Produced by: Will Rubin/ Sreang “C” Hok
Oregon’s 2009 season opened in Boise, Idaho with all eyes on first year coach Chip Kelly and a team returning the nucleus from a Holiday Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. It’s a safe bet that the night unfolded in a way that Kelly and his Ducks weren’t expecting.
The contest itself was a sloppy one with both teams varying degrees of inept on offense. Oregon, breaking in a new offensive line, wasn’t able to move the ball effectively on the ground and dropped their second-straight game to the Broncos by a score of 19-8.
After the game was over, Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount connected with a punch to the face of Bronco defensive end Byron Hout, knocking him to the turf. Blount had to be restrained as he continued his antics all the way to the locker room, having words with coaches, teammates and fans on the way inside. Shortly thereafter, Kelly suspended Blount indefinitely – Blount would not see action until the final game of the season.
This game is an oddity because though it’s a defining game, it’s difficult to peg as a positive or negative for the long-term. For all of the negative press, attention, and reaction received in the immediate aftermath, Blount’s replacement in the starting lineup was a speedy freshman from Texas who had drawn rave reviews on the scout team. Yes, that one.
Regardless of how people look back on this game in 20 years, it was as explosive and eye-catching as a coach’s debut can be, and for that reason alone it cracks the top 10 of our countdown to Oregon football.