Five Losses? Or Five Wins? The High Stakes for Mark Helfrich and Oregon Football

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Ducks Force Overtime, Come Up Short In a High-Scoring Affair

The Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team traveled to Pullman and came up short in a 108-99 overtime loss to the Washington State Cougars at the Beasley Coliseum. Thursday night’s showdown was as much of a reunion as it was a...

Oregon women’s basketball: Ducks give up late surge, lose to Washington State 108-88

The Oregon women’s basketball team traveled to Pullman, Wash., Sunday afternoon to take on Washington State, losing 108-88.

This was the fifth loss in a row for Oregon (13-14, 4-12 Pac-12), who had just come up short Friday in a 108-100 loss to Washington. The defeat also snapped a four-game winning streak against Washington State (15-13, 9-7).

The game was closer than the final score would indicate. Late in the second half, with the Ducks leading 64-62,Washington State went on a 10-0 run to definitively take control of the game. After the run, the Cougars kept scoring while the Ducks started missing shots, leading to the lopsided final result.

Sophomore forward Jillian Alleyne tied Bev Smith for the Oregon single-season double-double record by recording her 24th of the season against the Cougars. She ended up with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Guard Katelyn Loper also had a strong showing for Oregon, as she was one of the few who was able to score points consistently. She ended the game with a team-high 22 points.

Careless ball handling hurt the Ducks and Washington State was able to take advantage in transition. Oregon ended with 21 turnovers, which led to 26 points off turnovers for the Cougars.

The Cougars were led by the scoring duo of guards Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira, neither of whom the Ducks were able to stop defensively. Presley shot 13-17 (76.5 percent) and scored 32 points while Galdeira added 27.

Oregon will return home to close out the regular season against the Arizona schools, with the game against Arizona on Sunday at 1 p.m. being slated for senior night.

Follow Chris Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Beavers Win Ugly One with Wazzu

Oregon State forward Angus Brandt and guard Langston Morris-Walker:

Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson:

Courtesy: OSU Sports Information

CORVALLIS, Ore.– Angus Brandt scored a team-high 16 points and Devon Collier added 14 of his own to propel Oregon State to a 68-57 victory over Washington State on Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.

Brandt shined for the Beavers, recording 12 of his 16 points in the first half, which helped keep Oregon State (14-11, 6-7 Pac-12) ahead for the majority of the contest. The big Australian went 5-of-9 from the field and grabbed two rebounds in the winning effort.

Collier was a force in the paint, going 6-of-8 from the floor and pulling down five boards for the Beavers. He also dished out an assist in the physical battle.

Roberto Nelson registered 12 points, seven assists and three rebounds on the night. With his performance, the senior entered the prestigious 1,600-point club, making him only the fifth player in Oregon State history to achieve the accolade.

The win marked the first time since 2006 that the Beavers have swept Washington State (9-17, 2-12) in the season series. Coach Robinson also earned his 92nd win at Oregon State, making him the fourth-winningest coach in school history.

“I am completely honored to be in this position,” Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. “I want to start by thanking all the coaches that came before me and the coaches that are still here helping me. They are always very supportive. And of course, the teams that have come through here and the players that have helped get those wins. It’s really not just me, it’s a whole Oregon State effort; it took teamwork to get here.”

The big men carried the load for Oregon State offensively, as they were able to able to outscore the Cougars 32-16 in the paint, which ultimately led the Beavers to victory.

Washington State was led by Davonte Lacy, who scored a game-high 18 points on 4-of-12 shooting and came up with four boards for the Cougars. D.J. Shelton also contributed, registering a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Cougars came out on a mission; marching out to an early six point lead. Brandt would narrow the gap with a three-ball from the top of the arc at 16:15 that brought Oregon State within three, 8-5.

Oregon State would take over the lead at the 13 minute mark, as Nelson found Collier under the hoop in transition, who dropped in a layup to give the Beavers a 13-12 edge.

