Ducks and Dawgs Love to Hate

Posted: November 3, 2011 in Memorable Games

One of the main reasons I always thought the old Pac-10 conference was so great was its make-up of 5 neatly mapped out geographic pairings of rivals (Utah and Colorado need to develop their hatred to fit in). Washington/WSU and Arizona/ASU fight annually for state bragging rights, and the distances between the campuses of Oregon/OSU, Cal/Stanford, and USC/UCLA are 45, 30, and 12 miles respectively. But somehow despite the proximity and old age of these natural rivalries, there exists a hate that lives outside the boundaries of these conventional molds. Sometimes referred to as the Border War, it is the bitter and passionate rivalry between Oregon and Washington. But why do the Ducks and the Dawgs despise one another so? Of all the teams to loathe equally as much as (or perhaps even more than) their in-state rival, why these two? There is no short answer to this question, but below are a few key moments in the creation of what many consider the conference’s fiercest rivalry.

1917: The Ducks get their only Rose Bowl victory.

1948: To determine the Rose Bowl representative, a vote of the conference schools was taken to break the tie. It was assumed that the four California schools would vote for California and that the six northwest schools would vote for Oregon. Washington voted for California and encouraged Montana to go along with its vote. California went to the 1949 Rose Bowl, only to lose to Northwestern 20-14.

1962: Oregon’s Larry Hill was tackled in the endzone by Husky fans as he tried to pull in the game-winning TD catch.

1968: Mount Tacoma high school star Bobby Moore (later Ahmad Rashād), enrolls at Oregon, as the story goes, because a relative of his was dismissed from the UW football team.

1973: Oregon beats Washington 58-0. A year later, Washington beats Oregon 66-0. The swing of 124 total points is believed to be the largest in consecutive games of a series by any teams.

1991: The 12-0 Huskies split the National Title with the 12-0 Miami Hurricanes.


1996: Before his tenure at Washington, Rick Neuheisel coached the University of Colorado and called a fake punt against Oregon in the Cotton Bowl when his team was ahead by 30 points. Two years later Colorado beat the Ducks in the Aloha Bowl and Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said he thought the better team had lost. Neuheisel’s reply: “Scoreboard, baby.”

2002: The Huskies hold a 30-minute celebration on the field at Auzten Stadium after beating the Ducks 42-14.

2003: Leading up to the game, the Ducks express distaste for Washington’s behavior the previous year. Oregon free safety Keith Lewis takes some swipes at a number of Huskies and essentially guarantees his team will be dancing on Husky Stadium’s midfield “W” at the end of the game. Washington goes on to win the game 42-10 and instead of the Ducks, it’s the Huskies who dance on the midfield “W”.

2007: The Ducks debut all-white uniforms at Husky Stadium and set the Oregon team rushing record (since broken) on the way to a 55-34 victory.

2008: Washington finishes the season as the nation’s only winless team, and the first 0-12 team in conference history.

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More fuel for the fire can be seen here, and the scores from each game in the series can be seen here. Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller has posted some great articles on UO/UW this week:
>> Oregon-Washington: Competitive again?
>> Video mailbag: Pac-12’s bitterest rivalry
>> Ducks-Huskies: Nameless, faceless foes?

Go Ducks!
Huck the Fuskies!

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  1. Boo hoo, Huskies still can’t beat us. so sad. maybe they should just keep talking smack ’cause that’s done them a lot of good.

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