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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Reports indicate UO freshman quarterback will start vs. UW

PULLMAN – If the early reports out of Eugene are true, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich is going to throw freshman quarterback Justin Herbert to the wolves, er, Huskies.

The website Duck Territory, a 247 Sports affiliate that covers UO athletics, cites sources close to the program who claim Herbert has unseated Dakota Prukop and will start this week against No. 5 Washington.

The report says the two quarterbacks are currently splitting reps and notes “things could change before Saturday.”

Perhaps, then, this is just a play by Helfrich to make the Huskies spend time preparing for Herbert, who has only played a few snaps in his college career. Some of those reps came in the fourth quarter of the Ducks 51-33 loss at Washington State.

Herbert completed three-of-five pass attempts against the Cougars, and scrambled for a four-yard touchdown.

If true, Herbert will face quite a challenge in his first-ever start. The Huskies have a fearsome defense that leads the conference in scoring defense (12.8 points per game) by nearly a touchdown. UW also leads the Pac–12 in sacks (21) despite blitzing less than any other conference team.

The Ducks have a 12-game winning streak over the Huskies, but are 8.5-point underdogs at home. The UW is currently 5–0 for the first time since 1992, while UO has lost three consecutive games for the first time since 2007.