Oregon has registered many big time wins over the past 20 years. Which were the best? We take you on a trip down memory lane.
Photo: Gary Vasquez (USA Today)
By Nick Battey
With Pac-12 Football on hiatus until at least early 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what better time than now to get nostalgic and look back at the ten best and biggest Oregon Duck football wins since 2000.
10. 2018 - #17 Oregon 30 vs. #7 Washington 27
Any Oregon fan would agree that there has to be an Oregon win over Washington on a list of top Oregon wins and this certainly qualifies. This was Mario Cristobal’s first big win to prove he can be the future of Oregon football, which was much needed especially after an early season overtime loss to Stanford three weeks earlier. Can’t get much sweeter than ruining Washington’s playoff hopes and walking it off with a CJ Verdell touchdown in OT at home.
9. 2013 - #5 Oregon 35 vs. #7 Kansas St. 17 (Fiesta Bowl)
Our first of many BCS/New Year’s Six bowl victories on the list, the 2012-13 Oregon football team may have very well been the best team Oregon has put out in these last two decades, unfortunately a late season loss to Stanford ruined an otherwise dream season that put the Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl. De’Anthony Thomas was the star in this one with a memorable opening kick return touchdown to shock Kansas St. As his last game on the sidelines for the Ducks, Chip Kelly left as a winner of back to back BCS bowl wins.
8. 2002 - #2 Oregon 38 vs. #3 Colorado 16 (Fiesta Bowl)
Even though Oregon was ranked #2 in the AP Poll, they missed out on the National Championship due to the BCS computers, which once again led them to the Fiesta Bowl. In what was a perfect farewell to fan favorite QB Joey Harrington, Oregon rolled their future conference foes proving to the BCS system and the computers that they deserved a shot at the natty, especially after Nebraska got blown out in the BCS later that week.
7. 2009 - #10 Oregon 47 vs. #4 USC 20
The perfect storm for an upset, Halloween night and College Gameday. With all the hype leading up to this game, Oregon needed to prove they had arrived, and rookie Head Coach Chip Kelly proved just that. This game set the stage for what would become one of the most memorable Pac-10/12 races ever, with Oregon beating Arizona on the road, it set up a game that just so happens to be next on the list.
6. 2009 - #7 Oregon 37 vs. #16 Oregon St. 33
A War for the Roses it was, with the winner headed to the Rose Bowl much more than just state bragging rights were at stake. With Oregon State taking a two-possession lead in the 2nd half it looked like the Beavers could be going to their first Rose Bowl in almost 50 years. But QB Jeremiah Masoli with help from the three headed monster of a backfield of LaMichael James, LeGarrette Blunt and Kenjon Barner led the comeback finishing with a Masoli 4th down conversion rocking Oregon St. into mediocrity still to this day.
5. 2020 - #6 Oregon 28 vs. #8 Wisconsin 27 (Rose Bowl)
In a game Duck fans will hold on to until there are finally games again, QB Justin Herbert along with LB Troy Dye and others got their perfect ending with a thrilling win in Pasadena. Fans had been asking Herbert to show more of his running ability all season long, and he and the coaching staff finally showed it off with three rushing touchdowns to will the Ducks to Rose Bowl glory for the third time in nine years.
4. 2014 - #3 Oregon 46 vs. #7 Michigan St. 27
Even though a week two regular season game, Oregon’s statement win at Autzen Stadium over Michigan St. gave them a springboard that would eventually lead QB Marcus Mariota to a Heisman Trophy and the team to a berth into the inaugural College Football Playoff. The game wasn’t always in the Ducks hands, as MSU had a halftime lead. But Mariota’s heroics along with freshman RB Royce Freeman’s emergence proved Oregon was destined to special things in 2014/15.
3. 2010 - #4 Oregon 52 vs. #9 Stanford 31
Much like the Michigan St. game, Oregon’s 2010 blowout win of Stanford was the clear statement game in a championship game run for the Ducks. Stanford jumped out quickly to a 21-3 lead but with Chip Kelly’s offense there wasn’t a doubt that they couldn’t come back. Darron Thomas proved he could lead a championship team and LaMichael James put the finishing touches on it with a breakaway 76-yard touchdown.
2. 2012 - #6 Oregon 45 vs. #9 Wisconsin 38 (Rose Bowl)
Oregon’s first Rose Bowl win in 95 years will always be a memorable one. It was a total team effort to give Oregon the upper hand over Russell Wilson and Wisconsin. QB Darron Thomas and RB’s LaMichael James and De’Anthony Thomas did their part on offense while LB Kiko Alonso made some very timely plays on defense as Oregon outlasted the Badgers to the last second, which also gave Chip Kelly his first BCS victory.
1. 2015 - #2 Oregon 59 #3 vs. Florida St. 20 (Rose Bowl)
There is no debating which game would slot at number one on this list. Heisman winner vs Heisman winner. The first ever College Football Playoff game. At the Rose Bowl. The stage was set for a thriller and instead Oregon beat the life out of a program who hasn’t recovered since, also ending the Seminoles 29-game winning streak. Mariota proved he was the best Heiman trophy winner on the field and gave the Ducks their second national championship game berth in the decade. A feat that can only be matched by Alabama, Auburn and Clemson.
2019 - #13 Oregon 37 vs. #5 Utah 15 (Pac-12 Championship)
2012 - #2 Oregon 62 vs. #18 USC 51
2009 - #11 Oregon 44 vs. Arizona 41
2011 - #6 Oregon 53 vs. #3 Stanford 30
2007 - #5 Oregon 24 vs. #9 USC 17
2007 - #4 Oregon 35 vs. #6 Arizona St. 23