"Levy took me out of the game," he told Doba.
Doba's response epitomized his reputation as a player's coach.
|This is the second in a series of features -- dubbed 15 for 15 -- CF.C is running in the 15 days leading to its 15th anniversary on Aug. 15.|
The Cougs, with a 6-1 mark coming into the game, were trailing 28-16 at intermission after a series of miscues on both side of the ball that allowed OSU to score 28 straight.
Lunde's butt parking stemmed from a route he ran incorrectly, cutting inside instead of out, and the subsequent conversation with the ultra-demanding Levenseller had Lunde fuming and then near tears.
"He would do things to push my buttons and maybe get me to focus and play harder," Lunde said of Levenseller
"Levy is the best coach I've ever had. I trust him with what he does, but that time he really made me mad, and I took it out on Oregon State."
Indeed he did.
On that overcast day in late October, the one-time walk on turned in an unforgettable second half of football that helped lift the Cougs to a dramatic 36-30 victory, propelling them into what effectively was the conference title game the following week against USC.
Saying after the game that he was "in the zone," Lunde found ways to get open underneath and over the middle, snagging everything Matt Kegel threw anywhere near him.
"In fact, Lunde turned the first five minutes of the fourth quarter into a personal showcase," wrote CF.C's Pat Mitchell at the time. "His 9-yard scoring reception from Kegel early in the period closed OSU's lead to 28-23. And just when the faithful thought all was lost after Kegel was picked off in the Beaver end zone, the defense held again and Lunde went to work, grabbing a long one over the middle that he and Kegel followed on the next play with an 11-yard scoring strike -- again, over the middle -- to put WSU up 29-28."
LUNDE FETED AFTER OSU GAME (AP).
So in the moment was Lunde during the best game of his career that he didn't realize just how memorable his performance was until he entered Nuevo Vallarta, the Mexican restaurant near the corner of Stadium Way and Grand Avenue, later that evening.
"Everybody clapped and started cheering when I walked in," Lunde remembers. "I thought it was totally unnecessary."
After 15 years of Cougar watching, Cougfan.com begs to differ.
"That was one of the most inspiring and memorable individual performances you'll ever see," says CF.C managing editor emeritus John Witter. "It really served as a metaphor for that amazing, magical three-year run the Cougs had from 2001 to 2003."
That run was capped in the 2003 Holiday, when the Cougs defeated No. 5-ranked Texas 28-20, with Lunde catching three passes for 39 yards.
A ONE-TIME WALK ON, LUNDE CAUGHT 72 PASSES FOR 974 YARDS OVER THE 2002 AND '03 SEASONS.