Whose House? Dawg's House!
Race Bannon, Eugene Oregon
As predicted in these pages, the Washington Huskies marched into newly remodeled Autzen Arena and laid an old-fashioned horse whipping on the Ducks of Oregon. In a display of total and complete domination, the Huskies served notice that rumors of the death of Husky Football were greatly exaggerated.
The eternal debate will rage as to why the Huskies waited until their 11th game to bring Husky Football back to the starving masses. The malaise, some would say curse of Dee Andros that lingered over this team, has dissipated, leaving the talented squad we all thought we had all along. We will learn quickly whether this is a one-time aberration, or the stuff of which Apple Cup upsets are made.
Like Don James before him, the embattled Rick Neuheisel may have discovered the truth of his system with a career-saving blowout in Eugene. There will be no Roses this year, but the Huskies are starting the 2003 race early. The Husky players gave their coach the game ball as a show of support for the man they love to hate at Autzen.
The Dawgs were up to the emotion of the game and showed the physical edge that the Washington program has over the Ducks. This grizzled scribe would like to once again thank the two Oregon schools for waking our sleeping Dawgs with un backed up smack talk.
The Ducks came out fast as the Huskies lulled them to sleep by falling 14 points behind in near record time. The Ducks looked unstoppable until the aroused Husky defenders took over the line of scrimmage and Jason Fife ran out of script and failed to improvise under the intense heat of the Husky pass rush.
The revitalized Husky defense bullied the formerly feared Quack Attack and sent the Schoolyard Legend to the bench. Then the Husky defenders had to face the five star blue chip Kellen Clemens, Mike Bellotti's secret weapon. The most famous recruit in Duck history began his legend with a strike to Derrick Johnson, who not coincidentally, plays for the Huskies. Johnson showed his high school tailback moves returning the errant toss to the Duck thirteen-yard line.
From there the Huskies broke the tie in one play, an option (!) that sprung Rich Alexis for his second touchdown. When the Ducks were forced to beef up to stop the surprising Husky running attack, Reggie Williams ran roughshod over the Duck defenders on his way to 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Keith Lewis, it would appear, is overrated.
More fun with numbers: With 6:09 left in the first quarter the Ducks led 14-0, had 179 yards to the Huskies 7. The Huskies add 472 yards from that point on, while holding the Ducks to only an additional 121 yards. The Huskies scored the final 42 points of the game.
Fife started 6 of 7 and ended up 10 of 29. The over-rated Cody Pickett picked up his first big road win with a masterful display of leadership and cool under fire. Pickett became the all time single season Pac-10 yardage leader in the best setting possible, and with a win. This magazine knew all along that Cody had it in him.
The Huskies ran 40 times and threw 36. The Huskies out rushed the conference's leading rushing team.
The fans in attendance had more fun than a human ought to be allowed as we sang and danced on the grave of our recent thorn in the side. The players danced and sang after the game and in a keynote to Cougar players, they did not dance the night before the game. The joy and release after a brutal campaign may have been excessive, but the Duck fans had long since left the stadium, so no real harm had been done. Waving good-bye to the hometown fans as they leave in the third quarter is one of the true joys of attending a road game.
Head Coach Rick Neuheisel is now 4-1 against Mike Bellotti overall, and 2-1 as Husky headman, meaning it is now two out of three for the Dawgs. 57-33-5 overall. How a no-account slickster can own the greatest coach in college football is one of life's truly baffling mysteries.
We thank our gracious hosts at the eDuck tailgater for showing such warm hospitality. Duck fans everywhere were wonderful hosts, and the whole rivalry had a much better feel to it. The only insanely dangerous activity I saw was when I was engaging in two fisted drinking after the game at the Animal House RV manned by Better Bow Down and Section 14. A big tip of the cap to the Duck fan who gave me the Crown Royal on the rocks.
Nothing but good news from this humble correspondent.
THE DUCK PERSPECTIVE:
Ducks beat themselves for fourth time in five games
Mallard N. Moore
The Oregon Ducks beat themselves Saturday against the over rated Washington Huskies at a sparkling dry Autzen Stadium, where it never rains. Neither Onterrio Smith nor Reuben Droughns could play for Oregon. Head Coach Mike Bellotti was kidnapped by aliens and replaced with a clone programmed to self-destruct.
The newly remodeled Autzen Stadium is a true gem replete with all of life's modern amenities. Mike Bellotti's Bar-B-Que stand was doing a brisk business, selling mini defensive backs.
The Keith Lewis doll was overpriced.
I was honored to visit the Owner's suite before the game. It was completed just the week of the game so Phil Knight could watch the big blowout by his beloved Ducks from the lap of luxury. By the end of the game, the Nike toilet seat was symbolic of the Duck's season swooshing down the drain.
