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Originally published Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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UW vs. Oregon Huskies (0-0), Ducks (0-0)

UW 2007 stat leaders Passing PC PA Yds TD Jake Locker 155 328 2062 14 Rushing TCB Yds Avg TD Louis Rankin 233 1294 5. 6 6 Jake Locker 172...

At stake: It's the season and Pac-10 opener for both teams and the 101st renewal of one of the conference's biggest rivalries. If that weren't enough, it's also the beginning of a critical season for UW coach Tyrone Willingham, who is under pressure to produce after going 11-25 his first three years.

What to expect: Both teams will try to control the ball on the ground, UW hoping to use a veteran O-line to keep the clock moving and keep its young defensive line on the sideline. Oregon's D will try to contain QB Jake Locker and force him to throw to a young group of receivers who could struggle to get open against a Ducks secondary considered one of the best in the country.

Offensively, the Ducks will try to take the pressure off sophomore QB Justin Roper, making the second start of his career, by giving the ball to RBs Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount. UW's defense will have to show it can stop the run.

Notes: Oregon has won the last four in the series, three at Autzen Stadium. Oregon has never beaten UW five straight times. UW leads the all-time series 58-37-5, the most wins against the Ducks of any UO opponent. This is the first time the teams have opened the season against each other since 1945, a 20-6 Oregon win in Seattle. UW last opened with a Pac-10 game in 1998, a memorable 42-38 victory at Arizona State. Oregon beat UW last year in Seattle, 55-34, gaining 661 total yards and 465 on the ground.

Injuries: UW: TE Michael Gottlieb (hamstring), S Jason Wells (knee), OT Mark Armelin (foot) out; CB Byron Davenport (ankle) questionable. Oregon: QB Nate Costa (knee), WR Drew Davis (tonsils) out.

Prediction: Ducks are substantial favorites, but given Oregon's uncertain QB situation, this looms as a closer game than oddsmakers think. UW should be able to score, but its young defensive line may wear down late, allowing Oregon to hold on. Oregon, 38-31.

Bob Condotta

7 p.m. at Autzen Stadium, Eugene

TV: FSN Radio: 950 AM (KJR)

The line: Oregon by 13 ½

UW 2007 stat leaders
Passing PC PA Yds TD
Jake Locker 155 328 2062 14
Rushing TCB Yds Avg TD
Louis Rankin 233 1294 5.6 6
Jake Locker 172 986 5.7 13
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TD
Anthony Russo 49 766 15.6 5
Marcel Reece 39 761 19.5 8
Tackles UT AT Total
E.J. Savannah 73 38 111
Roy Lewis 71 23 94

Oregon 2007 stat leaders
Passing PC PA Yds TD
Dennis Dixon 172 254 2136 20
Rushing TCB Yds Avg TD
Jonathan Stewart 280 1722 6.2 11
Dennis Dixon 105 741 5.6 9
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TD
Jaison Williams 55 844 15.3 8
Ed Dixon 43 453 10.5 3
Tackles UT AT Total
Patrick Chung 71 46 117
Walter Thurmond 75 28 103

Who has the advantage?
Washington × × ×
Oregon × × × × ×

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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