OSU v. University of Oregon Civil War Football Facts & Figures

OAC v. Oregon, 1908

Oh how I love a bullet point list…

  • The first Civil War game was played on November 3, 1894 in Corvallis, and won by Oregon Agricultural College (OAC), 16-0.  The teams ate a post-game meal together at Alpha Hall, the women’s dormitory.
  • After that 1894 victory, OAC Regent John R. N. Bell started a ritual of throwing his top hat into the Marys River after each football victory over the University of Oregon.  Bell Field, the home of Oregon State football from 1913-1953, was named in his honor.
  • The teams played each other twice in one season during two seasons, 1896 and 1945.  No games were played in 1900, 1901, 1943 and 1944.
  • A riot broke out after the 1910 game, resulting in no athletic competition between the two schools in 1911.
  • In order to avoid a repeat of the 1910 riot, Civil War games in 1912 and 1913 were played in Albany, which was considered a “neutral” site.
  • The 1915 game included 47 punts.
  • The OSU-U of O game was not called the Civil War until about 1929, when the term appeared in a few newspaper stories prior to that year’s contest.  The term was first used in the yearbook in the 1938 volume (1937 football season).
  • Seven Civil War games were played in Portland at Multnomah Stadium (now Jeld-Wen Field), the first in 1908.
  • The Civil War game was Oregon State’s homecoming game from the 1910s until the late 1930s.
  • Ten Civil War games have ended in a tie; in six of them the score was 0-0.
  • The most recent 0-0 tie was in 1983 at Autzen Stadium.  This game was dubbed the “Toilet Bowl” as the two teams combined for 11 fumbles, 5 interceptions and 4 missed field goals.
  • The 1937 game, won by Oregon State 14-0 in Eugene, resulted in a riot between about 500 fans from both schools, two days after the game.
  • In 1941, Oregon State beat the Ducks 12-7 to secure its first Rose Bowl berth.  The game, against Duke, was relocated to Durham, NC, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Oregon State upset the favored Duke Blue Devils, 20-16.
  • In 1946, Oregon State students kidnapped Puddles, the U of O’s live mascot.  In 1960, a U of O student kidnapped Oregon State’s homecoming queen.
  • The last game played in Bell Field was the 1953 freshman Civil War game.  Unfortunately the Beavers lost.
  • Starting in 1959, the winner of the Civil War game was awarded the Platypus Trophy, created that year by U of O art student Warren Spady.  After being stolen and lost, as well as disinterest in the trophy, the schools are trying to revive the award and make it part of the schools’ Civil War tradition.
  • Rich Brooks, who played with Terry Baker on OSU’s 1962 team which beat the Ducks 20-17, became Oregon’s head football coach in 1977.
  • The 1998 game, won by Oregon State in double overtime 44-41, was considered by Oregon Stater editor emeritus George Edmonston, Jr., to be the greatest Civil War game of all time.  The Beavs scored on running back Ken Simonton’s thrilling run in the second overtime period to upset the 15th ranked Ducks.  Many consider this game to be the turning point in OSU’s football fortunes after 28 consecutive losing seasons.
  • In 2000, both teams were ranked in the top 10 coming into the Civil War game, the first time that had ever happened.
  • The 2009 game was the first to guarantee the winner the Pac-10 berth in the Rose Bowl.
  • The OSU-U of O Civil War game is the 7th most played rivalry football game in the U.S.
  • The U of O holds the series lead, with 59 wins, 46 losses and 10 ties.

Information compiled from the Oregonian, Oregon Stater, Wikipedia and other sources.

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