My FishDuck Friends, we have a wonderful article contributed by PittDuck about his favorite Autzen memory. Oh how sweet that game was, and the unusual circumstances for him surrounding that delightful game 22 years ago. We thank him and invite you to write about yours as well! Charles Fischer
I’ve been an Oregon Duck fan since I was a kid in the ’60s, and while I have not been able to attend nearly as many games as I would have liked, I do have memories of watching some great games at Autzen. I was sitting about 15 rows from the field in 1990 when eventual Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer was sacked by Marcus Woods (the Belly-Bop) right in front of me in the end zone during the No. 4 ranked BYU Cougars’ 32-16 loss to the unheralded Ducks! In recent years, I bring grandsons and granddaughters to at least one game a year at Autzen, where the gameday experience absolutely rocks.
My future Duck fans have had the opportunity to witness Marcus Mariota magic and Joey Harrington heroics while building lifetime memories with grandpa.
I have a lot of great Autzen memories, but one of my favorite has got to be the September 5th, 1998 game against No. 23 ranked Michigan State in Eugene.
My daughter was in the award-winning Grants Pass High School (GPHS) Marching Band from 1997 through 2000, and in those days, the GPHS Marching Band (through connections with the Band Director) got invited to Autzen to play the half-time performance for the first home game, before the Duck Band members returned to school in the fall. As the pit boss (guy in charge of getting the equipment on and off the field), I was the lucky guy who got to drive a quad, pulling four equipment trailers full of pit equipment down the ramp and onto the turf at Autzen! Not everyone can say they got to drive a quad around Autzen stadium in front of 43,634 fans …
While I had to miss the last half of the 2nd quarter and the first half of the 3rd quarter (taking care of band equipment), I got to witness some awesome moments in this game. This includes the 4th and 3 play on the Ducks’ opening drive when Akili Smith threw a 20 yard reception to Tony Hartley. Another great moment was Reuben Droughns’ 75-yard touchdown run off left tackle in the 2nd half. The Ducks were up 48 to 0 before they let the Nick Saban-led Spartans get 14 garbage points to end the game.
The Ducks’ defense was nothing short of spectacular that game. They intercepted two, if not three, passes and didn’t allow a single 3rd-down conversion until the 4th quarter. The D-line denied MSU on three 4th-and-short situations. On the final MSU possession, they shut them down with three sacks in a row!
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon for the Ducks, as they gained 572 offensive yards. Droughns finished with 202 yards rushing and 2 TDs in his first game as a Duck! Akili Smith had a great game, completing 15 of 25 passes for 266 yards and 4 TDs, most of it in a masterful first half.
This was so much fun to recall, and I would be very interested to read about some of your favorite Autzen memories!
Top Photo by John Giustina
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in higher education in Chicago, Illinois.
Duck fan since 1972, I actually got to ride a Quad pulling GPHS Marching Band equipment in preseason games at Autzen 4 years in the early 2000’s!
For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!
I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)
I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.
Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:
Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua Whitted & Mr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric Boles & Alex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram
A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.
Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!
Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
FishDuck members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!