Welcome to “Hate the Huskies Week”. I know, I know, that’s a little harsh but if you are true Ducks fan, you’ll have to get over it. Unlike the fun, “House Divided” civil rivalry with the Ducks’ “little brother,” the Beavers, the Oregon vs. Washington rivalry is deep. . .and hostile. I’ve read about 1000 (OK maybe 7) articles boning up on the history of it all, but underneath all the stats, “who’s had more wins” and “who ruined who’s Rose Bowl and National Championship chances in the 1990’s, blah blah blah, here’s the simple breakdown. . .
For decades, the Ducks were the underdog to the Huskies’ football power house. Not only were the Huskies a top team in the conference, they were a top team in the country. In 1994, the #9 Huskies were again well on their way to another Rose Bowl, when the “most improbable finish to the football game” (Jerry Allen-1994) happened, turning Oregon’s underdog status around for years to come.
The Huskies were about to score a game-clinching touchdown, when Kenny Wheaton (who I’m proud to call my friend) intercepted Washington’s QB, Damon Huard’s pass, running it back 97 yards for a game winning touchdown! It was just one play that happens regularly in college football, but that moment became our moment. . .and Kenny’s “Pick”. That fateful moment is believed to be the turning point for the Duck Football program and an added sword in the Ducks vs. Huskies Rivalry. As most fans know, this weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Kenny Wheaton’s Pick!
The battle has only heated up since that amazing play in 1994, becoming the nastiness shoot out in the PAC 12. Frankly though, the Huskies are mostly to blame. In 2002, led by then Head Coach, Rick Neuheisel, the Huskies defeated the Ducks at Autzen Stadium. After the victory, the entire Husky team proceeded to dance center field on the “O” for 30 minutes! Then the following year, after one Duck threatened to return the favor at Husky Stadium, The Huskies (after winning) again danced center field on the “W” while barking at the Ducks as they exited the field. Thankfully, that was the LAST time the Huskies beat the Ducks *Quack Quack Quack*!