Ducks & Huskies: A View From The Stands
On Saturday, I set out from Eugene and made the drive up I-5 to watch the Ducks turn out the lights on old Husky Stadium. Historically, this had been one of the most difficult places to play for the Ducks, and many other Pac-10 teams. I had mixed emotions about this game going in, as the Ducks had battled with a bad WSU team, while Washington was coming off of a big win. I had a feeling after the Washington Stanford game that the Dawgs still did not have what it would take to stop the Ducks or outscore them, and I was happy to see that this was the case. I just didn’t want to listen to histerical Husky fans if the Ducks would have lost.
The Ducks now own an 8 game winning streak in the series. To many Duck fans that followed the team prior to 2003, this accomplishment by the Ducks has been incredible an unbelievable to watch! I felt very fortunate on this night to be in the stands with good friends, and many, many more disappointed Husky fans.
Here is a recap of the very long day:
0637-currently 42 degrees, dark & raining. A little warmer than the forecast for the game tonight. A sign of things to come? All packed up, gassed up and headed for I-5 North. Go Ducks! Bring on the Dawgs!!!
0706- Listened to to the opening of ESPN Gameday on the radio live from Tuscaloosa and the Alabama LSU game. Rocked out to “Comin’ to your City”. Would still love to see a rematch against that LSU team!
0732- Daylight starting to come through. Sadly, it reveals only a rainy I-5 and Albany.
0908- Picking up a straggling friend in Portland. Still raining. 3 hours to Seattle, here we go!
1026- Rest stop 116 miles from Seattle. Loaded with Duck fans.
1240- Welcome to Seattle!- Traffic that is. Dead stop. Nice views of Safeco field and “the Clink” from the freeway though. So much for the rain theory. It is sunny and beautiful here.
1303- Arrived in time to see Stanford lose a TE to injury and go up 7-0 over the Beavs. Could be a factor against the Ducks next week? Got to take care of business against the Huskies here first! Clear skies up here. Time to open a ‘beverage’ and take in the Space needle and Dowtown skyline views from a friends house on Highland Drive.
1650- Drumsticks and flat iron steaks on the grill. Weather is getting colder, time to unpack the long johns. Beavers lose, Alabama LSU at 0-0.
1822- In a cab headed to Husky stadium. This driver would be a great one to have on ‘The Amazing Race’. Zig-Zagging our way through traffic, almost to Husky Stadium.
1928- Arrived at our seats, have been barked at from a lot more than one person over the age of 50. Grown men and women barking like dogs at other people is a weird tradition.
1st Quarter- Ducks will kickoff to start the game.
1st Quarter- Interception! Eddie Pleasant.
1st Quarter- LaMichael James TOUCHDOWN!! That looked easy. Less Barking now.
1st Quarter- Ducks get the ball back, but the ball slips out of Darron’s hand. Fumble recovered by the Huskies. More barking…
1st Quarter- Huskies only get a FG out of it. Oregon Defense is swarming! 7-3 Ducks.
1st Quarter- FG Oregon. Nice kick by Maldonado. 10-3 Ducks.
2nd Quarter- Another interception by Pleasant!
2nd Quarter- Touchdown David Paulson. Short pass from DT. 17-3
2nd Quarter- Touchdown Huskies. booo. Here come the comments from our purple neighbors. “How many National Championships do you have?” “When was the last time you won a Rose Bowl” etc… 17-10 Ducks.
Halftime- 17-10 Ducks. Missed field goal at the buzzer. Huskies used all 3 time outs to “ice” Maldonado.
3rd Quarter- Like a hot knife through butter. Ducks get the ball and march down field. 90 yard drive. TD Oregon, Kenjon Barner run. 24-10 Ducks.
3rd Quarter- Huskies go for it on 4th down and don’t get it. Gutsy (/DUMB) call by ‘Sark’. Husky fan behind me: “Why don’t they give it to Chris Polk and let him run them over!” Umm, because they have tried that. Polk up the middle hasn’t worked at all. Surprisingly stingy defense for the Ducks today. They have been all over the Dawgs!
3rd Quarter- After an Oregon punt, Huskies get the ball back and score. Nice pass in the corner. Looked incomplete from up here! 24-17 Ducks. Side note: Husky fans really like celebrating 1st downs. So much in fact, that a rather large group of Husky faithful have taken the intiative, and are making sure that we are aware of each one, and even point in the direction their team is going. SO helpful!
3rd Quarter- Here comes the noise from the Husky fans. Sort of like Autzen, only MUCH quieter. They do like to stomp on the stands alot though and bark like dogs. This is a covert video I shot which turned out pretty dark: (this guy did this until 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter)
3rd Quarter-Terrance Mitchell takes the ball away from a Husky reciever. THAT was a big play!
3rd Quarter- HUGE catch by David Paulson on 3rd down. 34 yards, and you can hear the Duck fans cheering. Just like in ’09 here, David Paulson is a Husky killer!
3rd Quarter- And a Touchdown, DeAnthony Thomas. Nice option pitch by DT. Way to quiet the crowd! Again.. 31-17 Ducks
3rd Quarter- FG Maldonado. 34-17 DUCKS!!!
4th quarter- Huskies drop a sure TD pass, but so did the Ducks. Maldonado missed on another FG attempt. At about the 6 minute mark, Husky fans started pouring out of the stadium. Heads down, and no more barking. Nick Montana (Joe’s son, and the Huskies 2nd string QB) came in and threw an absolute bomb down the sidelines, but was pulled on the following play. The Ducks defense was huge today, with 3 turnovers and 6 sacks. The Huskies were held to only 278 yards of total offense in the game, almost 200 yards less than their season average. Chris Polk got lots of carries, but finished with only 80 yards on 24 tough carries, an anemic 3.3 yard per carry average and no touchdowns. He also caught 6 passes, but the Ducks really locked the Huskies down and rarely gave up yards after the catch.
LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, and Deanthony Thomas all had rushing touchdowns. Outside of the odd fumble, Darron Thomas played pretty well and was not sacked. Not a very good completion percentage for him, but he sure gets it done when the Ducks need it. Hard to complain about much after a win over UW!
Finally, I tried to go out onto the field and was turned away multiple times. I politely asked the security guard at each entrance, and after 4 ‘no’s’, I finally got a ‘yes’. Made it out to track and almost to the field when we were quickly redirected back into the stands, and the security guard was subsequently disciplined for allowing us out there. I just wanted to dance on the ‘W’… Maybe at the new stadium?
Got a pic though!
The Ducks controlled this game from start to finish, and had a strong showing up here, on the road. The win tonight has put the Ducks in line for another big showdown against Stanford next weekend. Always seems that in November, the games just get bigger each week. ESPN College Gameday will be there to watch the game, and that can only mean one thing: Another win for our beloved Ducks!!