Daniel Gomis got the fans on their feet after slamming one home over his defender inside that gave the Beavers a 15-12 edge with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Just a few possessions later, Brandt cashed in another three that pushed the advantage to 20-16.

The Beavers would continue to push, going on a 13-4 run that put them ahead of the Cougars, 26-16. Washington State would respond, closing the half on a 10-4 run that trimmed the Oregon State lead to 30-26 at the intermission.

Oregon State shot an underwhelming 38.5 percent (10-for-26) from the field in the first frame, but was able to hold Washington State to a 42.9 percent clip (9-of-21) in the scrappy half of basketball. The Beavers also outscored the Cougars 16-8 in the paint, largely in part to Brandt’s dominant performance inside, tallying 12 points in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Beavers came into the second half firing, as hot shooting and savvy defense propped Oregon State to a 43-33 advantage five minutes into the period. Washington State would respond by trimming the deficit to six, 48-42, with just over eight minutes left to play. Oregon State would not relent, controlling a 12-point lead with just 1:21 remaining in the contest.

Oregon State would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the low scoring affair, tallying 17 of their 38 points from the stripe in the final frame.

The Beavers wore their Nike N7 jerseys in the highly physical tilt with Wazzu. Nike N7 is Nike’s commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the United States and Canada.

Oregon State is set to tip-off at Gill Coliseum again on Saturday, facing the Washington Huskies at 1 p.m. in a game televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Oregon volleyball wins fourth straight heading into season finale

The Ducks are flying high at the right time.

With the NCAA Tournament looming in the near future, the Ducks have all but secured a spot in the tournament and are playing the best they have all year.

Wednesday’s sweep of Washington State was Oregon’s fourth consecutive win and third road win in a row. The Ducks defeated the Cougars 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 to move their record to 18-11 overall and 11-8 in the Pac-12.

Once again, Liz Brenner was Oregon’s best offensive player as she tallied a match-high 15 kills and added five digs. Ariana Williams and Martenne Bettendorf also notched double-digit kills, 12 and 11 respectively, while nobody from Washington State notched double-digit kills.

Lauren Plum, Oregon’s setter, recorded a match-high 43 assists and added three digs while freshman libero Amanda Benson added a team-high nine digs.

Set one provided all the entertainment and drama any fan could ask for. With the score tied at 6-6, the Ducks went on runs of 4-0 and 8-2 to take a 22-13 lead. With the set looking like Oregon’s, the Cougars came clawing back, getting within two points at 24-22. Luckily for Oregon, Canace Finley ended the comeback by Washington State and notched Oregon’s final point for the 1-0 lead.

The second set was as close as they come with 14 ties taking place before it was over. Trailing 18-16 late in the set, a timely 6-1 run gave Oregon the cushion they needed for a 22-19 lead. Each team would trade points the rest of the way as Oregon took the 2-0 lead.

Coming out of the break, Oregon didn’t play safe with a lead as the Ducks swung and swung en route to 17 kills in the match and only one error. Bettendorf was the star as she had a set-high seven kills on just 10 attempts and no errors to give the Ducks the sweep.

Oregon wraps up the regular season with a home match against archrival Oregon State on Friday at 8 p.m. Prior to the first serve, the Ducks will honor seniors Bethany Bair, Lauren Plum and Ariana Williams for their dedication while donning the green and yellow.

Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka

Ducks win 62-38 using second half scoring barrage to outlast Washington State

In spurts, Washington State looked like a team thinking upset.

The Cougars raced around the field, pounced on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and rode the arm of quarterback Connor Halliday to 24 points against a stingy Ducks’ defense.

In the end, however, it was the repeated visions of Oregon running backs breaking tackles and racing towards the end zone that led to the Cougars eventual demise. The tandem of running backs Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner used their individual career bests in rushing yards to outlast a hungry Washington State team. Marshall finished with 21 carries for 192 yards and three touchdowns while Tyner almost eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his collegiate career. He finished with 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Mariota, who came into the game without committing a single turnover on the season, fumbled twice, one leading to a Xavier Cooper scoop and score for the Cougars that made the score 27-21 midway through the second quarter. In fear of letting momentum slide all the way into the grasp of the Cougars, the Ducks needed a spark and they got it immediately. Using wide receiver Keanon Lowe as a lead blocker, Tyner split two would-be Cougar tacklers and bursted down the sideline 66 yards for the touchdown.

Last year, Oregon entered halftime leading only 23-19 against the same Cougars, but outscored Washington State 28-7 in the second half on their way to a 51-26 victory. This year’s second half was much of the same.

Oregon emerged from the locker room with a 34-24 lead, but took advantage of the half’s first drive. Mariota led the Ducks down the field in expedient fashion, finishing the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Lowe to make the score 41-24. Oregon never looked back. The Ducks outscored Washington State 28- 14 in the second half and cruised to an easy victory.



Oregon club hockey earns 15-3 win against Washington State

The stands may have been empty, but the back of Washington State’s net wasn’t.

After what first seemed like a rocky start this weekend against Utah, Oregon’s club hockey team pulled through against WSU and won the third game in their four-game homestand.

At first, it looked as if the Ducks were repeating their previous two nights when the Cougars scored the first goal of the night on goalie Ty Anderton only 3:12 into the first. It went straight downhill for the Cougers after that. One minute and 41 seconds after that first goal, Oregon tied it up and began the eight-goal scoring streak which lasted halfway into the second.

The surplus of goals can’t only be attributed to Oregon’s offense. While Oregon had around 12 players on the bench at any one time, Washington State only had four.

“It’s brutal,” Ducks defenseman Terran Donnelly said. “Whenever you have four guys on the bench, it just wears you down within the first five minutes of game. It’s pretty easy to skate them into the ground when they have many players.”

Even when Washington State’s Jack Krienen broke the scoring streak of the Ducks and made it 8-2 on the scoreboard, the Ducks didn’t let that affect them. Less than two minutes later, forward Dan Sulitzer scored to keep Oregon’s seven-goal lead.

That lead quickly became six when Zach Sonnichsen scored his second goal of the night for WSU just 10 seconds after Oregon.

Luck ran out for Washington State after that. When the Cougers committed a pair of penalties for boarding and charging, rookie Nick Sciabarra capitalized on the power play for Oregon to score the last goal of the period, making it 10-3. The goal was his second of the game and the fourth point of what would become a six-point night for Sciabarra.

As for how Washington ended up scoring two goals in the later-half of the second alone, it can be chalked up in one word: laziness.

“It’s quite a change (from Utah),” Donnelly, who had four assists, said. “I mean we kind of dropped our speed down to Washington State’s level after we played such a fast team like Utah.

“We weren’t really thinking,” he continued. “We had offensive lines all of the time so we weren’t really thinking how to play defense. It’s not a good thing to do.”

Even though the Ducks barred Washington State from getting anything to the back of the net in the third period, they still acknowledge that their play wasn’t the best.

“It’s never a good idea to play less than your potential,” Donnelly said. “We always have the potential to skate as hard as we can at Utah speed, so we always need to skate like that so next time we see Utah or another team like that, we can actually play to our full potential.”

One good thing came from the night’s blowout though.

“It was quite a good point night for the defensemen,” Donnelly said.

Ducks Will Face Huskies in Pac-12 Tournament

Brock Motum personified “putting the team on his back” as he nearly guided the No. 11 seed Washington State Cougars (13-19, 4-14) to a win over rival Washington in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Motum played all 40 minutes scoring 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting as the Huskies went on to win 64-62.

“It’s difficult to hold a player down that’s as dominant as [Motum],” Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He’s a heck of a basketball player and I thought he was playing his best basketball down the stretch.”

The Huskies nearly blew a huge lead late in the game, only making one field goal in the final 8:35 of the game.

Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi battles for a loose ball with a Washington defender (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi battles for a loose ball with a Washington defender (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

“Up 19, you just have to keep playing. It’s the hardest thing when you’re up 20 and you have so much time left,” senior guard Abdul Gaddy said. “You get in this chill mode. I tried to tell the guys to keep playing and they got hot. When they tied the game, the main thing was to calm ourselves and get the best shot available. Coach calmed everyone down and drew up a play. He was confident in us.”

Gaddy was one point shy of a double-double, scoring nine points and recording 11 assists.

The Oregon Ducks (23-8, 12-6) and Huskies (18-14, 9-9) will meet on Thursday night for round two with the winner advancing to the semifinals. Oregon won both regular season games against the Huskies and should be favorites again despite a poor end to the regular season. The Ducks may need a win to ensure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The winner will face the winner of No. 2 seed Cal Berkeley and No. 10 seed Utah.

Comment below on who you see winning the Oregon-Washington matchup. Login to Facebook and leave a comment with your score prediction.

Barner Carries No. 2 Ducks to 51-26 Win over Washington State


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SEATTLE, Wash. – The No. 2 Oregon Ducks appeared at risk of a monumental upset Saturday night in front of 60,929 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, as the Washington State Cougars chipped away at an early Ducks lead to bring the halftime score to 23-19.

And then came the second half.

Propelled by rushing touchdowns by Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas along with an interception returned for a touchdown by Avery Patterson, the Oregon Ducks (5-0) exploded in the third quarter to bury Washington State, en route to a 51-26 victory.

Barner, who rushed for touchdowns of 22, 10, and 80 yards, and caught a touchdown pass of 30 yards, compiled 195 yards rushing and 37 yards receiving on 23 touches. Thomas, two weeks removed from being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, was less than a highlight reel for the second consecutive week, finishing with just 54 yards from scrimmage on 12 touches.

“As close as we are, there’s always competition,” said Barner of his relationship with Thomas. “I make a play, and he wants to make a play. He makes a play, and I want to make a play.”

Oregon’s defensive front seven made plenty of plays Saturday night, holding Washington State to -8 yards rushing and recording seven sacks.

“We knew that that’s all they were going to do, throw the ball,” said defensive end Dion Jordan, who recorded a sack and four tackles. “We really had to get after the quarterback, or he was going to sit back there and find guys.”

Wide receiver Josh Huff, wearing a brace on his left knee after missing last weekend’s game against Arizona, opened the Ducks’ first drive with an 11-yard reception. Three plays later, Barner followed an array of downfield blocks and trotted into the end zone for Oregon’s first score. The Ducks’ infamous “swinging gate” two-point conversion attempt failed when punter Jackson Rice’s attempted to get the ball to kicker Rob Beard for the score.

The Cougars responded to Oregon’s opening drive with a 15-play, 79-yard, 5:59 drive of their own, but freshman running back Teondray Caldwell was stuffed short of the goal line by linebackers Tyson Coleman and Michael Clay, leaving the Cougars to settle for an 18-yard field goal by kicker Andrew Furney.

On Oregon’s second drive, quarterback Marcus Mariota eluded Washington State and legged out a 13-yard touchdown run.

“They were matched up when I was looking to throw, when I kind of scrambled out,” said Mariota, who rushed for 56 yards and passed for 169. “I figured I could pick up some yards. The receivers did a good job blocking down field and they sprung me open for the touchdown.”

Following a Taylor Hart sack that pinned Washington State on its own 1-yard line, punter Michael Bowlin shanked a punt to give the Ducks excellent field position. On the very next play, Mariota connected with Barner for a 30-yard touchdown pass, extending the Ducks’ lead to 20-3.

And then came the Cougars. Teondray Caldwell returned the ensuing kick-off 92 yards to the Oregon 6-yard line, stopped short of a touchdown by a shoestring tackle by Troy Hill. Running back Carl Winston then scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, bringing the score to 20-9 after Furney’s extra point attempt was blocked.

