Washington football against Oregon football is a historic rivalry. This year’s matchup has PAC-12 North title implications as #7 Washington heads to Eugene.
This rivalry between Washington football and Oregon has seen 110 games played between the two Pacific Northwest schools since 1900. Due to WWII, no contests in 1943 and 1944 were held, however, two rivalry games were played in 1945. Due to some type of PAC-10 scheduling glitch in 2001, no Washington vs Oregon pigskin clash occurred. In this series, the Huskies have 60 wins compared to Oregon’s 45 with 5 games ending in a tie.
The Petersen Era
Huskies’ Head Coach Chris Petersen, now in his fifth season, has his team on a five-game winning streak after a season-opening loss. They are now 5-1 overall, and 3-0 in the Pac-12. Oregon, coming off a bye week, is 4-1, but only 1-1 in the conference.
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The Ducks, under first-year head coach Mario Cristobal, will be trying to end a mini-losing streak of two games against Washington. Last year the Huskies soundly defeated Oregon 38-3, in former Ducks head coach Willie Taggert’s only season filling that role.
The 2017 drubbing of the Ducks might seem mild compared Washington’s 70-21 win in 2016, behind eight Jake Browning TDs. Additional records were set for total points scored and single team scoring in the game that emphatically ended Oregon’s 12 game winning streak between the two universities.
Although, the record for largest margin of victory, set in 1974, was not eclipsed. That game also had the Huskies thoroughly dominating the Ducks by a score of 66-0. Ironically, that was a year before eventual legendary head coach Don James arrived in Seattle. The big win was also before the days of revolutionary quarterback Warren Moon throwing spirals for the Huskies, as well.
After losing to Oregon by scores of 45-20 and 26-20 in his first two seasons at the University of Washington, Petersen followed up with two straight lopsided victories over the Ducks. Mark Helfrich was the Ducks’ head coach in both of the UW losses. The game played in 2015, with only a six-point differential, was the closest final score in the Petersen era. The former Boise State Broncos head coach seems to have turned the tide back in favor of Washington in this interstate competition.
This year’s game looks no different. Playing on the road at Autzen Stadium might be the only negative factor for Petersen and his team. He has a senior starting at quarterback and strong defense to go along with his exceptional credentials as a head coach. I predict the Washington Huskies win by double digits.