Civil War game spans more than a century

Civil War game spans more than a century

While this season's Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State has been called the biggest game in the rivalry's history, there have been plenty of significant - and just plain strange - Civil Wars in the past.

Case in point: 1983's "Toilet Bowl," a 0-0 rain-drenched exercise in futility.

There will be no such drudgery this year: A Rose Bowl bid is at stake when the No. 7 Ducks (9-2, 7-1) host the No. 13 Beavers (8-3, 6-2) on Thursday night.

Last season, Oregon State could have gone to the Rose Bowl, but Oregon came up the road to Reser Stadium and routed the Beavers 65-38.

"I think it gives us a mental edge to know that we put up that many points last year and I think as a team, as an offense, we're playing right now better than we were in that game last year," Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli said this week.

Before that, the Rose Bowl hadn't been so directly attainable through a Civil War game since the 2000 season, when the No. 8
Beavers denied the fifth-ranked Ducks a trip to Pasadena with a 23-13 victory. Joey Harrington threw five interceptions in the game and cried in the aftermath.

The rivalry started in 1894, when Oregon State - then Oregon Agricultural College - won 16-0.


A photographic card commemorating the 1908 Oregon Agricultural College vs. University of Oregon football game, which was played at Multnomah Field in Portland, Oregon, on November 21, 1908. The card combines photographs of the two team captains, Wolff (OAC) and Moullen (UO), with a black-and-white sketch of two co-eds in broad hats with big veils that tie under their chins. Between the girls is a goal-post, with a football flying through. The streamers and pennant surrounding the OAC girl are orange; those around the "Oregon" girl are yellow. The identities of the men and the event are printed on the card. Both men wear football uniforms and hold a football under one arm. 1908 was the last year that the "Civil War" game was played in Portland. OAC later became Oregon State University. The team was coached in 1908 by Robert. W. Forbes. (Historic photo courtesy University of Oregon Libraries)

Here's a look at some of the most memorable Civil War games, from past to present:

Nov. 25, 1916 - Oregon 27, Oregon Agricultural College 0. The win gave the Ducks a 6-0-1 regular-season record and sent them to their first Rose Bowl, where they defeated Penn 14-0.

Nov. 11, 1933 - Oregon 13, Oregon State 3. Oregon State's Ironmen and Oregon were undefeated heading into the game at Portland's Multnomah Stadium. The game is notable because of the so-called "pyramid play," an extra-point attempt by Oregon that was blocked by Clyde Devine, who was lifted off the field by his teammates. The play was soon banned by the NCAA.

Nov. 21, 1953 - Oregon State 7, Oregon 0. The Beavers stunned the Hayward Field crowd when Oregon quarterback Barney Holland's pass bounced off the hands of George Shaw - the first pick of the 1955 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts - and was intercepted by Oregon State's Tommy Little. He returned it 30 yards for the only touchdown.

Nov. 23, 1957 - Oregon State 10, Oregon 7. On fourth-and-goal from the Oregon State 1, the Ducks decided against a potential tying field goal and went for the touchdown. Halfback Jim Shanley was headed for the end zone when Nub Beamer, who had been blocked to the ground, reached up just as Shanley was about to cross the goal line and caused a fumble.

Nov. 24, 1962 - Oregon State 20, Oregon 17. The Beavers and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Terry Baker trailed 17-6 at halftime, but dominated the second half. Baker's 13-yard touchdown pass to Danny Espalin in the fourth quarter sealed it.


A photograph which has been printed in green on buff textured paper to make a Christmas card. The photograph shows a group of football players carrying Len Casanova on their shoulders on a football field at the conclusion of a game. Their uniforms are stained and muddy. Casanova is smiling broadly. Superimposed on the lower half of the photo is a label with holly on the left and the UO duck on the right. The label reads in three lines "Merry Chrismas -- 1963 / Happy New Year! / Oregon 31 + OSU 14" and refers to a victory in the "Civil War" football game between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. (Historic images courtesy University of Oregon Libraries)

Nov. 18, 1967 - Oregon State 14, Oregon 10. A week after defeating USC and O.J. Simpson 3-0 in the mud in Corvallis, the Beavers' famous "Giant Killers" came back from a 10-0 deficit to win the first Civil War at the new Autzen Stadium.

Nov. 19, 1983 - Oregon 0, Oregon State 0. The so-called "Toilet Bowl," which featured 11 fumbles, five interceptions and four missed field goals. "It was almost like neither team wanted to win," Oregon coach Rich Brooks was quoted as saying.

Watch KVAL Sports Civil War Flashback on the Toilet Bowl:

Nov. 23, 1991 - Oregon State 14, Oregon 3. Jerry Pettibone got his only win after 10 straight losses in his first season as Beavers coach, when quarterback Ian Shields, playing with a broken big toe, scored on a 6-yard bootleg for the go-ahead touchdown. It was Oregon State's first win in Eugene in 18 years.

Watch KVAL Sports Civil War Flashback on the game:

Nov. 19, 1994 - Oregon 17, Oregon State 13. The Ducks entered the game tied with Southern Cal for the Pac-10 championship and needed a win to clinch their first Rose Bowl berth since 1957. Trailing 13-10, Danny O'Neil drove the team 70 yards, hitting Dino Philyaw for a 19-yard touchdown with 3:47 to play. The Ducks went to Pasadena, where they lost 38-20 to Penn State.

Nov. 21, 1998 - Oregon State 44, Oregon 41, 2OT. The first Civil War to be decided in overtime was won on Ken Simonton's 16-yard touchdown run.

Watch KVAL Sports Civil War Flashback on the game:

Dec. 1, 2007 - Oregon State 38, Oregon 31, 2OT. The Beavers snap a 10-game winning streak for the home team when James Rodgers scores on a fly sweep.

More KVAL Sports Civil War Flashback segments:

Historic images courtesy University of Oregon Libraries