For the first time since Washington’s 12-game losing streak to rival Oregon began, the Huskies will be widely expected to beat the Ducks when they take the field for Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. game at Autzen Stadium.
The Huskies haven’t beaten the Ducks since 2003 (perhaps more remarkably, they haven’t covered the point spread against Oregon since then, either), but they enter this weekend unbeaten and ranked No. 5 in the country, eight-point favorites over a Ducks team riding a three-game losing streak.
UW was favored in last year’s game, too, before losing, but belief the Huskies will vanquish The Streak this season seems to be at an all-time high. Since the end might indeed be near, we took a crack at ranking each of UW’s 12 consecutive losses to Oregon from worst to, uh, least worst.
Warning: Graphic content ahead.
12. No. 1 Oregon 53, Washington 16 (Nov. 6, 2010, Eugene): Simply put, the Huskies had no chance in this game. Not only were the Ducks ranked No. 1 in the country and playing at home, but redshirt freshman Keith Price was making his first start at quarterback in place of the injured Jake Locker. UW battled, and trailed 18-13 in the third quarter. But as they so often have, the Ducks ran away from the Huskies in the fourth quarter, turning a somewhat promising UW performance into just another blowout.
11. Oregon 31, Washington 6 (Oct. 30, 2004, Eugene): The day The Streak began. But in the context of the Huskies’ season, it was just another miserable loss. The Huskies trailed 17-6 early in the fourth quarter, driving at Oregon’s 35-yard line with a chance to make it interesting. But Casey Paus threw an interception, the Ducks scored the game’s final 14 points, and the Huskies fell to 1-7. They finished the season 1-10, which resulted in the firing of coach Keith Gilbertson.
10. No. 20 Oregon 45, Washington 21 (Oct. 15, 2005, Eugene): New coach, same result. There was nothing remarkable about this game, really, other than the fact that it was the first of Tyrone Willingham’s four losses to Oregon. It was UW’s 11th consecutive loss to a Pac-10 opponent. Oregon QB Kellen Clemens completed 36 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns, and the Huskies fell to 1-5 en route to a 2-9 record.
9. No. 24 Oregon 34, Washington 14 (Nov. 4, 2006, Eugene): The season got off to a 4-1 start, but the Huskies carried a four-game losing streak into the matchup against the Ducks after losing quarterback Isaiah Stanback to a season-ending injury. The Huskies cut Oregon’s lead to 17-14 with a short scoring drive early in the third quarter, but the Ducks assembled a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives before the quarter ended, and Washington didn’t score again. It was by far UW’s worst offensive performance during The Streak: The Huskies managed 138 yards of total offense and 13 yards rushing.
8. No. 2 Oregon 52, Washington 21 (Oct. 6, 2012, Eugene): It’s not that the previous week’s 17-13 upset of No. 8 Stanford gave anyone the idea that UW could beat a top-5 Oregon team on the road. But the Huskies might have been expected to put up a better fight than this. They trailed 21-0 before the end of the first quarter, trailed 35-7 at halftime and never had a chance against the Ducks, who wound up losing one game that season and rolled Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
7. No. 11 Oregon 43, Washington 19 (Oct. 24, 2009, Seattle): The first of Steve Sarkisian’s five losses to the Ducks. A UW field goal at the first-half buzzer cut Oregon’s lead to 15-6, and the Huskies had the ball to begin the second half. But they went three and out, Oregon followed with a quick touchdown, and that was that. UW’s losing margin in this game wound up its second highest of the season, proof that despite tangible progress in Sarkisian’s first year as coach, the Huskies had a long way to go to catch the Ducks.
6. No. 9 Oregon 45, Washington 20 (Oct. 18, 2014, Eugene): Under first-year coach Chris Petersen, UW had a defense that featured three first-round NFL draft picks, leading some to believe the Huskies might have a chance against eventual Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and the Ducks’ high-powered offense. They did not. Royce Freeman rumbled for 169 yards and four touchdowns, Oregon led 28-6 at halftime, and it wound up a rout— all on the day that Oregon held a pregame ceremony to honor the 20th anniversary of Kenny Wheaton’s famous interception against the Huskies.
5. No. 2 Oregon 45, No. 16 Washington 24 (Oct. 12, 2013, Seattle): This was easily the most-hyped game between these teams during The Streak, and it prompted the first and only visit to UW’s campus by ESPN’s “College GameDay.” Before a national television audience, Mariota, then a third-year sophomore, carved the Huskies for 366 passing yards, 88 yards rushing and a total of four touchdowns, a virtuoso performance before a crowd of 71,833. The Huskies trailed by a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter, but Mariota engineered a pair of scoring drives to put the game away.
4. No. 10 Oregon 55, Washington 34 (Oct. 20, 2007, Seattle): One of a few games during The Streak that was still in play going into the fourth quarter, thanks to four touchdown passes by UW’s Locker. But the Ducks outscored UW 24-3 in the final period, the finishing touch on an offensive masterpiece that featured 661 total yards and 465 yards rushing, the second-most ever by a UW opponent. Oregon had two running backs top the 100-yard mark, led by 251 yards from Lacey native Jonathan Stewart. Of UO’s zone-read option attack, UW linebacker E.J. Savannah remarked afterward: “Half the time, I didn’t know where the ball was.” The Streak in a nutshell.
3. Oregon 26, Washington 20 (Oct. 17, 2015, Seattle): The Huskies were favored in this game, one week removed from an upset of USC in Los Angeles. Oregon was coming off of a home loss to Washington State. But UO quarterback Vernon Adams returned from injury and led the Ducks to their 12th consecutive victory over the Huskies. Unlike Washington’s previous 11 losses to Oregon, though, this one wasn’t decided until the final possession, and the Huskies at least proved they finally had the requisite talent to compete with their cross-border rivals — though many will remember this game for the questionable clock management on UW’s final scoring drive, which took a little too long and left the Huskies with little chance to score again. Freshman quarterback Jake Browning injured his shoulder and had to sit out UW’s final possession.
2. No. 21 Oregon 44, Washington 10 (Aug. 30, 2008, Eugene): This was the season opener, the first game in a make-or-break year for the embattled Willingham, and the Huskies could not have looked less prepared. Oregon’s Jeremiah Masoli took over for the injured Justin Roper at quarterback and threw a pair of touchdown passes, while Jeremiah Johnson rushed for 124 yards and two scores on 15 carries. The Ducks outscored the Huskies 14-0 in the first quarter and 30-0 in the second half. For the Huskies it was a fitting performance to begin a season that produced an 0-12 record and resulted in Willingham’s ouster.
1. No. 8 Oregon 34, Washington 17 (Nov. 5, 2011, Seattle): Until the 2015 season, this game stood as Oregon’s smallest margin of victory during The Streak. But Huskies fans are more likely to remember it as the final game at the old Husky Stadium before renovations began, which made another loss to Oregon that much harder to swallow. UW gave up six sacks, managed 278 yards of total offense and never had possession with the chance to tie or take the lead in the second half. Said Sarkisian: “(UW players) wanted to end Husky Stadium as great as we all did and close this thing out the way that I think we all hoped it could, and it didn’t happen.”
The Dirty Dozen
A look at Oregon’s streak of wins against UW: