By Lukas Eggen
Football is finally back. This weekend marks the start of the college football season. My alma mater (THE University of Nevada Wolf Pack) takes on UCLA to open its season.
Every time I watch a college football game, I can’t help but think of my all-time favorite college game: Nevada’s upset of No. 4 Boise State in 2010.
Heading into the game, Nevada was ranked No. 19. The game featured several players who would make it to the NFL, including, from Nevada: QB Colin Kaepernick, wide receiver Rishard Matthews, tight end Virgil Green, cornerback Isaiah Frey, defensive lineman/linebacker Dontay Moch and, from BSU running back Doug Martin, QB Kellen Moore and more.
The Wolf Pack was in the middle of a dream season. It had beaten Cal to open the season. It had a conference championship in its sight. Now all that was left was to beat the one team it hadn’t beaten in more than a decade: The Broncos. The games had been close, coming down the final seconds, but Boise had always gotten the best of it.
The atmosphere was electric. Fans on both sides making Mackay Stadium (Now called Chris Ault Field) the loudest I had ever heard. Fans chanted and trash talked the whole game. This was for more than bragging rights. This was for pride and supremacy, with Boise’s BCS trip on the line and the Wolf Pack’s final roadblock to finishing its dream season.
But what made it even more special was I didn’t just watch it…I covered it. I covered the football team that season. I knew the players and the coaches. I talked to them on a daily basis. Everyone in the press box knew: Win this game and the season was a success. Lose and all the other accomplishments meant almost nothing.
It didn’t hurt that the game went into overtime with Nevada winning on a field goal. And as Wolf Pack fans rushed the field and went crazy, it was electric in the interview room. Never had I been more happy to work late hours to get the story up. To see the absolute joy from fans and players alike. To realize that Nevada, perhaps for the first time, was in the national consciousness in the collegiate football world. As a fan, the victory was everything. We had finally slayed the giant. As a journalist, there was no bigger sports story to cover that year. I felt honored to not only get to witness the game, but be a part of the public record. Years from now, that article will be one of the ones people will read if they go back to this game.
Weeks after, I went to interview then-head coach Chris Ault. On his wall was a newspaper article on the big win…written by me. That’s when it really sunk in. That was no ordinary game, not when a Hall of Fame coach hangs an article on the wall.
As the 2013 season begins, I’m full of hope for the Wolf Pack. But I doubt anything will ever top that Friday night in 2010 for me.
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