LaMichael James certainly had his share of incredible plays while at Oregon
The BCS has been in place for the past 15 years, and in that time, Oregon Duck fans have had the pleasure of seeing some spectacular football.
There have been wildly entertaining games, gutty individual efforts and moments that simply cause you to smile and shake your head.
Here we're taking a look at the top 10 highlights of the BCS era, and when you pause to consider what kind of accomplishments the Ducks have had on offense, well, let's just say narrowing down the list to just a handful was quite a process.
Of course, that's not to slight the defense, which has come up huge time and time again. You can count on that side of the ball making an appearance or two as well.
Part of the criteria involved taking a look at when the play occurred—was it a pivotal moment in the game or a play that defined the season? But an equal if not slightly larger part of consideration went toward the play itself—how incredible was it regardless of the circumstances surrounding it?
Using that particular framework, let's take a look at the top 10 Oregon football highlights from the BCS era. And yes, there will be video.
Honorable Mention: I could probably list 20 different plays here, but among those that failed to make the cut despite being highlights that everyone remembers: Joey Harrington's 80-yard pass to Samie Parker in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, Cliff Harris' punt return at Cal, Ed Dickson game-tying TD catch at Arizona, DAT's punt return vs Colorado and many, many others.
To begin the list, we have one of the best defensive plays of the past 15 years.
It came courtesy of Matthew Harper against USC in 2007 on a day when the Ducks looked to finally defeat the Trojans and assert themselves atop the conference.
Harper had an interception earlier in the game to help the Ducks jump out to a 24-10 lead, but USC scored a touchdown with just under five minutes left to get within seven.
After the Ducks gave the ball back to the Trojans, Mark Sanchez and Co. drove down the field and were within striking distance with less than 40 seconds left. Then, Sanchez threw a pass over the middle, Harper jumped in front of it and the rest is history.
The play gave Oregon its first win over USC in more than five seasons and let everybody know who ran the conference in 2007.
Of course, we all know how the season ended up after Dennis Dixon's knee injury, but for many at the time, this play was like the second coming of "The Pick."
Jump ahead to the 4:33 mark of the video to find the best of the many different highlights WR Keenan Howry had during his career at Oregon.
In a defensive struggle against the Oregon State Beavers, Howry came up with a huge play that ultimately proved to be the difference in the Civil War. The victory gave Oregon a share of the conference championship and the Ducks found themselves in their first BCS game a month later.
Perhaps the best part of the video is the call by legendary college football announcer Keith Jackson. As Howry breaks into the open, Jackson exclaims, "There goes Howry! He's gone! Told you, he's dynamite!"
If you're a Duck fan and you don't get chills hearing that, you might want to check your fanhood. The play came on a national stage and finally put the Ducks over the hump. Think about Cliff Harris' punt return against Cal. It was a great if not spectacular highlight, but it was hugely important in the pursuit of perfection.
This play had a similar feel, but to come in the Civil War over the nationally-ranked Beavers makes it one of the best Duck highlights ever.
This is one of those highlights that will last forever. (It comes at the 3:58 mark.)
Often seen on Duckvision before home games, Keenan Howry's TD pass to Joey Harrington is one of the coolest plays you'll ever see.
In a tight game against Texas in the 2000 Holiday Bowl, the Ducks whipped out a trick play for the ages. Harrington tossed the ball backward to WR Keenan Howry who looked to turn up the field as one might do on a traditional sweep.
But he stopped, turn and lobbed up a beautiful pass back to Harrington who, after tossing it back to Howry, had turned and ran down the other side of the field. He caught it, began to stumble and ultimately fell into the end zone just over the goal line.
This play has been used a number of times since that game, and it probably wasn't the first time the football world had seen it, either.
But it was the defining moment in a victory over a major football power in Texas and one of the best highlights of Joey Harrington's remarkable career.
Dennis Dixon's fake Statue of Liberty against Michigan is one of those plays that makes you just shake your head and chuckle.
The design and the ease with which the play occurred is just silly. Even the announcers are laughing over what they just witnessed.
Often lost in the highlight is the fact that earlier in the game, Oregon ran the same play except Jonathan Stewart was given the ball. He did what he often did that year and bruised his way to a solid gain.
So you can imagine the Michigan defenders' reaction when they saw Dennis Dixon use a similar fake. Nearly every one of them immediately chased after Stewart while Dixon literally strolled into the end zone untouched.
It summed up what Dennis Dixon was for Oregon that season: a playmaker with incredible ball-fake ability and the leader of a dizzying offense that left opponents confused more often than not.
I often wonder why the play hasn't been used since that game, but the effortless nature of the highlight and the way Wolverine defenders ran in the opposite direction of the ball makes this play one of the all-time greats.
Jeremiah Masoli is one of the more interesting players in Oregon football history, and his 4th-down conversion late in the 2009 Civil War may be his greatest highlight.
Fans knew the strength of the stout but speedy quarterback after he had ran over an Oklahoma State defender in the previous year's Holiday Bowl.
But there was a lot more on the line this time. The winner of the Civil War would find itself in the Rose Bowl.
On a late, clock-churning drive, the Ducks had a 4th-and-3 from the OSU 33-yard line. As the play begins, even announcer Jesse Palmer says, "this is the defining play of this game so far." He was right.
