EUGENE, Ore. — Waiting in the deafening din, Garrett Hartley was approached by a teammate with a message. "Relax," Adrian Peterson told him. "Go out there and do your thing." Hartley said he had no doubt he would do just that. After all, he had connected on all four previous field goals Saturday. A 44-yarder at the final gun, trailing by a point? No problem. "I was feeling confident, nice and relaxed," Hartley said. Seconds later, Hartley "hit it well." But Oregon linebacker Blair Phillips leaped high to block it. "That was just the worst feeling in the world," Hartley said. "I thought I hit it well. I don't think I hit it low." Hartley got the chance because of Reggie Smith's 55-yard return of a kickoff, which gave OU possession at the Oregon 27 with 46 seconds left. The clock started when officials signaled ready-for-play. OU didn't have a timeout left. When Peterson was stuffed for no gain on first down, Paul Thompson spiked the ball, stopping the clock with 2 seconds left. OU coach Bob Stoops said he wanted to get the ball to the middle of the field. "You can second-guess that," Stoops said. "We probably should have tried to throw it. Without a timeout, you're pushing it." Oregon called timeout, hoping to bother Hartley. But the junior, who had already tied an OU record, said he wasn't bothered. "The situation is something all kickers want to have," he said. Even though he believes it would have sailed true, he wonders what might have been. "Honestly, I wish that maybe I would have missed it wide left. That way I would have known for sure. I thought the kick was good and here it is getting batted down. "It's emotional." By George Schroeder
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