UW-OSU Renew Exciting Rivalry

Oct. 17, 2008

• Gameday Central

by Jeff Bechthold

Washington has a special relationship with each of its three bigNorthwest rivals. The UW-Oregon rivalry has its own, heated history whilethe Apple Cup - the natural cross-state battle with the Cougars - is alsounique.

And while fans might consider the Oregon State-Washington series witha little less nostalgia, excitement and/or vitriol, it's another long-standingrivalry that has provided its fair share of memories on both sides.

Even more so, the current decade has been full of interesting andexciting games as nearly every season's meeting has been intriguing.

Last year's game, a 29-23 OSU victory, included several big ups and bigdowns. Foremost in Husky fans' memories is the injury to Dawgs quarterbackJake Locker, who took a blow to the head that left him motionless on thefield and also kept him out of the following week's game.

Equally memorable, especially to those in attendance at Reser Stadium,was the sight of Locker returning to the sideline in the fourth quarter, havingbeen checked out and cleared at the hospital. Beavers and Huskies alikecheered the welcome sight.

However, that feel-good story was pushed aside later in the game (atleast by the majority of the home crowd). OSU tailback Yvenson Bernardseemed to have scored to put the game away in the late going. However, ashe crossed the goal line, the ball came loose. While most players (on bothsides) assumed it was a touchdown, Husky cornerback Roy Lewis pickedup the ball and ran it back to the UW 38-yard line, giving the Huskies ashot at a final drive to go in front. However, no whistles were blown and thereferees never called for a video review.

Alas, that drive fell short, much to the pleasure of the stadium security inCorvallis, which was preparing to confront the riot that might have resultedhad the Huskies rallied for a win.

In 2006, the UW suffered a devastating injury to its quarterback whenIsaiah Stanback sustained a serious foot injury in freakish manner. TheDawgs entered that game 4-1 on the season, but Stanback's misfortunetook its toll on the rest of the season.

The 2005 game at a rain-soaked Husky Stadium was more unusualthan memorable. After all, the Huskies didn't give up a touchdown, but stilllost 18-10 thanks to six field goals from Alexis Serna.

The 2003 game was one for the ages as Charles Frederick broke HughMcElhenny's long-standing record for all-purpose yardage in a game,leading the Dawgs to a 38-17 victory in Corvallis. 'E.T.' ran a punt returnback 86 yards for a score and was on the receiving end of scoring passesof 87 and 35 yards.

Finally, the 2000 game was one for the ages. Washington and OSUbattled back and fourth with the Dawgs emerging with a 33-30 win ina raucous night game in Husky Stadium.

The Dawgs entered the fourth quarter down 21-20, but gottouchdowns from Marques Tuiasosopo and Rich Alexis to counter aBeavers field goal and an 80-yard TD pass from Jonathan Smith toChad Johnson.

But the game came down to the final moments as Beavers kickerRyan Cesca missed a 46-yard field goal with 14 seconds left. The playbefore, OSU tailback Ken Simonton was hit for a loss that may havemade the difference in the field-goal miss.

The outcome was meaningful in that it may very well have cost theBeavs a shot at the national title. OSU went on to finish that season11-1, culminating the year with a memorable 41-9 thrashing of NotreDame in the Fiesta Bowl. The Huskies also went 11-1 and won theRose Bowl.

That 2000 game, in front of a packed Husky Stadium and a nationalTV audience, set the stage for what has been a decade of interesting,exciting and important clashes between these two Northwest rivals.

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