From the vault: BYU’s last visit to Autzen wasn’t a pleasant one

Picture it.

Autzen Stadium, 1990.

The Oregon Ducks were coming off their first bowl win in 26 years with the Independence Bowl victory over Tulsa the year before. But this wasn’t Tulsa.

This was No. 4 BYU coming into Autzen Stadium and they boasted a Heisman hopeful in quarterback Ty Detmer. The Cougars had put on a campaign for the ages in order get their guy to New York in December.

But BYU had not expected the kind of atmosphere that was awaiting them of 45,000 delirious Duck faithful. The Cougars also didn’t expect a defensive line to play out of their minds. Oregon sacked Detmer five times, including defensive tackle Marcus Woods planting the Cougar signal caller into the turf of the east end zone of Autzen.

Oregon led 12-7 at the half and blew the game open in the third quarter with two Bill Musgrave touchdown passes to receiver Michael McClellan and tight end Jeff Thomason to make it 25-10. Musgrave finished the scoring early in the fourth with a three-yard touchdown run and the Ducks defense took it the rest of the way.

If that bowl win in 1989 didn’t give an indication of what Oregon’s football future could be, this upset victory the very next year certainly did. The 32-16 Ducks win put a damper on Detmer’s Heisman chances for a while (he wound up winning it anyway), but any hope BYU had of a possible national championship went by the wayside as they finished the season 10-3.

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning was four years old.

In his Monday night press conference leading up to the upcoming game with BYU on Saturday, Lanning was asked about this historical contest. As expected, he didn’t have a lot to say.

“I’m gonna look it up now,” he said. “I haven’t heard a lot about that game. But looking forward to going back and finding maybe some old film.”

All Lanning has to do is to go look on YouTube and obviously, there are no on-the-field factors he can take away since it was 32 years ago. But Lanning will see a raucous crowd that will not only take the opponent out of their game plan but also lifts his own team up to do things they thought that possibly they were incapable of doing.

Those factors will be present on Saturday. Oregon can only hope the end result is also there.


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Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire