The road has been kind to the Ducks

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
8:00
AM ET
Autzen Stadium is one of the loudest, most imposing venues in college football. As far as home-field advantages go, Oregon's is among the best in the nation, and its 22-2 record in Eugene over the past four seasons reflects that.

[+] EnlargeLaMichael James
Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesOregon's 34-17 victory over Washington in 2011 is one of 17 straight road conquests for the Ducks.
It also makes it difficult to comprehend how the Ducks have been even better in true road-game scenarios during that stretch. They haven't lost a non-neutral-site game away from home since Nov. 7, 2009, at Stanford -- a national-best span of 17 games.

It's one of two streaks near and dear to hearts of Ducks fans that will be on the line Saturday at newly renovated Husky Stadium in Seattle, where No. 2 Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) will look to make it 10 wins in a row against No. 16 Washington (4-1, 1-1).

"It's going to be a hostile environment, and I think that's part of the fun of it," Oregon safety Brian Jackson said. "But we'll also have a lot of our people coming too. It's a very passionate game between both fan bases."

Passionate might be an understatement. For many fans at both schools, the game has surpassed the instate rivalries in terms of the animosity involved. So much that Oregon fans have taken to using the hashtags "HuskyHateWeek" and "WinTheDecade" on Twitter this week.

For Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, preparation remains the same as any other week, but he admitted that, unlike his predecessor Chip Kelly, he has a specific appreciation for the rivalry.

“This isn’t a me-versus-Chip thing, but growing up here, sure I know what the Oregon State rivalry means, I know what the Washington rivalry means,” Helfrich said. “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 kind of things.”

The $280 million renovation of Husky Stadium has made what was already a loud environment even more so. Without the track that used to create a buffer between the fans and field, there is now a feeling of intimacy at field level. It's similar, in that respect, to Autzen.

Washington is 3-0 at the new digs, with wins over Boise State, Idaho State and Arizona. The Huskies' last win against Oregon came at home in 2003.

Helfrich said the Ducks' road winning streak is a result of circumstances as much as anything. Any advantages of playing away from home are minimal, at best.

"I think there is a certain element of less distractions on the road," he said. "Less guys are worried about tickets and who's coming and sleeping in their bed or whatever those things [are] that go along with playing at home."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Drive Through: One-On-One With O'Leary
Andrea Adelson sits down with Florida State tight end and John Mackey Award winner Nick O'Leary to discuss his success this season and his thoughts on facing Oregon in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, 12/24
Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12