Over 10 years ago, LeGarrette Blount put the Oregon football team on the map with one of the most memorable moments in collegiate football.
The date was September 4, 2009. It was a warm evening as the sun set over Broncos Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The No. 16 Oregon Ducks met the No. 14 Boise State Broncos on the Smurf Turf.
Head Coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli struggled to get the offense going in a back-and-forth defensive battle. The Ducks were held scoreless in the first half, recording 14 total yards of offense and had the ball for just 5:50 minutes. Oregon's first first down in the ball game came at the 7”07 mark in the third quarter.
Safe to say, Boise State's defense was one step ahead of Oregon all night. Blount was held to minus five yards rushing on eight attempts.
Then the unexpected happened.
As the clock struck 00:00 on Oregon's 19-8 loss in Boise, players met at midfield hand to hand. One player met fist to jaw: LeGarrette Blount had punched Boise State defensive end Byron Hout.
According to an article in The Oregonian, Hout got into Blount's face and said: "how about that (expletive)-whooping?"
Blount joined the latest Talkin' Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent to talk about 'the punch':
“I was taught, like, what manner to handle it, to talk it out. I was just always taught to never let that slide. I didn't know the consequence was going to be that severe. As I look back at it, I feel like the consequence didn't match the punishment. But at the same time, it taught me a lesson and it showed me that with a blink of an eye, everything can be taken away from you…
It was then reported that Boise State head coach Chris Petersen chose not to suspend Hout and instead give him an internal punishment.
Blount was suspended by head coach Chip Kelly, but was reinstated later in the season after Kelly wanted to give him a second chance.
"Now it is up to me to prove to people that their lasting impressions of me are not what they saw in Boise," he said in an article from ESPN in November 2009.
The 6-foot-2, 246-pound back spent two seasons at Oregon and immediately made an impact. In 2008, he played in all 13 games, rushed for 1,002 yards on 137 attempts and set the UO record for 17 rushing touchdowns.
The JUCO product was set to have another successful year at Oregon in 2009, but that moment in Boise put Blount on a new path. He played in three games, rushed for 82 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns.
After college, the once day one or day two projected pick went undrafted in the 2010 NFL draft.
Today, the 33-year-old Blount is a 3x Super Bowl Champion (New England Patriots, 2015; New England Patriots, 2017; Philadelphia Eagles, 2018) and currently a free agent.
Listen to the full Talkin' Ducks Podcast here.