Marcus Mariota and the second-ranked Ducks happily showed there's still a significant gap for the Huskies to overcome.
Mariota threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns, added another 88 yards and one TD rushing, and the Ducks won their 10th straight over their rivals to the north with a 45-24 victory over No. 16 Washington on Saturday.
"I thought we showed a lot of resolve there in the third quarter and battled back in the ball game," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. "Unfortunately we had a hard time containing Marcus, he threw the ball extremely well and then when we covered him he pulled it down and ran. We couldn't catch him."
Bishop Sankey ran for 167 yards and touchdowns of 60 and 25 yards for Washington, but the Huskies defense that stood stout against Stanford last week was exposed by Mariota and the Ducks. The Huskies gave up 631 total yards. Washington was third in the country giving up just 3.9 yards per offensive play, but the Ducks averaged 7.8 per touch.
Sankey was responsible for a major first-half swing that left the Huskies unsuccessfully playing from behind. Tied at 7-7 and driving, Sankey fumbled for the first time this season on a third-down run at the Oregon 31. The fumble was forced by cornerback Troy Hill and recovered by Torrondney Prevot. Mariota went to work, hitting Addison for a 4-yard TD and a 14-7 lead.
Oregon (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) marched down the field again with a seven-play drive with three plays of 15 yards or more. Byron Marshall capped the drive with a 15-yard sprint untouched and a 21-7 Ducks lead.
Keith Price also threw an interception in Oregon territory late in the second quarter to end another promising possession.
"Both of our turnovers occurred in their territory and took potential points off the board for us and gave them possessions. I thought both of those were relatively big in the outcome of the game," Sarkisian said.
The Huskies closed to 21-14 on the first drive of the second half when Sankey burst 60 yards on fourth-and-1, but Mariota answered by hitting Josh Huff for a 65-yard score to wrestle back control.
Despite the miscues, the Huskies were still in reach late in the game. The Huskies entered the fourth quarter down only a touchdown but just couldn't stop Oregon's offense enough to rally.
Mariota's brilliance was the biggest reason why.
"We tried to spy him, we tried to blitz him we tried to contain him, he had a heck of a football game. He's a hell of a player," Sarkisian said.
Sankey scored his second touchdown to pull within 31-24 at the end of the third quarter. Oregon took less than 90 seconds to re-gain control. Mariota scrambled for a 35-yard gain and hit Bradon Addison for 30 more. Mariota scored from five yards out to push the lead back to 14 points.
Mariota and Addison connected again for a 3-yard touchdown on their next possession to finish off the Huskies. Addison finished with eight catches for 157 yards.
"It is frustrating, especially when you're going toe-to-toe with a team like that." Price said. "Then it just kind of got ugly."
Price was battered for the second straight week. His gutty effort last Saturday in a 31-28 loss at No. 5 Stanford gave belief that this would be the Huskies best chance to stop their losing streak to the Ducks. But Price's receivers struggled to get separation and he was sacked four times and ran 11 others. Price finished 19 of 32 for 182.
Mariota's passing was nearly spotless, he used his legs to make the Huskies pay when throwing options were covered and was easily the best player on the field. Mariota completed 24 of 31 passes, and ran another 13 times.
"He is just a difficult matchup," Sarkisian said. "When you try to bring more people to keep him there and you get one-on-one matchups down the field, their speed in the slot against our safeties was real factor in the game and he threw accurate ball after accurate ball. What was our answer at that point? I think that's what got frustrating for us."