No. 12 Oregon faces big hurdle in Seattle against No. 25 Washington

No. 12 Oregon is in complete control of the Pac-12 North, but its path to a division title will face its biggest obstacle Saturday in Seattle against No. 25 Washington.

The nationally televised contest on ABC is the game of the week in the Pac-12. The Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) have won five straight overall for the first time since 2015 on the strength of the third-best scoring defense in the country. The Huskies (5-2, 2-2) woke up from a six-quarter slumber to score 38 second-half points in its 51-27 victory over Arizona last week and moved back into this week’s AP Top 25.

Oregon has been rolling since a season-opening loss to Auburn, racking up five wins behind quarterback Justin Herbert and a balanced offense. The Ducks have held five straight opponents to fewer than 10 points for the first time since 1958.

The other key game in the Pac-12 on Saturday is No. 17 Arizona State at No. 13 Utah. The winner will claim a valuable tiebreaker and get a leg up in a heated Pac-12 South title chase.

The Sun Devils (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) are coming off an impressive win, outlasting visiting Washington State 38-34. Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels led the comeback, orchestrating a late drive and capping it with a 17-yard scramble into the end zone. The Utes (5-1, 2-1) bounced back from a loss at USC by crushing Washington State and Oregon State by a combined score of 90-20. Utah running back Zack Moss returned from a shoulder injury last week against the Beavers, running for 121 yards and two TDs.

Comeback nominee: Kentucky linebacker Josh Paschal, a cancer survivor, is one of 30 nominees for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award. Winners will be chosen in FBS, FCS and non-Division I NCAA football, and revealed after the regular season in December.

Paschal is a cancer survivor, having completed treatment in August, about a year after what he thought was a blister on the bottom of his foot turned out to be a malignant melanoma. More than just an inspiration to his teammates, Paschal is a starter and key contributor on the Wildcats’ defense, leading the team with five tackles for loss.

“I learned really just to trust in God and I learned to really just enjoy the little things,” he said.

The only Pac-12 nominee is Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton, who is back leading the Beavers after a serious neck injury ended his 2017 season and an ankle injury limited him through most of 2018.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/No-12-Oregon-faces-big-hurdle-in-Seattle-against-14543442.php.

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