I’m not sure if you’re aware, but
this is not the first time Oregon has been bad at football. In fact, Oregon has a long and illustrious history of being bad at football. Mark Helfrich just fancies himself a legacy man, that’s all. So as Willie Taggart prepares to add himself to Oregon’s lore, let’s look back on some of the most spectacular moments in the history of Duck football.
I ran a poll on Twitter last weekend to decide the content of today’s piece, and here are the results.
Would you rather read an article about the Top 10 times your favorite team...— Matt Takimoto (@takimoto23x) August 20, 2017
So, because I’m not here to bend to the whims of 19 Internet scumbags, I’m going to bend to the whims of 2 Internet scumbags. I’m pretty sure this is how the Electoral College works, and if it’s good enough for Alexander Hamilton then it’s good enough for me!* So enjoy this list of the 10 greatest beatdowns Oregon football has ever endured. My criteria:
- It’s gotta be spectacularly big. I’m looking for the pinnacle of suck here. If it’s just a bad dumb loss, I’m not interested. For example: the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl was not a blowout. It was a bad, dumb loss where neither team gave a shit, and the only difference was Oregon players were hungover, and the Mormons were not.
- Bonus points for non-conference games, rivalry games, games where the opposing team poops in the refrigerator and eats a whole wheel of cheese, or staggering losses where we take a bad team and out-bad them by an absurd degree.
#10 - 1981: Stanford 42, Oregon 3 Stanford entered this game with a 2-7 record, and still won by 39 points. I feel like you have to actively try to lose that badly to a crap team.
#9 - 1975: Oklahoma 62, Oregon 7 A week later, Oregon would lose at home to San Jose State, by the score of 5-0. The 70s were wild.
#8 (Tie) - 2005/2008: USC 45, Oregon 13/USC 44, Oregon 10 Oregon scored the first 13 points of the 2005 game. Autzen was rocking, and fans wanted an upset over a #1 team. USC scored the last 45 points, and chuckled while they did it. If you ever see a highlight reel of Reggie Bush’s college career, at least half the highlights were from this game because he was magnificent. This game was fantastic in that USC was just so damn good in 2005, and an Oregon team functioning mostly on grit and moxie could keep up for exactly 31 minutes and no more.
Three years later, the Trojans did virtually the same thing. The week prior, USC lost its #1 ranking by losing to Oregon State, something they did seemingly every year under Pete Carroll. They took their frustrations out on Oregon. Similar formula to 2005: the Ducks took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter, and then USC scored 41 unanswered points. Yikes.
#7 - 2004: Oregon State 50, Oregon 21 Derek Anderson torches Oregon’s defense and polishes off Oregon’s first bowlless season since 1996. This win also put the Beavers in a bowl. Oregon also lost to Indiana this season, at home. This season was the dumbest season in modern history, until 2016 showed up and punched it in the throat.
#6 - 1974: Washington 66, Oregon 0 The year before, Oregon won the rivalry game 58-0. I wasn’t there, but I imagine that Oregon just told Washington the wrong game time in ‘73, and the Huskies returned the favor in ‘74. This is the biggest blowout in the entire rivalry, bee tee dubs.
#5 - 1941: Texas 71, Oregon 7 A few things about this one. First, I bet it was super hard to give up 71 points back in 1941, when, if I’m not mistaken, they were using a live armadillo as a ball; there were no pads, helmets, or shoes allowed on the field; and the shotgun formation meant the quarterback literally brandished a shotgun and declared, “YOU MAY HAVE THIS FOOTBALL WHEN YOUR PRY IT OUT OF MY LIFELESS HANDS”. Second, Oregon was playing Texas in the regular season finale, which we need to revive once Texas joins the Pac-12 in a couple years. Third, Oregon’s head coach at the time was Tex Oliver, who had to suffer the indignity of getting whomped by 64 points by a team that also stole his name. Shameful.
#4 - 2002: Washington 42, Oregon 14 Husky players celebrated this win by dancing on the O. A year later, they added to the fire with a 42-10 win in Seattle. We all know what happened after that. Oregon won the next twelve straight in the rivalry by a combined score of 507-222. Hope this one was fun though!
#3 - 2015: Utah 62, Oregon 20 In hindsight, we should have just fired Mark Helfrich after this game. We should have known that even decent coaches aren’t supposed to lose games this badly. We were completely unprepared, and Utah stomped us into the dirt. They were trying to do us a favor, show us the light. Did we listen? No we did not.
#2 - 1976: USC, Notre Dame, and UCLA 140, Oregon 0 I feel like you have to actively try to get shutout three times in a season like this. Football has a level of randomness as such that the Ducks should have lucked into some points, somewhere. A garbage time field goal, or a pick-six thrown by a backup quarterback. Something, anything! But no, Oregon’s 1976 squad said, “Keep your pity. We will lose spectacularly, and like it.”
#1 - 2016: Washington 70, Oregon 21 The Streak ended, and it went out with the most spectacular and awesome wreck ever seen in Oregon history. Let’s re-open this wound with some stats. First, Oregon’s first seven offensive drives:
INT, Punt, Punt, Turnover on Downs, Turnover on Downs, Punt, Fumble,
Jake Browning** threw for 304 yards and 6 TDs, three of them to John Ross. Myles Gaskin*** ran for 197 yards. Washington’s offense averaged 9.3 yards per offensive play.
9.3 YARDS PER PLAY
Maybe the most startling part of this whole game? Washington treated it like it was just another day at the office. They were too busy trying to win the conference and make the playoff that they didn’t have time to really get worked up over our dumb asses. They just wanted to run their offense, and get better in all three facets of the game. It was as ho-hum a 49-point win you’ll ever see, and it was absolutely disrespectful. I’d have almost rather they danced on the damn O and made some T-shirts like these yahoos.
Is there an ass-beating I missed? Are you more partial to the multiple Nebraska ass-beatings, or perhaps an early-2000s Arizona State whupping? Let me know in the comments!
*This includes Caribbean islands, giving your opinion so much that everyone gets sick of you, and battle rap
**still on the team this year
***also still on the team this year