Oregon Ducks Football: The Ten Best Bowl Performances in Oregon History
From Patrick Johnson to Maurice Morris to Ricky Whittle, many former Oregon greats have turned in elite performances in bowl games of the past.
The 2010 Oregon football team is preparing to play on the biggest stage in the program's history.
Who knows who will step up when the Ducks meet Auburn in the BCS Championship game.
It has taken over twenty years of growth to reach this point, so it's time to look back at the ten most impressive individual bowl performances in modern Duck history.
Steve Smith: 2002 Fiesta Bowl
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Spurned by the BCS to meet Miami for a National Title, the 2001-2002 Oregon Ducks took their frustration out on Colorado.
While Joey Harrington and the offense was impressive, it was the defense that won the game.
The Ducks beat the Buffaloes 38-16, behind four sacks and three interceptions.
All three picks were made by the underrated defensive back Steve Smith.
For his strong play, Smith was named the defensive player of the game.
Joey Harrington: 2000 Holiday Bowl
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Following a disappointing performance in the Civil War, junior Joey Harrington dazzled Ducks fans in San Diego.
The Holiday Bowl was a back-and forth game featuring two 9-2 teams. The Ducks would prevail 35-30 to defeat the prestigious Texas Longhorns.
Harrington showed his versatility in throwing two touchdown passes, running for another, and an entertaining touchdown reception from Keenan Howry.
He also threw for 273 yards on 19 of 30 passing.
Jonathan Stewart: 2007 Sun Bowl
Reeling after three straight losses, the powerful junior running back led his team to a victory in El Paso.
Stewart rushed for 253 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown.
Along with the strong play of Justin Roper, the Ducks defeated South Florida 56-21.
Stewart's performance against a strong Bull defense placed him in the Sun Bowl record books.
Peter Sirmon: 1999 Sun Bowl
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
An unsung hero of the past, linebacker Peter Sirmon led Oregon to a 24-20 victory over the twelfth ranked Minnesota Gophers.
Joey Harrington found Keenan Howry with less then two minutes left to seal the Oregon victory in El Paso.
Sirmon finished the game with sixteen tackles, and helped the Ducks limit a strong Gopher rushing attack to only 96 yards on 35 carries.
Jeremiah Masoli: 2008 Holiday Bowl
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Down 17-7 at halftime, Oregon bounced back to defeat Oklahoma State 42-31 in San Diego.
The Duck and Cowboy offenses were impressive in combining for over 1,000 total yards.
Helped by the strong second-half strong play of the Oregon defense, the team finished the season at 10-3.
A sophomore quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli killed the Cowboy defense with both his arm and feet.
He was 18 of 32 for 258 yards passing and one touchdown. He was equally effective running the ball and finished the game with 16 carries for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
Bill Musgrave: 1989 Independence Bowl
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Playing in their first bowl appearance in twenty-six years, quarterback Bill Musgrave directed an Oregon comeback to give the team a 27-24 victory over Tulsa.
The junior led the team to 17 points in the final 18 minutes of the game. Musgrave completed 22 of 39 passes for 320 yards with touchdown passes to Joe Reitzug and Tony Hargain.
Kenny Rowe: 2010 Rose Bowl
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The 2009 Pac-10 sack leader continued to haunt quarterbacks in the 2010 Rose Bowl against Ohio State.
While the talented Terrelle Pryor did lead him team to a victory, Kenny Rowe did all he could to hold him back.
The junior defensive end recorded seven tackles, and three sacks during the game. His trio of sacks tied a Rose Bowl game record and he was named the game's Most Valuable Defensive Player.
Samie Parker: 2003 Sun Bowl
Despite a heart-breaking loss in the final minute of play, this Oregon wide receiver turned in a performance for the ages.
The Ducks lost 31-30 to Minnesota and Samie Parker was named the games Most Valuable Player.
The speedster broke numerous bowl records against the Gophers.
Parker caught sixteen passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns from Kellen Clemens.
Saladin McCullough: 1997 Las Vegas Bowl
The 1997 Ducks barely squeezed into post-season play following a 6-5 year.
Oregon led Air Force 26-0 at halftime and rolled to a 41-13 victory in Las Vegas.
The impressive offensive performance saw big games from Patrick Johnson, Tony Hartley, and Jason Maas.
Often forgotten in the tradition of great Oregon running backs, Saladin McCullough set the school record for rushing yards in a season.
His seventeen carries for 150 yards helped him surpass the previous mark set by Bobby Moore.
Danny O'Neil: 1995 Rose Bowl
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Over-matched in talent and speed, Oregon quarterback Danny O'Neil did everything he could to keep his team in the game.
The senior leader etched his name into thirteen Rose Bowl records including his 456 yards passing against Penn State.
Despite losing 38-20, he was named the games co-Most Valuable Player with running back Ki-Jana Carter.
He finished the game with 41 completions, 61 passes attempted, and two touchdowns.