Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Down the memory lane: Oregon vs USC 1998

24th October 1998.

The previous weekend, the Ducks had lost in overtime at UCLA in a nationally televised game. Lost their starting running back and starting left tackle to injuries. A devastating, dispiriting 38-41 loss.

Fourth-ranked Trojans visited tenth-ranked Ducks on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

That night, without injured running back Reuben Droughns, Oregon's quarterback Akili Smith, ran a 62-yard game winning touchdown that defeats USC, 17-13. He was running alone, toward the west end zone in Autzen Stadium, and looking up at the video screen to see that no one will catch him.

And after the game, the Oregon coach, Mike Belotti’s voice was thick and he admitted that the victory had brought tears.

It was the first of four straight Oregon wins over the Trojans, followed by the triple-overtime win in 1999, a win in LA in 2000 leading to a Pac-10 co-title, and a dramatic win at Autzen Stadium in 2001, leading to an outright Pac-10 title for the Ducks.

And I was part of the story...

Before the game, pre-game show

After the game, Oregon 17 - USC 13

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