Great Individual Performances: 2006

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Memorable Games

I wanted to do some kind of week-long series leading up to kickoff in Dallas, and initially I was thinking about highlighting some of the most exciting plays of last year, posting one each day until the big game. But then I decided to broaden the scope from isolated plays to outstanding overall performances. So I started perusing statistics online in search of some of the most special individual efforts from the last few years. We’ll begin with 2006 today, and work our way through to Friday’s look at 2010. So without further ado, let us begin our stroll down memory lane:

JONATHAN STEWART – Sept. 2, 2006

Big things were expected from sophomore tailback Jonathan Stewart in 2006, and he wasted no time proving that those expectations were warranted. The season opener pitted #21 Oregon against a conference opponent for the first time in nine years, and the cellar-dwelling Cardinal had no answer for a meaty J-Stew. He ran wild, piling up 168 yards and two TDs on 22 carries, also adding a 54-yard kick-off return just for giggles. Perhaps most impressive about this performance is that it all took place in less than three full quarters of action. Stewart sustained a lateral sprain in his right ankle late in the third period, and though he walked off the field unaided, he did not return to the game. The Ducks would go on to cream Stanford 48-10, giving head coach Mike Bellotti his 91st win at Oregon and tying him with Rich Brooks as the winningest coach in UO football history.

DENNIS DIXON – Sept. 30, 2006

Oklahoma Sooner head coach Bob Stoops vowed to never again bring his team into a Pac-10 venue after suffering a controversial 1-point loss in riotous Auzten Stadium, a game that resulted in the suspensions of multiple referees and replay officials. The #14 Ducks felt they weren’t getting the credit they deserved for the unforgettable win, and went into their next contest with something to prove. They responded to critics by using a balanced attack to utterly embarrass a slumping Arizona State team 48-13 on a 95-degree afternoon in Tempe. Quarterback Dennis Dixon orchestrated drives of 76, 80, 80, 70, 80, and 73 yards. He would finish with a total of 215 yards and three touchdown tosses, including two to wideout Jaison Williams. It was the Sun Devils’ worst home loss in six seasons under coach Dirk Koetter, who apologized to fans for “making them sit through that.”


Despite a sore ankle and ribs, Jonathan Stewart was actually healthier than he’d been since the season opener. And for #24 Oregon the timing couldn’t have been better as the bitterly-despised Washington Huskies came to town. Though he only had three carries over ten yards and a long of merely 17, Stewart’s workmanlike effort punished the Mutts solidly and steadily as he pounded the rock up and down the field for 159 yards and two scores. Oregon would end up on top 34-14, and though it would be the last victory of the year for UO, any win over the Dirty Dawgs is a sweet one.

And of course 2006 was only the beginning for this group!
Any guesses on what performances may make tomorrow’s list for 2007?


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