Oregon can keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive with a win over Washington on Saturday and the Huskies would love to spoil those dreams. The programs first played in 1900 and have met 113 times since then. While it is hard to pick the five greatest games, here is one writer’s opinion.
5. Washington 23, Oregon 17
Oct. 7, 1972 – Seattle
Washington jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead and led 23-10 in the fourth quarter. However, the Huskies fumbled late in the game and Dan Fouts hit Bob Palm with a touchdown pass to cut the lead to 23-17. Oregon then recovered the onside kick and the Ducks drove to the Washington 10-yard line with 25 seconds to go. Fouts threw three incomplete passes and the Calvin Jones batted away his throw to Palm on the last play.
4. Oregon 35, Washington 31
Oct. 19, 2019 – Seattle
Jacob Eason hit Puka Nacua with a 33-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to put Washington up 28-14. Oregon responded with two touchdowns, but the Huskies still led 31-28 midway through the fourth period. The Ducks answered with a 70-yard drive that was punctuated by a five-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert to Jaylon Redd. Oregon then stopped Washington on downs and ran out the clock.
3. Oregon 30, Washington 27 (OT)
Oct. 13, 2018 – Eugene, Ore.
Both teams were tied at 24-24 at the end of regulation in this top-20 matchup. Washington got the ball first in overtime but had to settle up for a 22-yard Peyton Henry field goal. On Oregon’s possession, the Ducks primarily relied on running back C. J. Verdell, and he responded with a six-yard touchdown for the winning score in the only overtime game in this rivalry.
2. Washington 21, Oregon 17
Sept. 22, 1979 – Eugene, Ore.
Washington had won five straight against Oregon, but the Ducks led 17-0 late in the fourth quarter. The Huskies closed the margin with a touchdown and then got the ball on the Oregon one-yard line with a little under four minutes to go play thanks to a penalty on a punt by Scott Setterlund and a pass interference call on Rocky Richmond in the end zone. Washington running back Joe Steele punched it in to cut the lead to 17-14. The Huskies forced the Ducks to punt again, and Mark Lee returned the kick 53 yards for a touchdown with 1:59 to go. Lee actually fielded the ball at the sideline and ran backwards across the field to elude the defenders, much to the irritation at the time of Washington head coach Don James. It worked out in the end and the Huskies escaped Eugene with the improbable win.
1. Oregon 31, Washington 20
Oct. 22, 1994 – Eugene, Ore.
The Ducks had lost five straight to the Huskies and entered its matchup with ninth-ranked Washington at 4-3. Oregon led 24-20 late in the game, but Washington had driven down to the Ducks’ nine-yard line with over a minute remaining, and it looked like the Huskies would win again. Washington quarterback Damon Huard threw a pass to Dave Janoski, but Oregon cornerback Kenny Wheaton stepped in front of it and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. The Ducks went on to win their first-ever outright Pac-10 title.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.