Following an interception by safety Deone Bucannon on Oregon’s next possession, Furney converted on a 20-yard field goal. Oregon kicker Rob Beard responded with a field goal from 34 yards out, extending the Ducks’ lead to 23-12.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” attack continued to pick up steam when sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday got cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu to bite on a pump fake, and hit freshman receiver Brett Bartolone for a 26-yard touchdown pass. However, it was not enough, as Oregon responded with a 21-0 third quarter, opening with a grinding 18-play, 76-yard drive capped by Thomas’s 4-yard touchdown run.

Just over a minute after Thomas’ score, Patterson picked off a Halliday pass and strolled in to the end zone with ease for Oregon’s third pick-six in two games. Barner then added his third touchdown of the night to give Oregon a 44-19 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, Bucannon intercepted a Mariota pass yet again. On Oregon’s next offensive play, however, Barner charged up the sideline for the 80-yard touchdown run.

“My guys did a great job of blocking. I used somebody’s jersey to slingshot myself forward,” said Barner.

Washington State responded with one final touchdown, when backup quarterback Jeff Tuel connected with wide receiver Marquess Wilson for a 25-yard touchdown. Earlier in the night, Wilson passed Brandon Gibson to become Washington State’s all time receiving yards leader, with 2,893 yards.


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Oregon M. Mariota 21/32 169 5.3 1 2
Team 21/32 169 5.3 1 2
Wash St C. Halliday 33/60 348 5.8 1 1
J. Tuel 4/4 62 15.5 1 0
Team 37/64 410 6.4 2 1
Oregon K. Barner 20 195 9.8 3 80
M. Mariota 9 56 6.2 1 19
D. Thomas 6 26 4.3 1 15
K. Bassett 3 16 5.3 0 7
C. Lyerla 4 10 2.5 0 9
B. Bennett 1 -1 -1.0 0 0
A. Forde 3 -2 -0.7 0 2
Team 46 300 6.5 5 80
Wash St T. Caldwell 5 23 4.6 0 10
C. Winston 7 12 1.7 1 3
L. Brooks 1 3 3.0 0 3
C. Halliday 8 -46 -5.8 0 3
Team 21 -8 -0.4 1 10
Oregon W. Murphy 2 38 19.0 0 29
K. Barner 3 37 12.3 1 30
D. Thomas 6 28 4.7 0 10
B. Addison 4 23 5.8 0 8
K. Lowe 3 19 6.3 0 7
J. Huff 1 11 11.0 0 11
C. Lyerla 1 11 11.0 0 11
D. Hawkins 1 2 2.0 0 2
Team 21 169 8.0 1 30
Wash St M. Wilson 12 182 15.2 1 29
B. Bartolone 9 87 9.7 1 26
G. Simone 5 65 13.0 0 33
G. Marks 3 38 12.7 0 17
I. Myers 2 12 6.0 0 6
T. Caldwell 3 11 3.7 0 12
K. Williams 1 9 9.0 0 9
L. Brooks 1 4 4.0 0 4
C. Winston 1 2 2.0 0 2
Team 37 410 11.1 2 33
Oregon M. Clay 4 8 1.0-14 1.0-14
K. Alonso 5 7
T. Hill 5 5
A. Patterson 4 4 1-34
D. Jordan 3 4 1.0-8 1.0-8
T. Hart 3 4 2.0-9 2.0-9
I. Ekpre-Olomu 3 4
B. Lokombo 2 4
W. Keliikipi 3 3 2.0-11 2.0-11
B. Jackson 2 3
E. Dargan 2 3 1.0-1
Team 51 69 7.0-49 8.0-50 1-34
Wash St D. Hornton 5 6
D. Simmons 5 6
D. Monroe 4 6 1.0-9 1.5-12
T. Long 5 5 2.0-4
C. Coen 5 5
C. Locker 4 4
J. Byers 3 4
D. Bucannon 2 4 2.0-22
J. Sagote 2 4
E. Oertel 3 3 1.0-3
I. Gauta 3 3 2.0-7
Team 55 71 2.0-13 10.0-41 2-22


