Great Individual Performances: 2007

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Memorable Games

We are one day closer to another thrilling season of college football! And in anticipation of the Oregon Ducks’ Road to the Natty (version 2.0), we’re taking a look at some of the most statistically impressive individual efforts of the last few seasons of UO football. Today we feature a couple of really memorable games from the 2007 season. I was even able to find a couple of videos for this one!

DENNIS DIXON – Sept. 1, 2007
In a wild season-opening shoot-out that featured 4 TDs in a span of just under 2 minutes, Oregon played host to the defending Conference-USA champion Houston Cougars, lead by redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum (who is somehow STILL playing, in a rare 6th year of eligibility). But it was Dennis Dixon who stole the show on this day, completing nine of 15 passes for 134 yards and two scores. He also had a 50-yard run on the opening drive, and later added an 80-yard TD scamper on an option keeper. His 141 rushing yards were the most for an Oregon QB since Tony Graziani ran for 108 against Oregon State in 1995. The Ducks would go on to win 48-27, leading into a huge match-up with one of college football’s all-time winningest programs, the Michigan Wolverines.

DENNIS DIXON – Sept. 8, 2007
A week after getting stunned by Division 1-AA Appalachian State, and experiencing an unprecedented fall in the Associated Press poll from #5 to being unranked, the Michigan Wolverines were handed their worst beating since 1968, the year before legendary coach Bo Schembechler’s debut in Ann Arbor. The Ducks were completely dominant against a once-proud program that boasted the most wins and best winning percentage in all of college football. But Big Blue couldn’t even keep it close against the Quack Attack, who racked up 624 yards, the second-highest total by a Michigan opponent in its 128 years of football. “When you give up big plays with a three-deep zone, you have problems,” Wolverine head coach Lloyd Carr said of a defense that looked confused at times and slow at others. Dennis Dixon lead the way for the Ducks, connecting perfectly on touchdown passes of 85, 61, and 45 yards, each to a different receiver. He also rushed for 76 yards, including a masterful fake Statue of Liberty TD run so convincing the play-by-play crew didn’t know what happened until the referees gave the signal. After the game, Oregon coach Mike Bellotti posed for a picture on the block M in the middle of the field at Michigan Stadium, the scoreboard looming in the background. “Make sure you get the score in there,” Bellotti said. Oregon 39, Michigan 7.

JONATHAN STEWART – Dec. 31, 2007

Oregon scored 28-straight points in the third quarter of the 2007 Sun Bowl, one of several records set by the Ducks that day en route to a 56-21 demolition of South Florida. The victory snapped a four-game postseason losing streak, giving the team their first bowl win since beating Colorado 38-16 in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. It was also the Ducks’ first win since losing phenom quarterback Dennis Dixon to a knee injury that killed their national title hopes. “Losing the leading Heisman Trophy candidate was a big blow,” head coach Mike Bellotti said. “It took us a couple of games to recover.” But Oregon made it look easy against the Bulls, who boasted one of the nation’s better defenses. And Jonathan Stewart showed the world he was ready to take his game to the next level, finishing with a career-high 253 yards rushing (another Sun Bowl record) on only 23 carries, including a 71-yard TD run late in the second quarter, and a 41-yard run on Oregon’s first drive of the second half. It was the ninth-best rushing effort ever in a bowl game. Said Bulls coach Jim Leavitt, “I can’t explain what happened.”

And thus these future NFL draft picks put their stamp on UO sports history forever.
But with their departure, who would step up and usher in the next era of Duck football?
Stay tuned for the best of 2008…

  1. BigDaddy says:

    It’s definitely hard to argue with those stat lines!

    What’s this mean? “His 141 rushing yards were the most for an Oregon quarterback since Tony Graziani ran for 108 against Oregon State in 1995.”

    His rushing yards would be the most since whoever ran for more…it seems like… to me, anyway…

    C’mon, Man!

  2. BigDaddy says:

    I hate to be a downer, but you promised one years worth of big games per day this week. If I’m not mistaken, you owe us another year…this is Wednesday, you know.

    I understand if you’re too busy – but, you said….

  3. quackmaster says:

    Some personal reflections on the videos:

    Video 1 – My favorite thing about the first clip is that even before Dixon crosses the line of scrimmage, the reaction of the crowd tells you he’s gone for big yards.

    Video 2 – Even though it’s pretty widely accepted that he probably would’ve ended up with the Heisman that year, for some reason I guess I just don’t remember him being all that dominant on his own. But after watching this highlight reel, I realize now that he just totally went off in this game. I mean, those deep bombs are stupidly accurate!

  4. Twenty2s says:

    I’m expecting some serious Blount for 2009. Oregon v Oklahoma State anybody?

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