Border wars are complicated. Residents of most states have no idea why they dislike the residents of their neighboring states—they just know that they do. Oregon and Washington are an excellent example of an inexplicable feud. How are we so different? Well, umm...
There are plenty of other opportunities for the Washington-Oregon rivalry to manifest itself—including the Timbers-Sounders rivalry—but few are as fitting as the Oregon-Washington game. It pits two of the four original founding members of what has become the Pac-12 conference against each other. It's a match up where a significant portion of the series was played in Portland because the Huskies were above venturing south into Eugene. It's a match-up of highs and lows, blow-outs and embarrassments, and enough bad blood to make Ohio State-Michigan blush.
Most Ducks fans will point to the 1948 Rose Bowl where the Huskies betrayed an earlier agreement and voted for Cal over Oregon. Or maybe they'll point to the Huskies dancing on the big O at Autzen in 2002. But there's also when Husky fans rushed the field and tackled an Oregon receiver on his way to the end zone in 1962. There's also Lambright lobbying for Washington to get into the Cotton Bowl over Oregon because, you know, they were Washington. There's also the greatest point differential turnaround in all of college football: Oregon beat UW 58-0 in 1973, then UW beat the Ducks 66-0 in 1974.
Oregon and Washington hate each other. Several Ducks have argued that Washington doesn't deserve to be a rivalry because the game hasn't been competitive in a long time, but they miss the point. Other rivalries are based off of close, high-stakes game, but this one was berthed out of bad blood. This is not the frustrated hipster angst of the aforementioned MLS rivalry, this is an old-fashioned border war, son. Ducks fans and Huskies fans will hate each other as long as the other exists, no matter how pathetic our rival is at present. Here's to nine Oregon victories by 17+ points in a row tonight.
But as ESPN's experts continue to say "you may not have known, Oregon-Washington is a rivalry," it doesn't have the national recognition as a rivalry as trivial as the Civil War or the Big Game. But when you look at the message boards or when you look at descriptions of fan behavior—outside of Arizona's universally loathed trashy football fans—you begin to understand. You have accredited Huskies' reporters spreading rumors about the Ducks being given the "death penalty." You have accusations of fisticuffs and dog shit being thrown at each other. This is a real rivalry. It doesn't matter how close the game is. Oregon could win by 70 and it wouldn't be enough for me to not be shouting to run it up even more.
And, because it is fuski week and all, here is the best video made about "The Pick," the play that ushered in the modern era of collegiate football.
What the eff is up with Matt Millen tonight? Purple shirt and tan suit? "Washington is going to be a tough test for Oregon"? Get your shit together.
12:44 in the 1st
Ducks receiver tips it in the air and the ball is picked off
Oregon defense holds after an impressive read on the screen by Kiko Alonso and a pass by Keith Price to the student section. Ducks' offense has continued its streak of dicking around early in games but the defense has it's back. This might prove a problem once Oregon faces a quality opponent. Anywho, sorry for the delay in responses but I just finished my dinner and it's Oregon ball.
Muffed punt by the doogs
16-yard touchdown run by De'Anthony Thomas. "He just looked faster than everyone," says Matt Millen. Yeah, Matt, he is. (Has your scouting acumen ever been doubted?) Oregon capitalizes on the doog mistake, something that pathetic program up north has yet to do against the Ducks over the recent history of the rivalry.
Ducks give up a 1st down, but then the doog offense spontaneously remembered they were Sarkisian's young UW teams. Dropped pass, missed pass, and then a pass about 4 yards off. DAT highlights being shown following that. Oregon's defense is uncharacteristically leaving a lot of open receivers and not bringing much pressure but that gameplan seems to be working so far. Nothing frightens a husky more than the pressure of completing a pass to a wide-open receiver with absolutely no pressure on him.
30+ yard pass to Colt "Bane" Lyerla
Followed by a 21-yard TD pass to Keanon Lowe following a quick snap. This Oregon offense is sneaky fast. Not a DB within 20 yards of Lowe on that.
Pick-6 by Avery Patterson. UW's cowardly West Coast offense falls prey to the Ducks' defense being able to handle a 20-year-old offense. 21-0 Oregon.
End of 1st Quarter: Oregon 21, Washington 0
As satisfying as the scoreboard is right now, the Ducks are giving up entirely too many yards to the young Huskies' silly dink-and-dunk offense. UW is probably going to get some points on this drive but its because Oregon's defense has been playing back and giving up 5 yards a run. Looking forward to the Ducks' actually leveling some hits and remembering how many times they sacked Keith Price last year. This Oregon defense is too talented and well-coached to be giving up this many yards to the doogs.
Doogs get on the board with a 1-yard TD run after an obvious, yet poorly defended WR screen. Not sure what game film Oregon's defense was looking over, but from a fan's perspective, these doogs look nothing different from the ones sacked the shit out of last year. That could be why I'm not a coach, though.
