Washington at Oregon
When, where: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Autzen Stadium
TV, radio: TBS, KXL (750 AM), KUIK (1360 AM)
• A potential drama could emerge if former Duck Johnny DuRocher starts at quarterback for the Huskies (4-5, 2-4 Pac-10) against the Ducks (6-2, 3-2). Arguably the fourth-string QB, DuRocher entered last week's game against Arizona State after Carl Bonnell was injured. With the Huskies opting not to play touted freshman Jake Looker, DuRocher nearly rallied UW to victory, throwing a fourth-quarter touchdown to Sonny Shackleford. But ASU won 26-23 in overtime.
• Former Cleveland High player Andiel Brown broke a finger on his left hand in last week's 55-12 win over Portland State and will be out for two weeks. Too bad for Brown, because he probably had earned another shot at punt returner after fielding six punts and averaging 17.4 yards against the Vikings.
What did he learn from that performance? 'If you have good technique, you can catch anything,' says Brown, who also scored his first career touchdown, a 7-yard run in garbage time. 'Once you catch the ball, it's freedom. You can be a running back.'
• With Mu'Ammar Ali's 136 yards, the tally now reads: Six opposing running backs have topped 100 yards in the past seven games -and UCLA's Chris Markey rushed for 97 in the other. But the Ducks closed their gaps, and allowed PSU only 10 second-half rush yards. 'Just bad 'fits' (gap control) on our part,' linebacker Blair Phillips says. 'It's been that way all year. We have to crack down on that.' … QB Dennis Dixon, after his efficient game against PSU (no turnovers): 'I feel like I'm back on track.' … Nathan Costa went 3 for 3 for 51 yards against PSU, breaking his redshirt year. With Dixon and Brady Leaf around, how much will Costa play before his junior season, 2008? 'Two years as a (possible) starter, gotta be happy with that,' he says. … Dixon regrets playing as a true freshman, when he appeared in six games with 15 pass attempts and six completions. 'I'd be a sophomore,' he says. 'I wanted my voice to be heard, but my name was called and the team was looking for answers' during a 5-6 season. But 'it built my confidence, I got my feet wet and got ready for game time.'
- Jason Vondersmith
Northwest Oregon Conference