EUGENE, Ore. – It wasn't so much that Oregon extended its winning streak over Washington to 11 games. The Huskies say it was the way they lost this time to the rival Ducks that was most frustrating.
Washington had just two field goals in the first half and struggled to stop Oregon's ground game — with freshman running back Royce Freeman gaining 169 yards on 29 carries with four touchdowns in the 45-20 victory Saturday night.
"We could care less about the losing streak, we're caring about this season, not past seasons," linebacker Travis Feeney said. "We're just trying to get a win."
Cameron Van Winkle hit a pair of field goals for Washington (5-2, 1-2), which hasn't beaten Oregon since the 2003 season. Sophomore Cyler Miles struggled to find a rhythm, throwing for 147 yards and a touchdown with an interception and a fumble.
Marcus Mariota threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12), who won their second straight game as they distance themselves from a loss at home to Arizona on Oct. 2.
Washington's loss came as Oregon celebrated the 20th anniversary of "The Pick," Kenny Wheaton's 97-yard interception return for a game-saving touchdown over the Huskies in 1994 that helped send the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl in 37 years.
"Oregon is less important than what people think they are to us. Of course we want to beat them; we don't want to lose to no one," Huskies receiver John Ross said. "We're shooting for a Pac-12 championship and Oregon is one of the teams in the way and we didn't do what we had to do tonight to move forward."
Washington's opening series was capped by Van Winkle's 33-yard field goal. After Oregon went ahead on Freeman's 37-yard touchdown run up the middle, the Huskies narrowed it with Van Winkle's 40-yard field goal.
Early in the second quarter Oregon went for it on fourth down and Freeman scored on a 3-yard option pitch from Mariota to make it 14-6. The Ducks extended the lead with Freeman's 1-yard touchdown.
Oregon kicker Matt Wogan missed a 33-yard field goal wide left, but Erick Dargen intercepted Miles on Washington's ensuing series and two plays later Mariota hit Byron Marshall with a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-6.
It was Miles' first interception of the season.
Dwayne Stanford leaped above two defenders to pull down a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mariota that put the Ducks up 35-6 in the third quarter.
Washington scored its first touchdown of the game with 4:45 left in the third when Miles connected on a 3-yard scoring pass to Deontae Cooper to make it 35-13.
Freeman's fourth TD came on 3-yard run early in the fourth before Washington replaced Miles with redshirt freshman Troy Williams, who capped his first college drive with a 7-yard keeper to make it 42-20.
It was unclear whether Miles was injured, and some said it appeared he was getting checked for a concussion on the sideline after Williams entered the game. Coach Chris Petersen wouldn't comment on it.
Freeman appeared to get his fifth touchdown on a 2-yard run late, but a holding penalty on the offense called it back. The Ducks settled for Wogan's 26-yard field goal for the final margin.
"This is an elite program. It really is," Petersen said about Oregon. "They do an unbelievable job and they got maybe the best player in college football. . You've got to play really, really good to beat those guys. You've got to play really, really good to hang with them."
The Huskies were coming off a 31-7 rout of California last Saturday in Berkeley. Miles threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns, and Shaq Thompson returned a fumble 100 yards for a score.
Oregon's last outing was a 42-30 rebound victory over UCLA, which popped the Ducks back into the top 10 after its loss to Arizona the previous week.
Overall, Washington still owns a 58-44-5 advantage in the series that goes back 113 years.