In typical Masoli fashion, he took the snap and, after a split second look downfield, scrambled to his right. He then took off upfield only to see a white jersey standing in the way of him and a critical first down. About two yards short of the marker, instead of attempting a juke, Masoli lowered his shoulder and powered through safety Lance Mitchell for the first down.
Oregon would actually be forced to convert another fourth down moments later to seal the win, but it was Masoli's effort with several minutes left that truly stands out.
The field-goal block (at the 1:00 mark) is the highlight I've chosen, but the entire game between Oregon and Oklahoma in 2006 could probably fill the five spot.
Down 33-20 with little more than a minute left in the game, QB Dennis Dixon scrambled for a 16-yard touchdown. The ensuing onside kickoff was (let's be honest here) one of the all-time officiating blunders in college football.
But the ball was given to Oregon, which drove down the field and scored another quick touchdown to take a 34-33 lead.
Then, the Sooners returned the ensuing kickoff into Duck territory and set up for a 44-yard game-winning field goal. So while the onside kick call gave Oregon a chance to win, Oklahoma certainly was still in position to get the victory.
LB Blair Phillips prevented that from happening by blocking the field goal, which happened to be kicker Garrett Hartley's only miss of the entire season.
Autzen was an absolute madhouse following the block, and it was one of the loudest moments in stadium history, despite more than a third of the fans having left early in disappointment.
As I mentioned earlier, a number of plays from this game could have made the list, but the blocked field goal sealed the victory and that play finds itself at No. 5 on the list.
Keith Lewis' incredible play occurs at the 10:44 mark of the video above, and it was the pivotal play against a traditional powerhouse in a win that garnered national attention and a Sports Illustrated cover appearance.
Michigan traveled to Autzen Stadium in 2003, ranked No. 3 in the country and carrying a Heisman Trophy candidate in running back Chris Perry. His Heisman hopes were all put extinguished following a 22-yard effort that day.
But while Oregon burst out to a 24-7 lead which put the loud home crowd in a frenzy, Michigan stormed back and pulled within three points with still 11 minutes left in the game.
After the Ducks made a third-down stop, Michigan set up to punt the ball. With nothing working on offense, everybody knew that a play on defense or special teams could make the difference.
It was CB Keith Lewis who decided to actually do something about it, however, and when he blocked the punt it sent 22 players into an all-out chase for the ball. Oregon ended up with it in the end zone and extended its lead to 10 points.
It proved to be a huge play as Michigan roared back and looked to take the lead late before a fourth-down incompletion sealed the win for the home team.
The play capped a huge win against a national powerhouse in a game that was seen around the country.
I can't imagine any other thought going through someone's head who had just watched De'Anthony Thomas race 91 yards for a touchdown against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
I remember before the play thinking, "just let the clock tick down and come up with a play to start the second quarter." But Oregon snapped it with just two seconds left on the clock and the Black Mamba produced one of the all-time highlights.
The run itself might not be so eye-popping if it weren't for the sheer speed on display. As soon as Thomas broke through the defensive line, nobody was going to catch him. Not even the safety in decent position to make a play.
No, the Black Mamba used his speed to fly all the way into the end zone, tying the game at 14 apiece.
You might remember Kiko Alonso's pick as the defining moment of the game, or perhaps you'll point to Michael Clay's fumble recovery.
But the most spectacular highlight came from De'Anthony Thomas, whose record-setting run carried the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl title in nearly a century.
The 2002 Fiesta Bowl was billed as a slugfest in which the bigger, stronger Colorado Buffaloes would put the exciting but over-matched Oregon in its place.
What played out on the field could not possibly be more different.
QB Joey Harrington capped off his magnificent career with a variety of gorgeous throws, from a deep ball to Samie Parker to a strike over the middle to Keenan Howry, both resulting in touchdowns.
But it was a Maurice Morris run that stands out as the game's most memorable moment.
Maurice took a hand off and used his unique combination of size and speed to break outside and head downfield, breaking a tackle along the way. But as he fell toward the ground, he landed on a Colorado defender.
Upon regaining his balance, Morris popped up and made his way into the end zone. It was a play that naturally had Colorado players confused and Duck fans ecstatic.
In the biggest win in program history (at the time, maybe still), Maurice Morris produced one of the most incredible plays you're ever likely to see.
While certainly not the most important play over the past 15 years, it's hard to think of a more incredible individual effort over that time than LaMichael James' 72-yard run against Tennessee.
To set the stage, LaMichael was in his first game back after serving a one-game suspension. The first half did not go as planned, and the Ducks found themselves in a tight one with the score 13-13 early in the third quarter.
Then James announced to the college football world that he was indeed back and better than ever.
He took a handoff from Darron Thomas and, after finding little room to his right, decided to cut back left. A host of blockers helped him get to the corner and James' speed did the rest. As he tightropes down the sideline, he whizzes by multiple defenders.
James gets caught from behind around the 30-yard line but somehow manages to stay on his feet before one last attempt to bring him down causes him to fall into the end zone.
The play put Oregon ahead by seven points and the Ducks never looked back, winning 48-14 in a rout.
LaMichael James had more big plays than you can possibly remember during his time at Oregon, but his run at Tennessee might just be the very best.