Flashback Friday On The Oregon Trail: Great games in The Civil War rivalry

It’s rivalry week and there are a bunch of games where in-state rivals put it all on the line, but one that flies a bit under the radar is the rivalry in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s called the Civil War, and the Oregon Ducks currently hold a 61-46-10 advantage and have won six straight in the rivalry. However, as with any great rivalry, the unexpected often happens.

Let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing games in this series since the year 2000.


2000: No. 8 Oregon State 23, No. 5 Oregon 13

This was the first time both teams were ranked in the Top 10 at the same time. If Oregon won, the Ducks would have gone to the Rose Bowl.

Oregon’s Joey Harrington went 24 of 46 for 333 yards (not horrible), but the next stat line was the difference in the game: he threw no touchdown passes but 5 INT. Oregon State’s Jake Cookus had three of the picks.

As a result of this game, Washington got the Rose Bowl bid and ended up beating Purdue (what? Purdue was in a Rose Bowl???!!!). The Beavers did receive a BCS bid as they went to the Fiesta and blitzed Notre Dame, 41-9.

The Beavers win over the Ducks and subsequent Fiesta Bowl blowout led us to a Ken Simonton Heisman hype video for the 2001 season:

2001: No. 4 Oregon 17, Oregon State 14

The Ducks came in as the favorite against the 5-5 Beavers, but they struggled against their rivals as the Beavers held a 6-3 lead at halftime. Can you imagine an Oregon game with nine first-half points? This was definitely a different era of Ducks football.

Keenan Howry gave the Ducks a spark with a punt return for a TD and sparked Oregon to victory.

This game lifted the Ducks to their first Pac-10 championship since 1994, but they had to settle for a Fiesta bowl berth since the Rose Bowl hosted the BCS No. 1 vs No. 2 (Miami-Nebraska).

2007: Oregon State 37, No. 17 Oregon 31 (2 OT)

This one was kooky. At halftime the score was tied 21-21 and then the offenses took a break. The second half saw just 14 total points scored as each team scored one touchdown.

With just over a minute left in the game, Oregon State had a 35-yard field goal blocked. With 1:01 on the clock, Oregon took the ball from its 36 to the Beavers’ 24 to set up a game-winning field goal. The problem? The Ducks missed the 40-yard kick.

Both teams swapped touchdowns in the first overtime, but ultimately this run by James Rodgers (and then a stand by the Beavers’ defense) was the difference:

2009: No. 7 Oregon 37, No. 13 Oregon State 33

The winner of this game was guaranteed a Rose Bowl bid, so it was dubbed the “War of the Roses.” It didn’t disappoint.

The Beavers took a 23-21 lead into the locker room at half and then built a nine-point lead early in the third quarter, but it wouldn’t last.

LaMichael James finished with 133 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, including a 52-yard TD run (this takes place at the 5:45 mark on the video below) to give the Ducks a late third quarter lead they would never relinquish:

Oregon seems to have a firm hold on this rivalry at the moment, but as with any in-state feud, strange things happen. A win by Oregon this season would further cement the Ducks as a College Football Playoff participant. An upset by Oregon State would be a sweet, sweet way for the Beavers to spoil the season for their nemesis.

About Kevin Causey

Dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Comeback.