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Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Pac-12 Ultimate Road Trip: Week 7

By Kevin Gemmell

We're taking a look at the can't-miss games of the 2013 Pac-12 season. The Ultimate Road Trip continues.

Welcome to Week 7.

Thursday, Oct. 10
Saturday, Oct. 12
My choice: Oregon at Washington

Why: For the first time this season, we're taking a second trip to a city. And with good reason. After enjoying all that Seattle has to offer in Week 1 against Boise State (I'm sure everyone enjoyed a coffee atop the Space Needle while listening to Pearl Jam after PR'ing the full Burke-Gilman trail), we're returning to a raucous Husky Stadium for one of the league's most bitter non-traditional rivalries. And, in recent years, a terribly one-sided, non-traditional rivalry at that.

The Ducks have compiled nearly a decade's worth of Husky pink slips. A few of the gory details:
And of course there are memorable (or not) moments from this streak, like Washington's seven-turnover game in 2004 and Oregon's 465-yard rushing day in 2007.

But it's not just the on-field dominance that gets under the paws of dawgs fans. During that time the Huskies have been to just three bowl games (going 1-2) while the Ducks have enjoyed six 10-win seasons and four straight appearances in BCS bowl games, including the BCS national championship game.

So why will this year be different? Maybe it won't be. At least in July -- the Ducks are a team transitioning to a new head coach and have a couple of holes to fill on the defense. But they've shown year after year that they can seamlessly replace players and coaches. The streak started under Mike Bellotti and, of course, the now-departed Chip Kelly never lost to Washington.

So why will this year be different? Maybe it won't be. But the Huskies have a bunch of key players returning on both sides of the ball, a healthy (and deep) offensive line, a 1,000-yard rusher and a capable, athletic quarterback.

So why will this year be different? Maybe it won't be. But Washington's new up-tempo offense was put in place precisely for games like this -- so it can (attempt to) go snap-for-snap with some of the other up-tempo teams in the conference. Or at least vary the tempo a bit. And the defense showed marked improvement in 2012 that should carry over into 2013.

Looking at the rest of the schedule, Arizona at USC is slightly intriguing, because of what happened last year. Same for California at UCLA. Both LA schools were favored in those games so there is a bit of revenge at play. But this is clearly the marquee game of the week.

So why will this year be different? Maybe it won't be. And Ducks fans can think of at least nine reasons why.