Washington coach Steve Sarkisian enters his third season in Seattle.
Washington's stunning win over Nebraska in last season's Holiday Bowl did several positive things.
It gave senior quarterback Jake Locker a chance to depart as a winner.
It gave Washington a 7-6 record—its first winning season since 2002. The victory also served as a feather in the cap of second-year coach Steve Sarkisian, and catapulted his program into the offseason with a sense of accomplishment and momentum.
But some major unfinished business remains with the Oregon Ducks. In a series where the Huskies dominated for a century, they've lost seven in a row to the Ducks, with every game being an annihilation (Oregon has outscored UW 305-120 during that stretch of time).
Sarkisian is 0-2 against the Ducks, including last year's 53-16 massacre in Eugene.
Is Sarkisian ready to end Washington's woes by defeating the Ducks Nov. 5 in Husky Stadium?
Let's review the last seven years.
In what would prove to be the closest game of the past seven years, Oregon defeated Washington 31-6 on Oct. 30, 2004.
Oregon played in a lackluster manner, but still managed to dispatch the Huskies easily. Washington would finish the season with its first losing record in 28 years.
UW head coach Keith Gilbertson was fired and replaced by Tyrone Willingham.
On Oct. 15, 2005 at Autzen Stadium, Oregon quarterback Kellen Clemons threw for more than 400 yards as the Ducks whipped the Huskies, 45-21.
Washington's Caesar Rayford later roomed with Oregon defensive lineman Jeremy Gibbs while both were playing for the BC Lions of the CFL.
"You know how the rivalry between Washington and Oregon was always nasty for years and years," Rayford said. "Jeremy said that he looked forward to playing us but then it was like we were just out there going through the motions. He said he felt like he was in practice with his teammates. He said that the Ducks knew they would walk all over us for as long as Willingham was there."
Despite an injured ankle, Oregon's Jonathan Stewart rushed for 168 yards as the Ducks beat Washington 34-14 in their 2006 matchup.
Ducks defensive back Patrick Chung opened the scoring with a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown and had an interception. Washington managed just 13 yards on the ground.
The Ducks piled up 665 yards of offense, including 461 on the ground, in beating the Huskies 55-34.
As the Ducks were in the process of destroying Washington 44-10, new Washington athletic director Scott Woodward sat in the visitor's suite shouting obscenities about coach Tyrone Willingham and the team's performance.
Willingham would be let go at season's end with a 0-12 record.
The Ducks defeated the Huskies 43-19, spoiling new Washington coach Steve Sarkisian's debut attempt to beat the Northwest rival.
As the nation's top-ranked team, the Ducks steamrolled the Huskies 53-16.
It was Oregon's seventh win in a row over Washington.
The two teams play again Nov. 5 at Husky Stadium.
Derek Johnson is the author of three books, including the recently-released Bow Down to Willingham. Read a free excerpt at www.derekjohnsonbooks.com.