed a single quarterback to throw for 300 yards in a single game. Yet…

Unstoppable Force: Michael Penix Jr. Leads the Washington Offense

One of the most mouth-watering matchups of this Oregon vs. Washington clash, is the dominant Ducks defense facing this Huskies offense. If ever there was an unstoppable force versus an immovable object, it will be on display at Husky Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

While Oregon hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer this season, they’re yet to face one of this caliber.

Michael Penix Jr. has been a man possessed in 2023. He’s a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender and if you don’t think he’s the real frontrunner out west right now, I don’t know what to tell you. He leads the nation in yards per game and yards per attempt.

However, the most impressive part of his campaign so far is he’s yet to throw less than 300 yards in a game.

High-Power Huskies: Washington Wows in Explosive Play Performance

While turnovers might be a game-killer, explosive offensive plays are a game-changer, a game-winner. Need a 90-yard drive in 15 seconds? It sure helps if you can rip off 20+ yard plays for fun.

No other team that has played five games this season has more 20+ yard scrimmage plays than Washington. The only five-game team close to them is UCLA, with 35. The Huskies have 43.

Notre Dame, under new quarterback Sam Hartman, has 44 “explosive plays,” and they’ve played two extra games. It’s just a snapshot of how potent, how explosive this Washington offense has been so far in 2023.

To expand, they’re second nationally in 30+ yard scrimmage plays, just two behind LSU despite the one-game handicap. Oregon is the next-best five-game team.

Consistent Pass Catcher: Terrence Ferguson Boasts Mind-Blowing Streak

Rome Odunze. Jalen McMillan. Ja’lynn Polk. Troy Franklin. Tez Johnson. Traeshon Holden. Oregon vs. Washington is not lacking in pass-catching talent. But one stat “catches” the eye when previewing this game, and that is the mind-blowing streak that Oregon tight end Terrence Ferguson is currently on.

Ferguson has at least one catch in 21 consecutive games.

With three snags in the Washington game, he will move up to seventh on the all-time Oregon tight end receptions list. Furthermore, he needs just two touchdowns down the stretch of the season to break the top-10 Oregon tight end touchdown scorers.

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