BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 11/03/2017

Huskies eye back-to-back drubbings of Ducks

Washington is a 17.5 favorite to beat Oregon Saturday, but would need a 57-point win to match the record for largest margin of victory in back-to-back drubbings.

Washington’s Hugh McElhenny ran for 139 yards and two TDs in a 63-6 win over Oregon in 1951. / David Eskenazi Collection

After dropping 12 consecutive games to Oregon from 2004 through 2015, and by an average margin of 23.75 points, Washington went to Eugene last season, received a school-record six touchdowns passes from Jake Browning, and pancaked the Ducks 70-21. Browning also ran for a pair of scores as Washington administered an epic beating following years of Oregon-induced misery.

RB Myles Gaskin supported Browning by running for 197 yards and a TD for the undefeated and No. 5-ranked Huskies, while WR Dante Pettis caught eight balls for 134 yards and two TDs. WR John Ross also had a major game, snatching nine passes and scoring three times.

Not since throttling Whitman 77-0 in 1931 have the Huskies scored as many as 70 points.

The rematch is Saturday (7 p.m., FS1) at Husky Stadium. Even though UW (7-1, 4-1) drubbed the Ducks last year by 49, averages 38.6 (No. 2 in the Pac-12) and outscores its opponents by 26.5 per this year, the Huskies would need a 57-point win to match their largest combined margin of victory in consecutive drubbings of the Ducks.

The 109 meetings in the Washington-Oregon rivalry began in 1900. Biggest back-to-back wins in the series (UW coaches in 1974-75: Jim Owens and Don James; UW coaches in 2002-03: Rick Neuheisel, Keith Gilbertson; Oregon coaches in 2008-09: Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly):

Years Winner Coach Score Score Total Margin
1951-52 Washington Howie Odell 63-6 49-0 112-6 106
1974-75 Washington 2 coaches 66-0 27-17 93-17 76
2009-10 Oregon Chip Kelly 43-19 53-16 96-35 61
1977-78 Washington Don James 54-0 20-14 74-14 60
2002-03 Washington 2 coaches 42-14 42-10 84-24 60
2008-09 Oregon 2 coaches 44-10 43-19 87-29 58

Oct. 13, 1951: Washington 63, Oregon 6

En route to an eighth-place finish in Heisman Trophy voting, Hugh McElhenny ran for 139 yards on nine carries, scored two touchdowns and kicked a Pacific Coast Conference record nine extra points as the Huskies handed Oregon its biggest defeat in the 51-year history of the rivalry. Washington accumulated 510 yards to 325 for the Ducks in front of 30,000 at Portland’s Multnomah Stadium.

Oct. 18, 1952: Washington 49, Oregon 0

Even though McElhenny had moved on to the NFL, Washington had no trouble dispatching Len Casanova’s Ducks. Quarterback Don Heinrich threw three touchdown passes, including a pair to George Black, to break the PCC career record (27) previously held by UCLA’s Bob Waterfield as the Huskies scored on five of their seven possessions in the first half.

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While Washington won the 1951 and 1952 games by a combined 106 points, Oregon had its greatest historical success against the Huskies during two periods. The Ducks held the Huskies without a point in six consecutive games (five wins, one tie) between 1928-33 and then produced the 12-game winning streak from 2004-15.

In the seasons 2009 and 2010, Oregon recorded its biggest back-to-back wins, pummeling Washington by a combined 61 points.

Oct. 24, 2009: Oregon 43, Washington 19

Jeremiah Masoli ran for two scores, Oregon blocked a punt for a touchdown, used a fake field goal to set up another TD, and kept UW out of the end zone until the fourth quarter in overwhelming the Huskies in Seattle. LaMichael James, Oregon’s workhorse, rushed for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 56-yard sprint in the fourth quarter. The Ducks sacked Washington QB Jake Locker four times and intercepted him twice.

Nov. 6, 2010: Oregon 53, Washington 16

No. 1-ranked Oregon (9-0, 6-0) scored all its points in the last three quarters, including 28 in the final 18 minutes. James scored three TDs for the Ducks while QB Darron Thomas added two. Replacing the injured Locker, Keith Price made his first career start for the Huskies and threw for 127 yards, including a 17-yard TD to D’Andre Goodwin.

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Even if Washington clobbered Oregon by 57 points Saturday (the Huskies are favored by 17½), that would pale next to the oddest turn of events in the 109-year history of the rivalry. For that, you have to go back more than 40 years when the Ducks beat the Huskies by 58 points and astonishingly lost the rematch by 66.

Oct. 27, 1973: Oregon 58, Washington 0

Oregon’s Bob Palm scored two touchdowns and kicked seven extra points, and Don Reynolds added two TDs as the Ducks handed Jim Owens the worst defeat in his 17-year head coaching tenure at Washington. Oregon intercepted six passes and the closest Washington came to a touchdown was reaching the Ducks’ 27-yard line in the third quarter. Wrote columnist Georg N. Meyers in the Seattle Times: “In such melancholy moments, it is customary to probe for a redeeming feature. In this instance, it must be that football games have to end after 60 minutes.”

Oct. 26, 1974: Washington 66, Oregon 0

One day shy of a year after a 58-0 drubbing in Eugene, the Huskies snapped a streak of 10 consecutive Pac-8 losses with a 66-point rout of the Ducks in Seattle. Washington gained 508 yards to Oregon’s 55 and posted 30 first down to Oregon’s two. It marked the most points by an Owens team in his 18 years at Washington. “When the score kept going up, we just wanted to get past 58,” said QBDennis Fitzpatrick, who rushed for 105 yards on eight carries, scored twice and passed for 57. Chris Rowland tallied two TDs for Washington and Al Burleson blocked a punt and returned an interception 23 yards for a TD.

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This year’s Ducks (5-4, 2-4) are coming off a 41-20 win over Utah, a ranked team earlier this season. The win snapped a three-game Oregon losing streak that overlapped the absence of starting quarterback Justin Herbert, out four to six weeks with a broken collarbone.

The Huskies opened as 26-point favorites over the Ducks, but that fell to 17½ by mid-week. Oregon hasn’t been a 20+-point underdog in any game since 2004 when Oklahoma was favored by 27½ and won by 24, 31-7.

If Washington’s 17½-point spread holds, it would mark Washington’s largest over Oregon since 1997 when the Ducks entered as 21-point underdogs and knocked off the No. 6-ranked Huskies 31-28.


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YourThoughts

  • ll9956

    Good article, Steve. The Ducks proved the experts wrong in 1997. Let’s hope they don’t repeat that this year.

    • art thiel

      I’m now intrigued by the line dropping from 26 to 17.