Marcus Mariota, Thomas Tyner, De’Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff combined to score only 36 points in the 2013 Oregon-Oregon State Civil War game, one of the worst outputs of the spread option era at Oregon. It was just enough to beat the Beavers.
It started with a fourth-down interception by the UO defense in the endzone in the first quarter. The Ducks came back and scored a quick touchdown on a hand-off to Thomas. Oregon went on to force an Oregon State punt and Tyner rushed for a touchdown on another quick drive. With a 14-point lead with seven seconds left in the first quarter, it looked like the Ducks might do what they did so often: run away with the game.
The Beavers didn’t quit. After forcing two Mariota interceptions in the first half and allowing only three second-quarter points, the Beavers used efficient offense to go into the half tied at 17 points. The Ducks fumbled a fourth down opportunity on their first drive of the second half, and OSU took the opportunity to grab its first lead of the game after a field goal.
When Oregon got the ball back, down 20-17 with 10:28 left in the third quarter, the Ducks hadn’t scored in 11 minutes of game time. They had turned the ball over three times and barely escaped a fourth. The Beavers had scored 17 straight points and Oregon was reeling for the third time in four games.
That was when Huff put the Ducks on his back. The receiver finished the game with nine receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns. No play of the game was more impressive than his first touchdown catch with 7:46 left in the third quarter. Huff went on to catch two more touchdown passes, and the Ducks walked away with a win in a season that had so recently felt on the verge of greatness.
On the last Oregon drive of the game, down five points, Mariota completed 6 of 8 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. The drive served to springboard the QB into his Heisman Trophy campaign in 2014. Mariota finished the game with 285 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The final score of the game was 36-35, Ducks. The crowd stayed engaged for the entire game, and it isn’t often that the Civil War comes down to a game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds remaining.
Hopefully the 2020 Civil War will be a drama-filled Duck win as well!
Top Photo Credit: Craig Strobeck
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.
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