Wilcox leading Huskies' plan vs. No. 2 Oregon

Wilcox leading Huskies' plan vs. No. 2 Oregon

SEATTLE (AP) All that good will Justin Wilcox built up at Oregon, from his days as a ballboy on the sidelines to being a four-year letterman for the Ducks as a defensive back, it's gone.

Actually it was probably gone a while ago, maybe around the time he was twice able to help lead Boise State to upset victories over his alma mater. And if it didn't disappear then, it certainly did when Wilcox accepted the defensive coordinator job at rival Washington this past offseason.

He's still the kid from Junction City, Ore., who went on to wear the green and yellow of the Ducks. But now he's trying to become a roadblock to Oregon's march through the Pac-12.

``I went to school there, I'm proud to be from there,'' Wilcox said this week. ``But my allegiance is with the Huskies and this team.''

Coming off an upset of then-No. 8 Stanford where Wilcox's defense was the reason for the victory, the No. 23 Huskies travel to Eugene on Saturday to face the second-ranked Ducks, with Washington trying to snap an eight-game losing streak to its rival to the south.

Washington's last win over the Ducks came in 2003. Since then, Oregon has outscored the Huskies 339-137 and averaged 261 yards per game rushing. There is no greater contrast in the Pac-12, going from trying to prepare for the power of Stanford to the speed of Oregon.

``Literally the ref is trying to put the ball down and the center is trying to snap it. It happens that fast,'' Wilcox said.

But if there is one advantage Washington could have, it's Wilcox and his past track record against the Ducks.

The first time Wilcox was calling the defense against his former school came in 2008 when Boise State traveled to Eugene and became the last non-conference team to beat the Ducks in Autzen Stadium. But that 37-32 win is better remembered for the four turnovers Boise State forced and a controversial hit that knocked quarterback Jeremiah Masoli out of the game.

A year later, in Boise, is when Wilcox should have become known nationally, only to be overshadowed by a moment after the Broncos' 19-8 victory. It was Chip Kelly's first game as Oregon's head coach and the Ducks offense was completely flummoxed. Oregon had six total first downs, rushed for just 31 net yards and failed to reach double-digits in points for the only time since 2007. The 152 total yards Oregon managed that night against Wilcox's defense is the second-lowest total by the Ducks offense since 1996.

Of course, what Wilcox and the Broncos did in shutting down the Ducks was completely forgotten in the seconds after the game when Oregon's LeGarrette Blount punched a Boise State player. But that past experience at least gives Wilcox a base to work from when trying to game plan against an offensive system that is difficult to simulate in preparation.

Asked this week if Oregon is faster now than when he faced them at Boise State, Wilcox joked, ``Warp and Mach, what's faster? They're both fast. They are a really fast team.

``I think there are a lot of similar plays. ... They run similar schemes, sometimes they run more gap schemes than zone schemes depending on who they have but there is still a lot of similarities in the plays,'' Wilcox said.

Even though the Huskies are young defensively, they believe they might finally have the depth to keep their defenders fresher in trying to stay with the Ducks' offensive pace. Each of the last three seasons, the Huskies have hung around at halftime, only to watch Oregon pull away in the third quarter.

``I would like to think that through our recruiting we have some pretty good depth in place to where we can minimize them trying to pull away there late third, early fourth quarter,'' Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.

The chance for Wilcox to go home comes after a startling performance against Stanford. A year after giving up 446 yards rushing to the Cardinal, the Huskies changed their schemes, putting extra defenders near the line of scrimmage and forcing Stanford to try to beat them with the pass. The result was a 17-13 Washington victory.

Washington's players may have bought into the changes Wilcox was asking them to make even before the upset. But the performance against the Cardinal only reinforced their beliefs in what he's teaching.

``Last week proved to us what he is putting in place, it works,'' Washington safety Justin Glenn said. ``We have to trust in that and do our jobs.''

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win

Nicklas Backstrom tipped in a Dmitry Orlov shot in overtime, and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game 5 to take a three-games-to-two series lead in their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

Washington can now clinch the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday night in Columbus.

The Capitals gave up the first goal in the game for the first time in the series. But the Capitals had an answer. The Capitals then took the lead. But the Blue Jackets had an answer. The Capitals took the lead again in the second period, but the Blue Jackets tied the game in the third.

But Nicklas Backstrom had the answer in overtime.

Tarik El-Bashir's 3 Stars of Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Game 3 

1. Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom delivered the Caps’ biggest goal of the season 11:53 into the extra session by knocking a point shot by Dmitry Orlov down and past Sergei Bobrovsky, who was the Blue Jackets’ best player in overtime.

The goal was Backstrom’s first of the series.

He also recorded an assist.

2. Matt Calvert, Blue Jackets

The third line winger scored nine goals in the regular season. After popping a couple in Game 5, he’s now got three in this series.

And Saturday’s was a doozy. After T.J. Oshie mishandled the puck at the blue line, Calvert was off to the races. He whiffed on his wrist shot but still managed to get the puck (and himself) in the net to even things, 2-2, early in the second period.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuzy was arguably the Caps’ most active forward.

Early in the second period, the smooth-skating center finished a three-on-one with a sneaky wrister that slithered through Bobrovsky’s pads. Kuznetsov also nearly set up Alex Ovechkin at the doorstep with a ridiculous slap pass. Alas, Ovi was turned by Bob, who went into the full splits to get a piece of the puck.


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