SEATTLE – Casey Paus had only one real thought racing through his mind after that magical November night in 2003.
“Well, that was fun,” he recalls of what he remembers telling media members after leading Washington to a 42-10 victory over Oregon at Husky Stadium.
What he never imagined is that nine years later, it would be the last time the University of Washington has beaten its hated rival.
“Until we beat them again, it’s one thing people have joked around with me about is that I was technically the last quarterback to beat Oregon,” Paus said.
The Huskies have lost eight in a row to the Ducks since that night, when Paus replaced injured Cody Pickett at halftime and led the Huskies to 35 consecutive points to overcome a 10-7 halftime deficit.
It’s the longest current losing streak UW has against any foe, and is the longest it has had against Oregon or against any Pac-12 team not named USC.
“Hopefully, that notoriety doesn’t last too long,” Paus said of his status as the last UW quarterback to beat Oregon. “But that definitely makes its way into conversation.”
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said this week he is downplaying what he calls “external motivators,” such as the history of this rivalry.
And Huskies players held to that theme. Quarterback Keith Price said, “I’m not even sure what the (recent) record is (against Oregon). … We know that this is a new Oregon team this year, so we’re just trying to beat them this year.”
Washington has since beaten every team in the Pac-12 except Arizona State (which, because of some scheduling quirks, it has played just six times since 2002). Oregon, though, has been vexing for UW, becoming one of the top programs not just in the Pac-12 but nationally.
As it has risen, it has beaten UW every year by 17 points or more.
Paus, married to former UW soccer player Nicole Martinez and working in the Seattle area in medical sales, is a UW season-ticket holder who will watch avidly Saturday, hoping his status as the answer to a trivia question is soon erased.
“Things didn’t necessarily work out as well (at UW) after that, but that’s definitely one of the fondest memories I have.”