Blount makes return in Civil War win

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount, who was suspended for throwing a punch after the Ducks' season opener against Boise State, returned Thursday night and ran for a touchdown against Oregon State.

Blount's 12-yard score came midway through the third quarter of the Civil War at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks went on to win 37-33 to earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.

"This means everything to me," Blount said. "I'm kind of at a loss for words."

Blount finished with 51 yards rushing on nine carries.

He spoke briefly about his ordeal -- his first public comments since he apologized immediately following the punch.

"I was wrong for what I did," he said. "I never expected to be back with this team. I just expected I'd practice and do what I did."

Blount was suspended for the season after he punched Boise State defensive end Byron Hout in the aftermath of the Broncos' 19-8 victory on Sept. 3.

Blount missed eight games, but was kept on scholarship and was allowed to practice with the team.

He was reinstated in mid-November after meeting certain academic and behavior conditions set by coach Chip Kelly.

After the game, Blount was engulfed by fans chanting his name. Several handed him roses.

"To win, my last year, my last game at Autzen as a senior, I love it," he said.

Oregon will face Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. It is the Ducks' first trip to Pasadena since 1995.