SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Josh Huff cried during the 26-20 loss to Stanford earlier this season. He broke down against Washington after he heard his ankle pop on a tackle, thinking his career was over. Against LSU two seasons ago in his home state of Texas, Huff might’ve been even worse at bottling his emotions.
“I thought he was going to pop a blood vessel or two,” offensive coordinator Scott Frost said after Oregon’s 30-7 Alamo Bowl victory on Monday.
Huff briefly talked about that LSU game, as well, saying he was “overly excited” in that game, which LSU won 40-27. Huff returned to his home state again this week for the Alamo Bowl, the last game of his Oregon career and said he tried to keep those emotions in check this time.
“I took my regular pregame rituals and applied them to this game,” Huff said. “I didn’t get too excited. I just got excited at the time it was to get excited for.”
For observers, one of those times would seem to be late in the third quarter. Marcus Mariota completed a pass to Huff for 23 yards. Huff only needed seven to break the Oregon record for most receiving yards in a season.
Huff said it was a pleasure to break the record but said it didn’t really matter to him.
“Records come and go, but the victories stay forever,” he said. “The memories that I’ve made with my teammates today and this season, you know, it’s been a great thing to put in the back of my mind and take that with my to my deathbed.”
Several players this season have referred to Huff as a brother, including Mariota after Monday’s game.
“I love him and I wish him the best,” Mariota said.
Frost also referred to Huff as a family member.
“He’s a son to me,” Frost said. “I’m not just saying that. I care about that kid so much and to see what he’s gone though earlier in his life and what he’s gone through at Oregon battling some injuries, so proud of what he’s accomplished.”
Huff certainly wasn’t devoid of emotions on Monday night. He gave teammate Tyler Johnstone a huge hug after Johnstone injured his knee and was predictably ecstatic about winning his final college game. He might not have gotten the national championship he coveted so much, but winning the Alamo Bowl is far from a bad consolation prize.
“I feel great,” Huff said. “Leaving off on a high note. Just being around the locker room, it’s something great and special. It’s going to last for a lifetime.”
Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415