Head coach Mike Bellotti received criticism from many media members for decisions he made during the game. This has led to the shut down of newspapers all over the state, and the disappearance of several writers. I think Mike made the right call by putting in a rookie quarterback and having him throw from his own end zone. I mean, who would've expected it, in the rain and all? Now the Ducks have a quarterback controversy, and worse yet, they both look bad. But you're the greatest Coach Bellotti.
The Ducks had the ball for a whopping SIX minutes in the second half, part of their ground controlling 19-minute total for the game. Those halftime adjustments continue to be the hallmark of great coaching. The Great One suffered his first home loss in November, and his worst ever home loss. All by the Huskies. At least that Neuheisel is slick enough to beat his rival in a bad year.
Certainly, the Main Mallard's outstanding record against most comers buys him time and should allow him to avoid the kind of criticism that might seem warranted. Let's see how he does in the Civil War before we rush to any conclusions. The Ducks have still won five of eight games against Washington. If you saw them dancing like joyful fools into the night you know that Oregon really had got to those arrogant Huskies. If only Bellotti could beat Neuheisel!
Editor's note: Race Bannon's seats were in section 42 while Mallard's seats were in Section 14.
Northwest Cup Final Highlights Rival Week
The surging and surprising Washington Huskies look to keep it close against the vaunted Cougs in the Apple Cup. Oregon and Oregon State have a love-in, in Corvallis. Stanford and Cal try to hit each other with an Axe. USC and UCLA meet their fans in the annual cross-city classic. They probably do something in Arizona too, and it will undoubtedly involve cacti, flying tortillas, and the sun.
Washington will be a legitimate big under dog heading into Martin P. Vandal Stadium for the annual and only occasionally compelling Apple Cup. The vaunted Cougs are superior in record and performance this year, and man for man will dominate the scrappy yet earnest Dawgs. Our only chance is an inspired for the ages performance from the Huskies and an uncharacteristic fade by the Cougars, who are known for closing the deal when it is offered to them. Has WSU ever choked? I didn't think so.
We told you the Huskies would blow out the Ducks. We invented the Northwest Cup so the Huskies could win it. We have said for months that the Huskies will win the Apple Cup. We own the state of Oregon. We are awake and ready to go. Like last years Holiday Bowl, except for vastly improved cornerback play, the Huskies will win a game they have no business being in on paper. Like someone said, that Neuheisel is slick enough to beat his rival in a down year.
UW – 33, WSU – 31
Rob Bobertson disagrees: Fans coming to the game be sure to pick up your rose at the entrances to the game. We want to show the national cable audience how we are going to clinch the Rose Bowl with an easy win over our biggest rival next to Oregon, the Huskies. I didn't even know Seattle had a college football team until someone at the Coug told me. I would've believed him, but he was then eaten by clowns. I was then cut off by the bartender.
This time the best team will win as Jason Gesser has bullet proof feet and he will expose the supposedly revamped Husky defense. Rien Long will eat up the over rated Cody Pickett and Reggie Williams will not match his record smashing performance of last year.
The beer will flow and the night will be kind of special as the Schmidt flows into the wee hours of the morn. This is the lock of the year. Heck, we may even forgo the Animal beer and break out the Buckhorn. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT for…..
Editor's note: Rob Bobertson was dragged off by clowns before he could finish. He angered them by telling them to ‘Always be a good clown, be a good clown, always." Apparently, it's not PC to call the "make-up challenged" clowns any longer. Note to self – never attend the rodeo again. If Rob could've out muscled the big-footed polka-dotted infiltrators, he would've picked something like:
WSU – 51, UW – 3
The Civil War
I promised the guy that gave me the Crown Royal that I'd stay neutral this year regarding the Civil War. I feel kind of bad lying to him like that. The best way for the Ducks to get back on their feet is to lose to the Beavers and have as bad a record as the Huskies. Having seen the two teams I say if Derek Anderson makes the plays, the Beavers win going away. The Ducks will start Bobby Moore at tailback and George Shaw at QB in an effort to jumpstart the failing offense. It matches up the two worst quarterbacks I've seen in a long time and should be a real fun game to watch.
OSU – 9, UO – 8
And finally....... The Cougars are in great shape to make the Fiesta bowl if they can get by UCLA in Los Angeles......We welcome all the Trojan fans aboard our bandwagon this week......We will do our best for you guys ........don't overlook the improved Bruins....in 1982 a 2-8 Cougar team knocked UW out of the Rose Bowl.....did it again the next year.........we aren't often in this position......but when in Rome.....Miami, Ohio State, blah blah blah...give me the Northwest Cup!
Thanks for reading! – Race
Race Bannon can be reached at email@example.com, after he's done pulling the angry clowns off of Rob Bobertson.
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