Ranking the Civil Wars

Brenden Slaughter, Sports Reporter

Top 5 Civil Wars of all time

With the 119th meeting of the Civil War looming on Friday, we look back to recap the top five games of all time.

  1. 2009

Nicknamed the “War for the Roses” this game takes the No.1 spot due to the massive implications that were on the line. Whoever won the game was going to the granddaddy of them all: The Rose Bowl. The stakes were set for an exciting game, and it didn’t disappoint.  Both teams played with their tails on fire, going back and forth all game with the Ducks eventually getting the better of the Beavers. Redshirt freshman running back Lamichael James scored a go ahead 52 yard touchdown to seal the win for first-year head coach Chip Kelly.

  1. 1998

A game that is considered the turning point for the Oregon State program was one of the series’ best. The Beavers were led by a pair of freshman phenoms in quarterback Jonathan Smith and running back Ken Simonton. Bedlam erupted at Parker Stadium when Simonton scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 16 yard run in the second overtime. Oregon State’s 44-41 victory gives the team five wins for the season; the school’s best since 1971. Fans stormed the field earlier when the Beavers apparently stopped Oregon on fourth and 13 in the first overtime. A penalty on the Beavers caused the game to continue, but it took 10 minutes for officials to clear the field of spectators so it could continue. It didn’t end up being a factor as the Beavers stopped Oregon to clinch its fifth win of the season and build momentum for the future. It is considered to be a major shift in the rivalry where both teams began to regularly compete for bowl berths each year.

  1. 2013

A game that wasn’t supposed to be competitive in the slightest turned out to be one of the most exciting in the series. Oregon State entered the game a big underdog, losers of their last four games and had just lost to Washington 69-27. But that didn’t matter for the Beavers, they played their most inspired football of the year and went toe-to-toe with the Ducks for four quarters. The Beavers had the lead three different times including a 35-30 lead with 1:38 to play. But in the end, it was Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota’s greatness that prevailed. Mariota marched the Ducks down the field and found Josh Huff for the game winning touchdown with 29 seconds left in the game and the Ducks won 36-35. This game is often called the most exciting for Beaver fans as expectations were low coming into the game, but the rivalry brought out the best in the Beavers.

  1. 2006

OSU quarterback Matt Moore was carried off the field after leading the Beavers to a 30-28 victory over the Ducks in one of the most gut-wrenching finishes in Civil War history. Oregon took a 28-27 lead with 3:07 left on Brady Leaf’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Kent. Moore then took the Beavers 58 yards on six plays to set up Alexis Serna for 40-yard field goal that was good with 1:12 left. The Ducks then marched all the way down the field to set up a game winning field goal, however, Matt Evensen’s 44-yard attempt was no good and OSU left the game a 30-28 winner. The Beavers would go on to beat Hawaii the next week, and defeat Missouri in the Sun Bowl, capping the best W-L season in the Mike Riley era with 10 wins.

  1. 2007

The Beavers broke the home field advantage streak in the Civil War that dated back to the 1996 season when the Ducks beat the Beavers in Reser. Since then, the home team had won every Civil War up until the 2007 game when the Beavers came into Autzen and left a 38-31 winner in double overtime. The game was one of the series most memorable, as both OSU and UO missed game winning field goals in regulation. In overtime both teams traded field goals before OSU standout James Rodgers took the “fly sweep” to give the Beavers a lead in the second overtime. The OSU run defense, which was No.1 in the Pac-12 that season, showed how impressive they were, stuffing future NFL standout Jonathan Stewart in the backfield on a 4th and 1 play to clinch the game. The Beavers have not won a Civil War since.

Honorable mention: 2000 – The game that featured two top ten teams with the Ducks ranked fifth and the Beavers ranked eighth, the game featured two teams that desperately wanted to play in a BCS bowl game. The game featured two Heisman candidates in OSU running back Ken Simonton and UO quarterback Joey Harrington. However, Harrington played the worst game of his college career, throwing five interceptions as the Beavers won 23-13. The game moved OSU to 10-1 on the season and sent the Beavers to the Fiesta Bowl capping arguably the best season in OSU football history as they finished 11-1 with a 41-9 drubbing of Notre Dame.

Dishonorable mention: 1983 – This game was dubbed the “Toilet Bowl” by many OSU and UO fans as the game ended in a scoreless tie. The game included 11 turnovers and four missed field goals and it was one of three Civil Wars to ever end in a tie game (the other two were when OSU was known as Oregon Agricultural College), due to the fact that the NCAA hadn’t created overtime yet.


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