Back in Chip Kelly’s first season with Oregon, it’s hard to remember the disaster of an offense when they played then 14th-ranked Boise State to open up the season, shut down to only eight points that was scored in the third quarter.
As a casual football watcher before following the Ducks, I even said that Kelly has a long way to go to prove he was a head football coach.
Did he ever prove me wrong.
Fast forward through the 2009 season when Oregon dismantled a then sixth-ranked California team 42-3. They went on to torch the Pac-12 competition, only to falter in a high-scoring 51-42 heartbreaker against Stanford after making it all the way to seventh in the polls.
The Arizona schools came after, first dominating Arizona State 44-21, and then one of the greatest fourth quarters played in a double-overtime 44-41 victory in Tucson, Arizona.
Despite a slow start against Arizona, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli contributed in every score except a 43-yard field goal by Morgan Flint in the fourth quarter that tied the game up at 24.
Moments after that field goal would be significant. Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles threw to Juron Criner for a huge play, a 71-yard touchdown scamper that gave Arizona the lead right back, 31-24. Foles finished the game with an impressive 30-46 completions for 314 yards and four touchdowns – and an interception.
After Oregon turned the ball over on four plays, that interception happened with three minutes to go when Talmadge Jackson picked off Foles. Arizona’s student section was ready to storm the field after a huge victory over then 11th-ranked Oregon, simply to be disappointed after an 80-yard, 15-play drive that resulted in a eight-yard pass to Ed Dickson for a touchdown with six seconds left.
That tied it all up at 31 after regulation. Trading touchdown blows in the first overtime, Masoli ran in for his third touchdown and sixth touchdown overall (the other three were passing touchdowns) after the Wildcats had the ball first and were only able to get a field goal out of it.
Once again, a 44-41 emotional victory after two overtimes. And we didn’t even get into the Civil War matchup that determined who went to the Rose Bowl that followed, a first in the history of the rivalry.
Let’s save that for another day.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.