Okay, the title is a bait and switch. I’m among many not expecting this weekend’s inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game to be much more than a tune-up for the Ducks and a swan song for UCLA’s coach. But it’s a good excuse to look back at some of the donnybrooks these two teams have played over the years.
The Bruins own a 36-28 edge in the series – no ties – but the advantage is largely due to a 34-year drought, from 1945 to 1979, when UCLA won 20 times and Oregon just three. Nearly half (27) of the games have been decided by eight points or less, and of those one-possession games, UCLA has won 14 times and Oregon 13. Even when UCLA was dominating the postwar era, the series has been competitive.
There have been a lot of barnburners in this series. Over on your favorite Oregon Duck Football pre-history blog, there's a synopsis of six of the best games:
- 1932: UCLA, 12-7 (Portland) Bruins hit 92 yard TD pass as time expires
- 1938: Oregon, 14-12 (Hayward Field) The Pendleton Jackrabbit throws winning TD, intercepts UCLA in end zone
- 1958: UCLA, 7-3 (LA Coliseum) Scoreless for 55 minutes, then chaos
- 1970: Oregon, 41-40 (LA Coliseum) Greatest comeback in Duck history led by backup QB
- 1984: Oregon, 20-18 (Autzen) Preacher nails UCLA in the coffin corner late
- 1990: Oregon, 28-24 (Autzen) Musgrave to Vince Ferry for the winning TD
There have of course been others, especially since 1994. Help an old man out here; what's your favorite UCLA memory?