Welcome to Packer-Bear Week

Monday marks a new chapter in the rich Packer-Bear history as the rivalry moves to a new venue in Champaign, Ill. The game will mark the first time in 28 years that the Packers played the Chicago Bears in a venue other than Lambeau Field or Soldier Field.<p> The last time, there was just one player who figured out how to navigate the unfamiliar terrain. Luckily for the Packers that player was Steve Odom.<P>

Playing in a rain that turned Milwaukee County Stadium into a quagmire, the Packers transformed a club-record 95-yard punt return by Odom into a 20-3 victory over their archrivals on Nov. 10, 1974.

The sloppy conditions (although not quite as bad as the teams' memorable monsoon matchup in 1995) made the 114th meeting between the franchises one of the ugliest in the storied history of the series.

The teams combined for just 25 first downs and a whopping eight turnovers as neither offense was able to master the conditions.

The Bears, who were headed for a 4-10 season, took the lead in the first quarter on 44-yard field goal by Mirro Roder on their first possession. Roder could have put the Bears up 6-0 a few seconds later but he missed a 20-yard field goal after the Packers coughed up the ball deep in their own territory.

"We made some mistakes," said Packer coach Dan Devine, whose team would finish 6-8. "We couldn't have gotten off to a worse start but we came back."

After Chester Marcol tied the game with a 45-yard boot in the second quarter, it appeared the game would head to halftime deadlocked until Odom turned in his dazzling, game-changing play. Odom's foray into the Packer record book got off to a rough start.

He initially muffed Bob Parsons punt but was able to scoop the ball up at the 5-yard line. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Odom then reversed field and avoided several oncoming Bears. After Odom knocked down the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Parsons, he sloshed into the end zone for the score and an insurmountable 10-3 lead for the Packers.

"I knew there was a 50-50 chance one of his would fall," Odom said after the game. "He did."

Odom broke Veryl Switzer's record of 93 yards, which was also set against the Bears Nov. 7, 1954.

The Packers added a 24-yard three-pointer by Marcol and a one-yard plunge by John Brockington in the fourth quarter to account for the final. Brockington rushed for a game-high 60 yards. Marcol's field goal capped the Packers' lone sustained offensive drive. The march featured a 63-yard pass from John Hadl to Jon Staggers. Hadl was 9 of 20 for 119 yards with one interception.

"He was effective," said Devine, who was five games from ending his turbulent four-year tenure in Green Bay. "He made fewer mistakes than the other kid (Bear quarterback Gary Huff) under those conditions."

Brockington's score was set up by the only interception of defensive tackle Mike P. McCoy's 11-year career.


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