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Oregon defense contains Huskies' duo of Price and Sankey
Release Date: 10/12/2013
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by Rob Moseley

SEATTLE — Oregon might not face a better backfield tandem this season than Washington quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey, but the UO defense more than held its own against that talented duo.

In Saturday's 45-24 win at Husky Stadium, the Ducks held UW well under its season averages for points and yardage, and limited Price to 200 yards of total offense. Sankey ran for 167 yards, including two touchdowns in the third quarter to bring the Huskies within a touchdown at 31-24. But Oregon's defense allowed just 20 yards in the fourth quarter, and the Ducks pulled away.

Though not as explosive a runner as Marcus Mariota, Price was an elusive threat who had the Ducks' respect. He finished with 11 carries that included four sacks, gaining 43 yards on the ground but also losing 25 for a net of 18.

"Like I said earlier in the week, we all know this guy's good at extending the play, and that showed today," UO outside linebacker Tony Washington said. "We tried to stay in our lanes and just make sure he couldn't get outside of us."

One of the rare times the Ducks lost contain was on Sankey's 60-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14 just after halftime. Washington took the blame for the play, but cornerback Troy Hill also had a shot at Sankey and couldn't make the tackle.

That was an example of the "explosion" plays UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti so dreads. Washington's longest pass play, a 28-yard gain in the first quarter, also set up a touchdown. But otherwise the Ducks minimized damage at every turn, keeping the Huskies from getting behind the defense.

"We're not into 'bend but don't break,' but we just want to play a good, solid game," Aliotti said. "Explosion plays kill you."

The Ducks picked off Price once, by safety Erick Dargan, and had another by Avery Patterson reversed by replay. The front seven accounted for those four sacks, though the credit for those might also belong with the secondary.

"The DBs really locked down their guys and gave us an opportunity to get to the quarterback," said UO nose guard Wade Keliikipi, who was in on two of the four sacks. "When you're only rushing three down linemen, it was a great job by the DBs."

Linebacker Derrick Malone led the Ducks with 10 tackles, and starting corners Terrance Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu added seven each. The Ducks featured a new starting lineup on defense for the first time this season, with DeForest Buckner getting the call on the line ahead of fellow sophomore Arik Armstead.

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