This hasn't been a good year for Washington football. Sure they sit at 4-4, but their wins are against the worst competition in their conference and Arkansas State. They even have a lose to Montana on their record this year.
Still, they've played everyone in the PAC-12 tough. Both of their in conference losses were by just one score. So, perhaps that's why the public seems to believe that Washington has a chance to make a Oregon work for a win tonight.
Oddsmakers don't like Washington to win this one, but they give them pretty decent odds to keep it close. The Huskies are 7 point underdogs, and they're given +235 odds to win the game outright. That's an implied 29.9% chance to pull off the upset. Meanwhile, Oregon is given -250 odds, or an implied 71.4% chance to win the game.
Oregon and Washington have played each other 112 times in their history. Washington has won 60 of those games. So, they have a strong hold on the rivalry historically.
However, Oregon has dominated in recent years. The Ducks have won the last 2 games these teams have played, and 14 of the last 16 games they've played.
Washington's two wins came in 2016 and 2017, and both were blowouts. In 2018 and 2019, Oregon narrowly beat Washington by one score.
Washington hasn't won many games in this rivalry for the longest time. However, they do tend to play Oregon tough. On any given Saturday, a tough opponent can surprise anyone.
That's why the public believes that Washington can make a game out of their matchup with Oregon. Despite their mediocre season, Washington still has the talent to play with anyone in the PAC-12.