The University of Oregon football team’s trip to the Rose Bowl generated a multitude of magical moments of excitement, anticipation and celebration for fans, students and alumni.
While it would be impossible to pick just one moment as the best, several stood out as especially epic both on the field and off.
Check out all our coverage of the big game, but here are Around the O's top five moments from the 2020 Rose Bowl in Pasadena:
No. 5: Admissions reception
The 800 students and their family members who stood in a line that snaked around the lobby of the Double Tree Inn in Santa Monica at the UO’s admissions event got quite a treat when they got inside: the opportunity to talk directly with deans, faculty members and researchers about the UO. The event highlighted UO’s academic strengths and unique student experiences, giving the high school students food for thought as they decide where to attend or prepare to come to the UO.
No. 4: UO-UW joint service project at the Los Angeles Food Bank
More than 100 Ducks and Badgers fans put competition aside as they filled food boxes for seniors in need at the LA Food Bank on the morning of New Year’s eve. The service event is a UO bowl-game tradition that UW-Madison eagerly participated in this year. Together, the university volunteers made more than 2,200 boxes of food to help feed the hungry. UO President Michael H. Schill and UW Chancellor Becky Blank also teamed up to highlight the university’s research collaborations and mission.
No. 3: Alumni and fan connections
Duck fans and alumni enjoyed tailgate parties, pep rallies and receptions ahead of the game. One alumnus had a very unique role at the Rose Bowl, coordinating the B-2 bomber flyovers above the Rose Parade and stadium on game day. Air Force Capt. Nick Reed is a 2008 history grad, the UO’s all-time sacks record holder and an avid fan who played a pivotal role in the pregame festivities as he cheered on his Ducks.
No. 2: The UO Marching Band’s participation in the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl event
For the 250 members of the Oregon Marching Band, the Rose Bowl meant a whirlwind of performances, very long days and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The band performed at Disneyland, at high schools on the way to California, in the Battle of the Bands, at every pep rally and service event, in the Rose Parade, and of course during the game. Several band members shared their photos and experiences on the UO’s social media channels along the way.
No. 1: The Rose Bowl game
The game could have its own top five or 10 moments all to itself: the epic multicolor sunset reflected in the players’ shiny helmets, fans singing “Shout” in the historic stadium, the fumble recovery and subsequent touchdown by Brady Breeze, the hat trick of touchdowns by quarterback Justin Herbert, and head coach Mario Cristobol’s heartfelt expression of appreciation for the team and fans after the Ducks won were all memorable.
But the emotional words of awe during the trophy presentation from senior Herbert about a dream come true and how much he’ll miss Oregon left the entire stadium and Ducks everywhere with a lump in their collective throats and hearts filled with gratitude.
—By Jennifer Winters, University Communications