11/21/2014

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Sports

Huskies and Ducks square off in battle for Northwest supremacy

SEATTLE - Second-ranked Oregon and No. 16 Washington meet today at Husky Stadium for a cross-border rivalry in the Pac-12. The Ducks have won their last nine straight games, and the Huskies lead the overall series 58-42-5.

There is no love lost between the two sides.

Duck fans are known to sport T-shirts proclaiming "Ted Bundy was a Husky," while the "Pluck the Ducks" chant used by Husky fans of yesteryear has morphed into something far more colorful. A group of Washington fans famously ruffled feathers by lighting Portland's Morrison Bridge in purple and gold for game week in 2009.

"Growing up here, sure I know what the Oregon State rivalry means, I know what the Washington rivalry means," said Ducks coach Mark Helfrich, who grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon. "I was sitting in the stands in the olden days when the Washington fans certainly vocally outnumbered the Oregon fans, singing 'Tequila,' and all those kinds of things."

Oregon (5-0, 2-0) is coming off a 57-16 victory over Colorado last weekend in Boulder, and Washington (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12 ) is coming off a hard-fought 31-28 loss to No. 5 Stanford last Saturday night. The fallout from that game lingered this week when Stanford coach David Shaw called out Washington coach Steve Sarkisian for accusing the Cardinal of faking injuries against the Huskies.

"We're not naive to the fact that our fans, this university want to win this game, but we're also understanding that the process that it takes, those rah-rah speeches on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, those aren't going to help us play Saturday," Sarkisian said earlier this week. "It's our process and our focus and our attention to detail and our understanding of what we're doing and why we're doing it is what's so critical. We're going to play really hard Saturday. We're going to come out of the tunnel, we'll be fired up and all that stuff and they're going to be too. But our preparation is way more important than getting caught up in we need to avenge the nine previous seasons and all that."

It's such a big game, ESPN will be covering it as well. ESPN College GameDay has been travelling to college campuses for 20 years, and will be broadcasting live from the heart of the UW campus.

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