Five greatest football games between Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks

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Series record: Oregon leads 24-15, and the Ducks have dominated since 1999 with a 12-3 record. Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak to the Ducks last year.

5. Oregon 44, Arizona 41 (2OT), Arizona Stadium, Nov. 21, 2009

Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was unstoppable for Arizona’s defense in a memorable game in front of an ESPN national television audience. Masoli tied the game in regulation with a touchdown pass to Ed Dickson with six seconds left, then won it with a 1-yard run in the second overtime as No. 11 Oregon prevailed.

Masoli threw for three scores and ran for three more as the Ducks rallied from a 24-14 deficit early in the fourth quarter. Nick Foles threw four TD passes for Arizona, which fell to 6-4 and 4-3 in the Pac-10.


After Masoli hit Jeff Maehl for a 4-yard score on Oregon’s first overtime possession, Foles hit Juron Criner with a 3-yard strike to tie it at 38-38. In the second OT, Oregon forced Arizona to settle for a 41-yard field goal by Alex Zendejas.

In Oregon’s ensuing possession, Masoli hit Dickson for 22 yards, and three plays later Masoli ran for the 1-yard score.

4. Arizona 22, Oregon 17, Arizona Stadium, Sept. 22, 1990

Darryll Lewis returned an interception 52 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, then made a game-saving tackle of Oregon quarterback Bill Musgrave at the six-inch line with nine seconds to play to spark No. 18 Arizona’s win over the Ducks.

Arizona tried to run out the clock when it came up short on a fourth-down play at the Oregon 30 with about four minutes left. That set up a potential go-ahead drive for Oregon, but the Ducks’ threat was stopped thanks to Lewis’ legendary play. Musgrave completed four passes, the last a 37-yard play that Michael McClellan carried to the Arizona three-yard line with 1:39 remaining. Three running plays took the ball to the 1.


On fourth down, Musgrave rolled out and attempted to dive into the end zone, but Lewis tackled him about six inches shy of the goal line. Musgrave was intercepted four times in the second half by Arizona, twice by Lewis, also had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown called back by a penalty in the first quarter.

3. Oregon 10, Arizona 9, Autzen Stadium (Eugene, Ore.), Oct. 29, 1994

Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen wrote about this game: “Oregon’s victory put a haze over the entire Desert Swarm era.” The Wildcats — predicted by Sports Illustrated before the season to win the national title — were ranked No. 11 in the country 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-10. Oregon was 5-3 and 3-1.

With a victory, the Wildcats would have been in prime position to earn their first Rose Bowl berth. The Ducks, however, held Arizona without a touchdown, and steamrolled their way to the Rose Bowl by winning their last six Pac-10 games.


Oregon’s Danny O’Neil threw 15 yards to tight end Josh Wilcox for the game’s only touchdown early in the fourth quarter in the comeback win. The Ducks made history instead of the Wildcats, earning their first 4-1 start in conference play since 1970.

The Wildcats led 9-0 at halftime on three Steve McLaughlin field goals. It was a defensive battle throughout with Oregon’s “Gang Green” matching the “Desert Swarm” every possession. The play of the game was a pass interference call against the UA’s Mike Scurlock on a fourth-and-5 at the Arizona 27 that helped set up O’Neil’s touchdown pass to Wilcox a play later with 12:17 left in the game.

2. Arizona 34, Oregon 24, Arizona Stadium, Nov. 15, 2007

The Wildcats started 2-6 in 2007, Mike Stoops’ fourth at Arizona, and the Wildcat fans were becoming restless.

A three-game winning streak, culminating with the electrifying win over No. 2 Oregon at Arizona Stadium and in front of ESPN cameras, turned the tide a little for the embattled coach. Oregon, 8-1 and ranked No. 2 entering the game, became the highest-ranked visitor to lose at Arizona since the Wildcats knocked off No. 1 Washington on Nov. 7, 1992.

Antoine Cason returned a punt 56 yards for a touchdown and an interception 42 yards for another score as the Wildcats shook up the national title race. Red-clad students poured out of the stands on to the field as the Wildcats ambushed a ranked team in Arizona Stadium for the fourth straight season under Stoops — all in November.

Oregon’s loss of quarterback Dennis Dixon – a Heisman Trophy candidate — to a knee injury was a heavy blow for the Ducks in the 2007 game. They never recovered in the Thursday night game televised nationally on ESPN. Dixon hurt his left knee on an option play in the first quarter.

1. Arizona 42, Oregon 16, Arizona Stadium, Nov. 23, 2013

The biggest win in the Rich Rodriguez era to date was one for the history books for junior running back Ka’Deem Carey, a hometown talent from Canyon del Oro who made good. Carey ran for 206 yards and four touchdowns while becoming Arizona’s career leading rusher, and the Wildcats pulled off the monumental upset by taking advantage of numerous Oregon mistakes, shocking the fifth-ranked Ducks.

Arizona was coming off consecutive home losses, including a disappointing setback the week before against an average Washington State team. Oregon had a loss against Stanford but still had a Rose Bowl berth in its sight. The Wildcats, who improved to 7-4 with the win, gave Oregon a taste of its medicine with its up-tempo offense with Carey leading the way.

The running of Carey and quarterback B.J. Denker enabled the Wildcats to take a quick 14-0 lead. The Wildcats did not take the foot off the gas pedal and routed a top-five team for the first time since knocking off No. 2 Oregon in 2007.

Ricky Hunley, left, congratulates and provides encouragement to Ka'Deem Carey after Carey's first touchdown run against Oregon  (ABC-TV video capture)

Ricky Hunley, left, congratulates and provides encouragement to Ka’Deem Carey after Carey’s first touchdown run against Oregon (ABC-TV video capture)

Oregon (9-2) helped with three turnovers while turning it over twice more on downs to end its national title hopes.

Carey was the workhorse for Arizona as he had been all season, carrying a school-record 48 times while scoring on runs of 6, 1, 9 and 2 yards to break Art Luppino’s career record of 48 total touchdowns set from 1953-56. Carey also reached 3,913 career yards rushing, breaking the mark of 3,824 set by Trung Canidate from 1996-99.

“It means a lot. It means a lot to this program, to me, my family,” Carey said of the record to TucsonCitizen.com’s Anthony Gimino. “Being raised here, being born here, I felt I put on for Tucson. We had magic out here.”

Denker threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 102 more. Arizona had 304 yards rushing, a season-high against Oregon.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Denker, who was 19 of 22 passing, to the Associated Press. “This is a crazy win for our program, for our coaching staff, for our players, for our seniors. Everything went great today.”

Oregon Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions, his first since Nov. 17, 2012, against Stanford. The Ducks outgained Arizona 506-482 in total yards, but couldn’t overcome all the uncharacteristic miscues to lose consecutive road games for the first time since 2007.

Mariota’s first interception came on a spectacular play, kick-starting Arizona’s momentum toward the rout.

It came on Oregon’s first play from scrimmage, when Bralon Addison dropped a pass near the sideline. Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson snared the carom and flipped it back to teammate Scooby Wright as he was falling out of bounds. It ended Mariota’s Pac-12 record streak of passes without an interception at 353. Carey followed with a 6-yard touchdown run.

Richardson sealed the upset with an interception near the goal line late in the fourth quarter and the fans ran from the stands on to the field once the final horn sounded.

“Those seniors will have a memory that will last them a long time,” Rodriguez told the AP.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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