Lutes at Pirates
Kickoff: 1 p.m. at the Pine Bowl
Records: Whitworth (5-0, 2-0 NWC), Pacific Lutheran (0-4, 0-2)
Overview: The Pirates enter the game undefeated through the first half of the season, but Whitworth faces a program that has won the last five meetings and has more wins (51) in the series than any other conference foe. But the Lutes have fallen on hard times with a young team. Pacific Lutheran has yet to win a game after falling 10-9 last week to Willamette. For their part, the Pirates won 24-7 over Puget Sound on a day when high winds made it difficult to throw the ball. The Pirates turned to running back Duke DeGaetano, who rushed 44 times for 159 yards and a league-leading eighth rushing touchdown. The Pirates have raced to fast starts in all five games, outscoring opponents 127-10 thus far. Coach Rod Sandberg credited the play of his defense and improvement on special teams. “When you have a little talent and you don’t give up big plays, it’s hard to move the ball 80 yards on anybody,” he said. The Lutes beat the Pirates 41-27 last year on the 203 rushing yards and 158 yards passing from quarterback Dalton Ritchey, who has graduated.
Ducks at Huskies
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Husky Stadium, Seattle
Records: Oregon (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12), Washington (3-2, 1-1)
Overview: Washington hasn’t beaten Oregon since 2003, but the Huskies are favored in this game after a pair of surprising results last weekend – UW beat USC, 17-12, in Los Angeles, and the Ducks were upset by Washington State, 45-38, in double-overtime in Eugene. It’s already been a frustrating season for Oregon, which finds itself at 3-3 after a blowout home loss to Utah (62-20), a close loss at No. 7 Michigan State, then last week’s frantic result against WSU. The Ducks secondary has been suspect this season, allowing 7.0 yards per pass attempt, but Oregon’s front seven is still athletic and could put quite a bit of pressure on UW quarterback Jake Browning, who struggled in victory last week at USC (16 for 32, 137 yards, one interception). The Huskies must protect him, and Browning has to be more accurate with his deep passes, too. Expect UW to try to establish the run early with freshman tailback Myles Gaskin, whose patience and vision led to a few big runs last week against the Trojans. The Ducks allow opposing rushers to gain 4.28 yards per attempt.
Tacoma News Tribune
Vandals at Trojans
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, Alabama
Records: Idaho (1-4, 0-2 Sun Belt), Troy (1-4, 0-1)
Overview: The Vandals, coming off a bye week, return to conference action against Troy in matchup of teams that are both 1-4 overall. Idaho quarterback Matt Linehan, who missed the Vandals’ last game with an ankle injury, comes ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt in completion percentage, completions per game and total offense and is second in yards passing. His beneficiary has been Dezmon Epps, tops in the conference in total yards receiving, yards receiving per game and receptions per game. While the Vandals have the better offensive stats, the Trojans hold the edge on defense. They are giving up 383 yards a game to Idaho’s 542. When Troy does scores, it often does so in a hurry with 67 percent of their drives taking two minutes or less, the second-highest percentage nationally.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.