The Night Autzen Stadium Wept
I will never forget the night that USC upset #4 Oregon at Autzen Stadium in 2011. Under our sanctions, USC had been an underdog. We were coming off an 8-5 season and without a bowl opportunity, the media completely counted us out.
Going to Eugene, Oregon, to play a team that just went to the National Championship…AT home. We had no chance.
But rivalry brings something more out of players. Rivalries can make the impossible possible. And on November 19th, 2011, something great happened.
With the help of Matt Barkley and our strong USC offense, we took a 24-7 lead. However, with Oregon as a challenging foe, they were able to squeeze that lead down to 38-35 in the fourth quarter.
With seven minutes left, we FUMBLED the ball giving Oregon one last chance to take the game. No way. No way after putting up that much of a fight, were we going to give up this game to a sloppy fourth quarter.
In the cold chill of a Northwest Fall night, our Trojan defense held Oregon down to one last field goal opportunity. If Oregon made this, we’re going to overtime where their momentum could easily guide them to another victory (and inevitably the National Championship). If they missed this, then USC, a team not even bowl-eligible, would have upset the juggernaut of the Pac-12 and held them back from what they’ve been working for all season.
I’ll never forget standing there in front of a TV with my friends and just anxiously waiting for the kick.
It went up….and it was no good. USC pressured the kicker into a field goal that soared far left and we took the game.
I’ll never forget that moment. An iPhone picture captured our moment of celebration.