A former Oregon assistant, Petersen is 2-2 vs. the Ducks as UW's coach.
No one knows the Washington-Oregon rivalry better than Chris Petersen.
No one wants to talk about the rivalry less than Chris Petersen.
“I get the history. I get it as well as anybody, from my background,” said Petersen, in his fifth season as the Huskies’ coach after spending six years (1995-2000) as an Oregon assistant.
“But I also think it seems like every week is just a huge game to us, like everyone’s got us circled and all those type of things. So that’s why we just concentrate on ourselves. That’s just our M.O. It’s like, ‘OK, what’s this offense, what’s this defense, what’s this special teams look like? How do we solve this?’ And it’s just about us bringing the right energy and preparing correctly.”
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The Ducks defeated the Huskies in Petersen’s first two seasons as the UW coach, in 2014 and ’15. The Huskies wallopped the Ducks, 70-21, in Eugene in 2016, the most memorable road win of Petersen’s tenure — and perhaps his most memorable victory at UW, period.
A year ago in Seattle, the Huskies nearly shut out Oregon, 38-3.
Is there anything unique that makes the Washington-Oregon rivalry unique?
“I don’t know. I really don’t,” Petersen said. “It’s been back and forth and I don’t know. Like I said, we got a lot of rivals. Playing Stanford’s been a heck of a battle and Wazzu for sure. Every week is a big week.”
The No. 7 Huskies (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) head back to Eugene this Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff against the No. 17 Ducks (4-1, 1-1).
Washington is a three-point favorite.
Oregon has a healthy Justin Herbert — the quarterback did not play against the Huskies in 2017 — and the Ducks are coming off a bye. Does the bye help a team’s preparation?
“Yes,” Petersen said. “Tremendously.”
What’s the point?
Petersen has cut off players from media interviews during Apple Cup week the past few years, and he’s limited player availability this week too. Only four players will be available for interviews this week: senior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven, senior safety JoJo McIntosh, senior tight end Drew Sample and junior receiver Aaron Fuller.
So, no, Jake Browning won’t get the chance to reminisce about The Point in Eugene two years ago, a premature touchdown celebration that has riled up many in Oregon leading up to the senior quarterback’s return to Autzen Stadium. Browning had eight touchdowns in that game — vaulting him into the Heisman Trophy discussion — and The Point is the most iconic play of his career.
“It was pretty dumb to do,” Browning said last year. “It kind of sucks that it was such a big game, and that’s what everybody talks about, is pointing. I think that was pretty selfish on my part, and I’m not going to let that happen again.”
Myles Gaskin is ‘fine’
Senior running back Myles Gaskin was favoring his shoulder in the fourth quarter of UW’s 31-24 victory at UCLA on Saturday, and he did not come onto the field for the Huskies’ final clock-killing drive.
“He’s fine. He’s going to play (at Oregon),” Petersen said.
“Myles is a warrior,” he added. “Myles was our player of the game again, and he could probably be it every week, what that guy does. People just don’t realize until you put the tape on.”