Pac-12: Kevin Moen

Yards to glory: 'The Play'

August, 3, 2011
8/03/11
2:05
PM ET
A football field is 100 yards long, and each yard marker has produced immortal memories in college football.

ESPN.com is looking at some of the most famous touchdowns in college football history for each and every yard marker, and California's stunning 57-yard kickoff return to beat Stanford -- better known as "The Play" -- is the choice at 57 yards.

You can check out "Yards to Glory" here.

And here's what I wrote about one of the most famous moments in sports history.

57. The Play

Cal beats Stanford on five-lateral finish

Nov. 20, 1982: "The Play" is simply one of the greatest moments in sports history. Stanford had taken a 20-19 lead on late-game heroics from QB John Elway. Four seconds remained. But on the ensuing kickoff, the Bears used four laterals -- some Stanford folks dispute the legality of a couple -- before Kevin Moen took No. 5 the final 25 yards for the improbable game-winning score. Making the spectacular play memorably absurd, Moen was forced the run through the Stanford band, which had prematurely taken the field to celebrate a victory, and he punctuated the thrilling moment by running over trombone player Gary Tyrrell in the end zone.

Pac-10 villains, past, present and for eternity

August, 17, 2009
8/17/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

My guess is this will be a heck of a conversation starter.

Thou art a villain!

Now and forever!

Who is Public Enemy No. 1 of your program? Who beat you, ruined you, annoyed you?

Here's a list.  

But know that we are completely aware of this unavoidable fact: We only observe and speculate. You feel.

If you have additions, gripes or different takes, feel free to respond. We want to know who really gets your goat.

Arizona

Current villain: John Mackovic. Mackovic went 10-19 before getting canned midway through the 2003 season after a player revolt. His prickly and pompous personality didn't go over well in Tucson and he left the program bereft of talent.

All-time villain: Frank Kush. Kush led Arizona State to national prominence and was 16-6 vs. the Wildcats, winning 13 of his final 15 matchups.

Arizona State

Current villain: Joe Germaine. The Ohio State quarterback, who played high school football in Mesa, Ariz., led a last-minute touchdown drive in the 1997 Rose Bowl, denying the previously unbeaten Sun Devils a share of the national title.

All-time villain: Kevin Rutledge. The former Sun Devils punter accused legendary coach Frank Kush of punching and harassing him and in 1979 sued the school for $1.1 million, which directly led to Kush's midseason termination.

California

Current villain: Mack Brown. The Texas coach vociferously -- and with little justification -- lobbied to be promoted in the national polls past California so the Longhorns could earn a BCS bowl berth. A number of voters listened, changed their voting patterns and denied the Bears their first Rose Bowl invitation since 1959. Dispirited, Cal sleepwalked through a Holiday Bowl loss to Texas Tech.

All-time villain: Tyrone Willingham. Willingham? Well, while Stanford's coach from 1995-2001, Willingham went 7-0 in Big Games. How can that not be incredibly annoying to Cal fans, even more so today, considering the trajectory of Willingham's coaching career?

Oregon

Current villain: Dennis Dixon's ACL. Dixon looked like he was on his way to the Heisman Trophy and his Ducks to the national title game when his knee gave way with four games remaining in the 2007 season.

All-time villain: Washington. The hate between the schools started in 1948 when Washington broke ranks with the Northwest schools and voted California into the Rose Bowl instead of Oregon -- and convinced Montana to do the same -- after the Bears and Ducks tied for the best record in the conference.

Oregon State

Current villain: Larry Tripplett. In the 2000 game at Husky Stadium, the Washington defensive tackle caught Ken Simonton for a three-yard loss on second-and-1 from the Huskies 26-yard line with 42 seconds left and Washington leading 33-30. The Beavers mistakenly spiked the ball -- they had a time out left -- and then Ryan Cesca missed a 46-yard field goal to tie. It was the Beavers only loss of the season; they crushed Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. They would have played Oklahoma for the national title if they had prevailed.

All-time villain: 1971-1998. During that 28-year span, the Beavers never posted a winning record. What's more, they averaged just 2.32 wins a season. It's one of the great streaks of consistent losing in college football history.

Stanford

Current villain: Jeff Tedford. Since Tedford took over at California, the Bears have won six of the past seven Big Games.

All-time villain: Kevin Moen. Moen is the Cal player who ran through the Stanford band and knocked over trombone player Gary Tyrrell in the endzone to complete "The Play" in the 1982 Big Game.

UCLA

Current villain: Pete Carroll. Honestly, does this need explanation? He's 7-1 vs. the Bruins since starting USC on its unprecedented run.

All-time villain: Bill Hayhoe. Though the Bruins' classic 1967 showdown with USC is most remembered for O.J. Simpson's 64-yard touchdown run, UCLA fans surely recall that kicker Zenon Andrusyshyn missed three field-goal attempts and an extra point in the 21-20 defeat. The 6-foot-8 Hayhoe blocked two of those field goals and the PAT. The Bruins entered the game ranked No. 1 and the defeat cost them a shot at the Rose Bowl and the national championship. USC went on the win both.  

USC

Current villain: The BCS. Who knows how many national titles USC would have won during Pete Carroll's tenure had a playoff been in place. Certainly more than two. Maybe as many as five. Moreover, the BCS has kept the Trojans out of the "national title" game a number of times, which has been a great boon to the SEC, which hasn't had to prove itself vs. the Trojans.

All-time villain: Lou Holtz. Holtz went 9-2 vs. USC while Notre Dame's coach, including the 1988 game when the unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Fighting Irish whipped unbeaten No. 2-ranked USC 27-10 in the Coliseum. The Trojans then lost the Rose Bowl to Michigan, while Notre Dame went on to win the national title. Ouch.

Washington

Current villain: Tyrone Willingham. Tough call here between Willingham and Rick Neuheisel as to who Huskies fans blame the most for the program's current state. But our guess is memories of Neuheisel's victory in the 2001 Rose Bowl earns him a break, while the Willingham-led 0-12 disaster is still very, very fresh.

All-time villain: William Gerberding. While school president, he alienated highly respected and successful athletic director Mike Lude and then -- the whopper -- enraged revered football coach Don James, who resigned in 1993 because he felt Gerberding mishandled an NCAA and Pac-10 investigation into the football program. Gerberding also hired Barbara Hedges, whose leadership is often cited as the point A for the football program's downturn as well as the current sorry state of Husky Stadium.

Washington State

Current villain: Bill Doba. Nicest guy in the world. Did a great job as Mike Price's defensive coordinator. Led a winning effort against Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl. But the lack of talent on the Washington State roster in 2008 and at present falls almost entirely on him.

All-time villain: Rick Neuheisel. While Don James led a period of Washington dominance in the Apple Cup rivalry -- he was 13-5 vs. the Cougars -- there was always a grudging respect for James. Not so for Neuheisel, who went 4-0 vs. the Cougars and was reviled in Pullman. The unranked Huskies triple-overtime victory over the then-third-ranked Cougars in 2002 ended with Washington State fans littering the field with bottles and other trash.

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