Seeing Is Believing

There are moments in a season that are remembered years later as moments that defined a player, a coach, a team. USC’s 38-35 upset win in Eugene, which hammered top-5 ranked Oregon’s hopes for a national championship, will be remembered for a long time by Trojan fans as the night Matt Barkley threw a perfect game and Lane Kiffin proved to the doubters that, sanctioned or not, ‘SC is still a force.

This was the last road trip of my term as photography editor of the Daily Trojan, a position that took me and my camera to the corn fields of South Bend, the Gotham streets of Chicago, the mountains of Boulder, and the familiar sights and sounds of San Francisco.

The job brought me to the Eden that is Eugene, and frankly, it granted me the most unforgettable experience of my time at USC.

It was the night I photographed Lebron and the Big Three. Witnessed the notoriously loud Autzen Stadium fall silent. Photographed a future NFL quarterback in the greatest moment of his junior season. Missed a connecting flight home. Beat 20 people for the very last standby seat. Then made it back through an LA storm and closed freeways to put together a sports section in 45 minutes.

Seeing the tying field goal sail wide left…

Rushing the field with the players…

Hearing Matt Barkley lead the Trojan Marching Band in a victory song…

Knowing that I was there, on my last road trip of the season, witnessing history being made…

Surely, this is a story I’ll be telling for the rest of my life.

This is the photo that ran in the next day’s paper. Because of the magnitude of the moment and the flood of positive responses I got from people I didn’t even know, I can positively say, hundreds of assignments and 100,000 photos later…

This is my proudest work.

More photos here from that magical night. It’s been a great semester. Hopefully the future holds bigger and better things.

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