Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fresno State-Oregon History


The Previous Five
  • 9/5/81 Fresno State 23 Oregon 16 at Bulldog Stadium
  • 9/18/82 Fresno State 10 Oregon 4 at Autzen Stadium
  • 8/31/96 Oregon 30 Fresno State 27 OT at Bulldog Stadium
  • 9/20/97 Oregon 43 Fresno State 40 OT at Autzen Stadium
  • 9/7/02 Oregon 28 Fresno State 24 at Autzen Stadium

Fresno State and Oregon have many factors that make this match up great and exciting. First their respective stadiums were built by the same firm. After Fresno State expanded Bulldog Stadium in 1991 to 41,031 seats, it practically mirrored Autzen Stadium's 41,698 original capacity. The fields of both schools are named after legendary coaches that built their respective programs from the late 1970's to the mid 1990's, Rich Brooks Field at Autzen Stadium and Jim Sweeney Field at Bulldog Stadium.

The first meeting of theses two schools was in 1981 at brand new Bulldog Stadium. The first game at the stadium, however, was played the year before in November, but the game against the Ducks was considered the official opening of the new Stadium. The Bulldogs returned the favor some twenty-one years later by being the second team to play at the newly expanded Autzen Stadium in 2002.

The second go around saw future Duck offensive coordinator and Bulldog quarterback Jeff Tedford lead the 'Dogs to big road win in Fresno State's first trip to Eugene.

In 1996 coach Jim Sweeney's final home opener saw Fresno State and Oregon make NCAA history by being the first regular season Division I-A game to go into overtime. The following year was Pat Hill's first game as head coach versus Oregon. The 'Dogs and Ducks went into overtime for the second straight year. 1997 was Fresno State offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford's last year prior to taking the same position at Oregon in 1998. In Tedford's four years the 'Dogs and Ducks never played.

In 2002 Oregon hired another Fresno State offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig to replace Tedford. The 2002 game was the first in the series to be nationally televised, and also marked the first time either team was nationally ranked. Oregon was ranked 13th. In Bulldog fan's eyes it was the most controversial game in the series, and still is debated to this day who got the better spot on 4th down.

This year instant replay will be used for the time in the series, so there will no excuses for 2005. Oregon is the favorite in Vegas, but the Bulldogs are the nationally ranked team this time around.


No comments: