He’s being called The Most Interesting Man in College Football.
Shaq Thompson returned a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown in last Saturday’s game against Cal. He has 5 touchdowns so far this season and 4 of those are defensive touchdowns. Looking forward to this weekend’s game against the #9 Oregon Ducks, Marcus Mariota was asked about Thompson, to which he replied,
“He’s a huge playmaker, he’s a difference maker on that defense. He makes huge plays, (he’s) all around the ball, he’s a great athlete”
That’s a big compliment coming from a Heisman contender and probably one of the best QBs in college football right now. Mariota went on to say,
“We have to continue to prepare just like we have been, we’re not gonna change our offense for him”
While Shaq Thompson is certainly headline worthy and a dynamic player on the Huskies defense, he isn’t the whole defense. The rest of the defense is made up of some talented players who are not only playing really well, but playing really well together. There’s little doubt,the Huskies defense will be the key to winning in Eugene on Saturday. The Huskies need to get pressure on Mariota and they need to plug the lanes and not give him anywhere to go when he tries to run out of the pocket. The defense needs to protect the field deep. The key to a win against Oregon is shutting down Mariota. If they can do that, they have a very good chance at walking away with the upset.
While both the offense and defense have performed well so far this season, it’s the defense that has shined. The Huskies defense ranks really well in the PAC-12 with their total defense as well as their rushing defense being ranked 4. They are also ranked 2nd in sacks and have the 3rd best red zone defense in the conference.
On the flip-side, Oregon has the best rushing offense in the PAC-12. They are a dynamic team that has shown time and time again why they win as many games as they do.
These teams are pretty well matched…on paper. We all know though what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate to the field. With that being said, I believe in the Huskies. I believe they can beat Oregon. Arizona proved that Oregon isn’t perfect. They are human and beatable. If the Huskies stick to their game and play it like they have been, they’ll come away with that “W”.
Kickoff is this Saturday, October 18th at 5 PM PST at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR. Trust me Husky fans, you aren’t going to want to miss this one!