Oregon Wash St
1st Downs 26 26
3rd down eff 7-14 7-19
4th down eff 0-1 0-2
Total Yards 469 402
Passing 169 410
Comp-Att 21-32 37-64
Yards per pass 5.3 6.4
Rushing 300 -8
Rushing Att 46 21
Yards per rush 6.5 -0.4
Penalties 6-49 7-66
Turnovers 2 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
INTs thrown 2 1
Possession 27:50 32:10


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All photos are property Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News


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The Gas Pedal Effect: Ducks Shut Down Cougars After Slow Start


What if I told you that going into halftime of tonight’s game versus Washington State, the Ducks would only have a four point lead? You wouldn’t believe me, right? Well that is exactly what happened.

Mariota (#8) scrambles away from Washington State defenders on Saturday (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

After jumping out to a 20-3 lead seemingly before you could blink, the Cougars fought their way back into the game. As the first quarter was winding down, Teondray Caldwell of Washington State returned a kick 92 yards all the way down to he Oregon 6-yard line. Oregon seemed to catch a break when Ifo Ekpre-Olomu picked off a pass in the end zone, only for the play to be called back due to a roughing the passer call. On the ensuing play, Carl Winston carried the ball in the end zone to cut the Ducks lead to 11.

The Ducks ended the first quarter on a sloppy note with quarterback Marcus Mariota throwing an interception, which the Cougars would be able to tack on three more points to make it a one posession game. About halfway into the second quarter, Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday found Brett Bartolone in the end zone on a 26-yard touchdown pass. Suddenly, the Cougars only trailed by four.

It was as if someone had pumped a surge of energy into every Cougar fan in the stadium. The stadium was rocking, the press box was even shaking a bit. Suddenly, Cougars fans began to look at each other, thinking to themselves, “We can win this thing.”

Chip Kelly and the Ducks had other ideas, however. While Washington State came out of the tunnel looking even more fired up than they did before the game, it was the Ducks who found their step in the second half.

Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu should have have had another interception to his name, but was brought back on a roughing the passer penalty (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

The Ducks, known for scoring fast, often in less than two minutes a drive, executed an 18 play, 76 yard scoring drive capped off by a four yard touchdown run from De’Anthony Thomas. The drive took six minutes and twenty seconds off the clock to behind the second half.

Washington State’s first drive ended almost as quickly as it had started, as Avery Patterson intercepted a pass, returning it 34 yards to the endzone to extend Oregon’s lead to double digits once again. After a three-and-out from the Cougars, the Ducks put the game away after a 10-yard touchdown run from Barner gave Oregon a 44-19 lead. The remainder of the game was more of a formality as the Ducks went on to win by a final of 51-26.

Early in the season, we had seen the Ducks’ offense sputter in the second half after getting off to an electric start, with most of their first four games of the year over by halftime. This game was a classic example of Oregon football that we had seen last season with the Ducks putting their foot on the gas pedal coming out of the locker room. Oregon exploded out of the gates in the third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points to put the nail on the coffin of another opponent.

Even as the number two team in the nation, wins will hardly ever come easy for the rest of the year. This is conference play, and as we have seen early on, anything can happen on any given week. Just two nights earlier on the same exact field, the Washington Huskies stunned the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal 17-13. The Oregon State Beavers, ranked No. 18 coming into this week, continued their hot start, executing a last minute touchdown drive to knock off Arizona on the road 38-35. Last week, Colorado outscored Washington State 21-6 in the 4th quarter to pull off a comeback of epic proportions. If there is one mantra for the Pac-12 this season, it is to expect the unexpected.

Next week, Oregon returns home to Autzen Stadium to take on the Washington Huskies who are fresh off their huge upset of No. 8 Stanford. The Huskies will be looking to snap an 8-game losing streak that dates back to 2004. Washington’s last win against Oregon was in 2003, a 42-10 win in Seattle. The last time the Huskies won in Eugene was back in 2002. Oregon will enter the game as a heavy favorite, but the Huskies will no doubt attempt to have yet another Pac-12 powerhouse bow down to Washington.