Oregon’s defense ready for Washington after bye week

Originally Posted on Emerald Media via UWIRE

Ahead of No. 17 Oregon’s top-20 game with No. 7 Washington on Saturday at Autzen, the Ducks’ defense has plenty to prepare for with a versatile Huskies’ offense.

“It’s all about us,” Oregon co-defensive coordinator Keith Heyward said. “If we play the way we’re capable of playing a first three quarters, like we did against Stanford and the way we did with turnovers with Cal, it doesn’t matter who’s on the field.”

The Ducks had their chance in a top-20 game against Stanford on Sept. 22, but Oregon surrendered a 24-7 halftime lead, falling to the Cardinal in overtime. With a 42-24 win over Cal a week later, the Ducks got a taste of redemption but now has a chance to truly put the Stanford loss behind them with a win over their rivals. And after a week off, Oregon is ready to get back in a game.

The bye week allowed the Ducks time to work on specific elements. Head coach Mario Cristobal said each unit focused on three specific things during the bye week. For Heyward’s safeties, the three aspects they worked on were, “technique, fundamentals and we always work on tackling.”

The defense had nightmares against Washington in the past two meetings, when the Huskies beat the Ducks by a combined 108-24 points.

“In the Pac-12 you have to put pressure on every quarterback,” junior linebacker Troy Dye said. “They all move well. They all have great arm strength.”

The Ducks’ defense used the bye week to scout and prepare for Washington, giving Oregon an extra week compared to the Huskies.

“Picking up different formations they use,” Dye said. “Washington is known for shifts and trades and motions to confuse defenses. We’ve done a pretty good job so far.”

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow

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