First down run, Barner literally just ran over the line judge. Followed by 20-yard run by Mariota. BACK TO THE LINE!!
Mariota, after evading a tackler, completes a TD pass to Bane. Beastly drive by the offense. They were fast. They were physical. They were efficient. It's time for the Ducks' defense to remember that they've played at that level all season, too. No mercy.... er, pity.
After what looked like a promising drive, the Ducks force a fumble on Keith Price's scramble on second down. I said with a cocksure tweet, "WELCOME TO BIG BOY FOOTBALL, KEITH PRICE" but then I remembered this in fact the third time he's started on a team being curb-stomped by Oregon. I may or may not still fondly remember peeing on Huskies cars in the Autzen parking lot following his first career start in 2010 (53-16 Oregon).
Josh Huff fends off tacklers and runs down the sidelines to make it 35-7 Oregon. Motherfuckin' sports.
After an incredible job to avoid a sack by Mariota, the kicker misses a FG and the score remains 35-7. Cue the Ducks' D giving up a huge pass to Sefarian-Jenkins of UW...
Kiko Alonso bats away the Huskies' 4th down pass from the Ducks' 16 yard line. Flag on UW defense when they hold DAT on the Ducks' following play. This game is going to get ugly in the second half.
Halftime: Oregon 35, Washington 7
As I said earlier, I'm the kind of guy who is miffed at the doogs scoring seven points, but this has been an otherwise amazing performance. Over the past two years, Oregon has had a habit of playing down to their competition before pulling away in the second half. Didn't even wait that long this time. While you wait for this blowout to get even more out of hand, I'll give you this video to enjoy:
Doogs fumble the opening kickoff. Then punt, two-yard loss, and then Price is tackled after 6 yard scramble. This game is indeed about to get even further out of hand.
Oh, wut? Two-consecutive personal fouls on Washington? I'm shocked—shocked!—that the doogs would play like this...
9:14 Oregon 38, Washington 7
Ducks score a field goal after driving the field and dicking around with Bennett as QB.
Ducks give up a TD after a bunch of failed tackles. You can call this a hard-fought offensive drive by the huskies (12 plays) all you want but it was predicated on swing passes and draws. This defense is tackling at a Big XII level right now. Not acceptable. FINISH THEM!
De'Anthony Thomas returns the kickoff to the Oregon 17. Out of curiosity, which looks more like a shocker: ASU's pitchfork hand symbol or the UW "W" sign?
End of 3rd Quarter: Oregon 38, Washington 14
Blech. The Ducks definitely played down to the level of their competition that quarter but they are knocking on the door to start the second half. I'm incredibly confused as to what happened to the Ducks' game plan versus this identical Huskies' team last year. They got nigh on to double-digit sacks that game. I understand that Sark and Co. have been running some quick screens and outs in this game but the defense should still be trying to get a sack. It's not like the conservative game plan has been stopping the swing passes and runs anyways.
Bane catches his second TD pass of the game. Giggle as the Fuskies' defenders try to defend this giant from Hillsboro. Oregon 45, Washington 14
Huskies attempt a poorly disguised fake and Kiko, the Defensive Rose Bowl MVP, rips it out. As long as he stays sober, Alonso is probably the most dynamic LB in the conference. Byron Marshall with a 1st down run to the 3 yard line.
Byron Marshall punches it in to make it 52-14.
#3, #4, and #5 all lost today. Does any team jump Oregon at #2? Giggle. It really is nice being a fan of a team that controls its own destiny.
Following a standard unexplained personal foul against Oregon from "Glasses Guy" (Jay Stricherz), the Ducks force an interception at the 5-yard line. This has been an impressive showing by the Oregon team tonight.
0:32 Oregon 52, Washington 21
"I'm gonna have to ask you: Alabama or Oregon," asks the play-by-play guy as UW scores a touchdown.
"I'm gonna have to go with Oregon right now because of their big-play ability!" answers noted football genius Matt Millen.
Sincerely, the Huskies have scored 21 points too many tonight.
Final score: Oregon 52, Washington 21
It is looking more and more like there are only two teams worthy of facing-off for the national title. Three of the other top 5 teams lost tonight. Both #1 Alabama and #2 Oregon will be favored in all of their remaining games. Probably by double digits. This is going to be one of those seasons. Not a soul in the SEC can compete with Alabama, and the Pac-12 couldn't field an team to beat Oregon even if it hired Jay Stricherz for every game.
Enjoy this season, my fellow college football friends, as things get even more out of hand along the Bataan Death March to an Oregon-Alabama title game. As much as the local press wants to pump up the beavlings, let us just point out the disparate scores between our common opponents in Arizona and WSU. The 2012 Oregon Ducks are the strongest team this state has ever produced. It's not even debatable. Well, except for maybe the 2011 Oregon Ducks or the 2010 Oregon Ducks...