Oregon–Washington football rivalry
The Oregon–Washington football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies of the Pac-12 Conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The respective campuses in Eugene and Seattle are 285 miles (460 km) apart, via Interstate 5.
|First meeting||December 1, 1900|
|Latest meeting||October 19, 2019|
#12 Oregon, 35–31
|Next meeting||October 3, 2020|
|All-time series||Washington leads, 60–47–5 (.558)|
|Largest victory||Washington, 66–0 (1974)|
|Longest win streak||Oregon, 12 (2004–15)|
|Current win streak||Oregon, 2 (2018–present)|
|Locations of Oregon and Washington.|
Although the schools began playing each other in 1900, the rivalry became heated from Oregon's perspective in 1948, when Oregon and California both went undefeated in the Pacific Coast Conference. California was undefeated overall, and Oregon's only loss was at undefeated Michigan, that year's national champions, and the Ducks had seven victories in the PCC to Cal's six. The winner of the PCC, as is today with the Pac-12, played in the Rose Bowl. Oregon, led by quarterback Norm Van Brocklin and halfback John McKay, opted for a playoff game, but California declined. The tiebreaker format the PCC elected to use was that the championship team be elected by the schools. The PCC had ten member schools in 1948, six in the Northwest (with Idaho & Montana) and four in California, so it was assumed that Oregon would be the team playing in the Rose Bowl, as even a 5–5 tie vote would be in their favor. Instead California was voted champion of the PCC, because Washington had persuaded Montana to vote for California, something that has not been forgotten by Oregon fans. (The PCC allowed a second bowl team that season and Oregon went to the Cotton Bowl, but lost 21–13 to hometown SMU in Dallas. California lost to twice-beaten Northwestern by six in the Rose.)
Within the last sixty years, the rivalry has grown between the two fanbases. In 1962, Larry Hill of Oregon was tackled by Washington fans who had rushed onto the field at Husky Stadium while he was trying to catch the tie-breaking touchdown on the game's final play. In 1995, Washington head coach Jim Lambright unsuccessfully lobbied for the Huskies to be selected to play in the Cotton Bowl instead of the Ducks. Seattle Post Intelligencer columnist Bud Withers wrote that Lambright's actions "invited at least another half-century worth of bile from Oregon fans."
After winning four of six over Lambright in the 1990s, the rivalry was given another boost in Oregon eyes when Colorado head coach Rick Neuheisel moved to Washington in 1999. At the 1996 Cotton Bowl between #12 Oregon and #7 Colorado, Neuheisel called for a fake punt while the Buffaloes led 32–6 with less than five minutes left. Oregon coach Mike Bellotti was also accused of turning Neuheisel in for recruiting during the dead period. The Ducks were 1–2 against the Huskies under Neuheisel, and the rivalry grew even more when Neuheisel celebrated by taking photos and jumping up and down on the "O" in the middle of the field after a win at Autzen Stadium in 2002. Two years earlier, the Ducks' victory in 2000 in Eugene spoiled an otherwise undefeated season for the Huskies, who won the Rose Bowl and finished third in the nation. Due to Pac-10 scheduling, the teams did not meet in 2001, the first break in the rivalry since the hiatus in 1943 and 1944 due to World War II.
Through 2019, Washington leads 60–47–5 (.558). The Huskies went 18–4 from 1972 to 1993 (mostly under Don James, 15–3), but Oregon then went 17–4 from 1994 through 2015. The Ducks won 12 straight from 2004 to 2015, the longest run by either team in the series; the closest margin was six points (26–20) in 2015. It ended in 2016 when the fifth-ranked Huskies won 70–21 in Eugene, a game that set series scoring records for one team (70 points) and both teams (91). Washington followed it up with a 38–3 home win in 2017. Oregon ended their 2-game losing streak in the series in 2018 with a 30–27 overtime win over Washington in Eugene. In the 2019 rendition in Seattle, the Ducks came back from a 14-point deficit in the 2nd half to prevail 35-31 over the Huskies. It was the 2nd consecutive meeting in which both teams were ranked, and 7th all-time.
Arguably the most iconic moment in the history of the rivalry for ducks fans happened in 1994, when Oregon freshman cornerback [Kenny Wheaton] intercepted Washington quarterback [Damon Huard] and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown with under a minute to play to seal a 31-20 win for the Ducks and set them on course for what would become their first conference championship (and trip to the Rose Bowl) since 1957. This play, coined "The Pick", is widely credited as the turning point for the Oregon football program on their way to becoming a national power in the decades that followed. It also swung momentum in the rivalry that was until then mostly dominated by the Huskies, with Oregon owning an 18-6 record against Washington in the 25 years since. Just before kickoff of every Ducks home game, a replay of "The Pick" is shown on the Autzen Stadium video board, always accompanied by a loud and gleeful reaction.
|Oregon victories||Washington victories||Tie games|
- Oregon's home games against Washington were played in Portland from 1911–13 and 1926–65.
- Raley, Dan (October 29, 2004). "Nothing neighborly about Huskies vs. Ducks". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
- "Final Coast Conference standings". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. November 21, 1948. p. 1.
- Strite, Dick (October 3, 1948). "Oregon suffers 14-0 loss, but shows real class". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1.
- Bellamy, Ron (September 19, 2003). "Ducks have been shut out of success against the Wolverines". Euegene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. B1.
- Clark, Bob (September 3, 1998). "Top Ducks". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 3D.
- "California Bears get Rose Bowl Bid". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. United Press. November 22, 1948. p. 1.
- "Unofficially, its Northwestern in the Rose Bowl; Oregon would like bid". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 22, 1948. p. 11.
- "Northwestern, California get nominations to Rose Bowl". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. November 23, 1948. p. 4, part 2.
- Smith, Shelley (April 20, 2001). "Oregon-Washington: "We know they hate us"". ESPN Classic. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
- "Oregon to play in Cotton Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. November 27, 1948. p. 1.
- Strite, Dick (January 2, 1949). "Oregon, Cal both drop bowl games". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1.
- Strite, Dick (October 28, 1962). "Rallying Ducks battle Huskies to tie". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1B.
- Conrad, John (November 14, 1995). "Ducks, Huskies fightin' again". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1D.
- Bellamy, Ron (January 2, 1996). "Fake punt: Ducks think it adds insult to their injury". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 5C.
- Hansen, Chris (November 17, 2002). "Huskies party at Ducks' expense". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 4D.
- "Ducks flying high". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). October 1, 2000. p. 1A.
- Nadel, John (January 2, 2001). "Huskies follow leader to bowl victory". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. 1E.
- Clark, Bob (November 13, 2002). "Time turns down rivalry's heat". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1C.
- Clark, Bob (November 16, 2002). "Northwest rivalry resumes, no love lost". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1D.
- Andrew Greif (October 8, 2016). "Oregon Ducks routed by Washington Huskies WHO CRUSHED THEM SCORING 70 points and could've scored more: Game at a glance". The Oregonian/OregonLive.
- "Results against 2018 opponents" (PDF). University of Oregon Ducks Football Record Book. 2018. p. 72.
- "All-time series results" (PDF). University of Washington Husky Football Record Book. 2018. p. 210.
- College Football Data Warehouse – Oregon opponents: vs. Washington