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Blount force: former UO running back scores 4 TDs in Patriots' playoff victory

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In the New England Patriots' 43-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Saturday night, former University of Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount scored 4 touchdowns, including three in the first half.

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Blount became only the second player in NFL history to run for four touchdowns in a single game, joining Ricky Watters, who scored five touchdowns to help the San Francisco 49ers beat the New York Giants 44-3 in a playoff game in 1994. The Patriots probably could have easily given Blount a fifth touchdown, but opted to allow Stevan Ridley to take a handoff from 1 yard out to give the Patriots a 43-22 lead with 11:15 left in the game.

Blount scored the first touchdown from two yards out after an interception return by New England on the Colts' opening drive. He scored another 2-yard touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead. His third 2-yard touchdown run, with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter, gave the Patriots a 21-7 lead. Then, with 13:08 left in the fourth quarter, Blount sprinted 73 yards for another score to put the Patriots ahead of the Colts, 36-22.

Blount rushed for over a thousand yards in each of his two years as a junior college player before becoming a member of the Oregon Ducks in 2008. In his first season for Oregon, as a junior, Blount ran for 17 touchdowns.

But his real fame came from the Ducks' season-opener against Boise State in 2009. In Chip Kelly's first game as the team's head coach, Blount was held to -5 yards on 8 carries. After the game, he sucker punched Boise State defensive player Byron Hout in the face. As Blount was then restrained and escorted to the Oregon locker room, he confronted Boise State fans and later claimed that one fan punched him.

He was then suspended for the remainder of the 2009 season, but Kelly allowed Blount to attend team practices, leaving the possibility open that Blount could possibly return to the team late in the season if he met certain guidelines that the football program set up for him.

He was reinstated later in Oregon's 10th game of the season, but he didn't play again until the final game of the regular season, against Oregon State. He scored a touchdown in that game, and an additional touchdown in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State.

Blount went undrafted in 2010, but eventually signed with the Tennessee Titans. He was released before appearing in any games, but not before he punched one of his teammates. After his release he was then signed by Tampa Bay, where he played from 2010 to 2012. He ran for over 1,000 yards as a rookie, but never got over the 800-yard mark.

Blount was traded to the Patriots in exchange for Jeff Demps and a seventh-round draft pick during the 2013 off-season. He played in all 16 regular season games for the Patriots, racking up 772 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 7 touchdowns.

He finished New England's playoff win against Indianapolis on Saturday with 166 yards on 24 carries (6.9 yards per carry.) In fact, Blount ran for more yards and touchdowns than he did in 13 games with Tampa Bay in 2012 (151 yards, 2 touchdowns.)

The Patriots advanced to the AFC Championship game for the third straight year. They will face the winner of Sunday's San Diego-Denver game.

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