In 2023, we were all treated to a classic college football game nearly every single week and the Oregon Ducks had their fair share of classics this season.
Unfortunately, they didn’t come out on top in some of those.
ESPN put together its Top 100 games of the 2023 season and as expected, Oregon showed itself a few times. But so did the Huskies. It’s difficult to relive both losses to the heated rival to the North. However, Duck fans can take solace they won’t have to hear about Washington’s national title run thanks to Michigan.
Oregon shows up at No. 48 for its Sept. 9 game at Texas Tech where the Ducks get out of Lubbock with a 38-30 road victory.
Somehow, Texas Tech nearly overcame a minus-4 turnover differential to end Oregon’s CFP hopes in early September. Nearly. A 20-3 run gave Tech a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and after three lead changes and a go-ahead Camden Lewis field goal with 1:10 left, Jeffrey Bassa’s 45-yard pick-six finally sealed a wild Ducks win in West Texas. — Bill Connelly
As expected, the two and only losses of the 2023 campaign show up at Nos. 9 and 8 with the true loss in Seattle coming ahead of the Pac-12 title game in Las Vegas. Oregon lost both games by a field goal, which shows how close it was to being in the playoff itself. If the ball bounces a different way a couple of times or if the Ducks kick a field goal here or there instead of being ultra-aggressive, this season might look vastly different. Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
Here’s in part what ESPN had to say about those two games that added even more lore to a rivalry that will now go into the Big Ten Conference.
Dan Lanning fielded a brilliant Oregon team in 2023, one that went 12-0, with wins by an average score of 46-13, against teams not named Washington. But the Ducks played two tossups against the playoff-bound Huskies and came up with tails both times. — Connelly