Believe it or not, students can get out of bed before 9:00am. All it takes is a little motivation. A date with #1 ranked USC sent hundreds of students to Autzen Stadium on Thursday morning before the gates opened to pick up the second wave of tickets. 1,000 tickets were held for incoming freshmen this morning, but experienced students took the necessary steps to grab a ticket: get a group of friends, bring coffee, donuts, lawn chairs, and blankets, and drive to Autzen Stadium early...
4,500 tickets were released on Monday morning, and the smart students arrived early. I was not one of those students and found myself about 3,000 students away from the ticket booth. The frenzy continued at the EMU on campus as the line went up the stairs to the top floor, back down, and then several blocks down campus on 13th Ave. Clearly, the students are pumped for the game with the mighty Trojans of USC.
| Couches help the morning pass a bit faster.
Senior Joel Rothe, Family and Human Services major, was in line at 5:30am this morning, armed with a blanket and student ID. "There's an enormous amount of hype and expectation for this game," he said. "Whenever you can get 200 students in line three hours before the gates open, you know it's a big game. Hopefully the game will live up to the expectations of the fans who waited in line this long."
| A few of the thousand students that will flood Autzen on Saturday.
Sophomore Matt Hoecker, Multimedia major, grew up a Beaver fan. As he walked away with a ticket in hand, he mentioned how this could finally be the day that tips the scale in the Ducks favor. "This game could be a turning point for the Oregon football program," he said. "Every student wants to be able to look back on this game and tell their kids about it. Win or lose though, it was worth being there at 5:30am for the experience. It's tough to say, but 'Go Ducks!'"
With USC just two days away, it's not hard to notice the city of Eugene abuzz with excitement. Oregon students clearly see this as a huge game. In fact, lines these size have never been seen in this current generation. In 2001, the Civil War win propelled the Ducks to a BCS game and an outright Pac-10 championship, while 2003 saw Michigan coming to Autzen Stadium. However, the student lines never reached the sheer size that we've seen this week. 5,500 students will be louder than ever on Saturday afternoon in hopes of witnessing their sacred Ducks take down the Trojans of USC. Mighty they may be, but hard the mighty fall...