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Honors Candidates by the Numbers
Wednesday, November 17, 4:45 p.m. PT

As the 2010 college football regular season draws to a close over the next two and a half weeks, the honors and awards season will be in full swing. And while football is ultimately a team sport, you don’t reach the top ranking in the land without some exceptional individual performances.

Finalists for several major awards are due to be announced next week, so with that in mind, here’s a look at how Oregon’s top honors candidates stack up from a numbers standpoint through the first ten games.*

*All players listed have played ten games except for LaMichael James, who has played in nine

Name: LaMichael James, Sophomore Running Back
Candidate for: Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award, All-America, All-Conference
2010 honors to date:

  • Pac-10 All-Academic First Team
  • One of 15 Players to Watch for the Walter Camp Player of the Year
  • One of 16 Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award (outstanding player)
  • One of 10 Semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award (nation’s top running back)
  • Midseason All-America Selection by SI.com
  • Walter Camp National Player of the Week (Stanford)
  • CFPA National Running Back Performer of the Week (Portland State, Stanford)
  • Pac-10 Player of the Week (offense - Stanford)
Numbers:
  • 1,422 rushing yards – No. 1 NCAA, No. 3 UO single-season, No. 28 Pac-10 single-season
  • 158.0 rushing yards per game – No. 1 NCAA, No. 1 UO single-season
  • 12.0 points per game – No. 1 NCAA (tied)
  • 18 touchdowns – No. 1 NCAA (tied), No. 1 UO single-season
  • Three 200-yard games – No. 1 NCAA (tied)
  • Seven 100-yard games – No. 2 NCAA (tied)
  • 174.3 all-purpose yards per game – No. 3 NCAA
  • Reached 1,000 yards in seventh game – No. 1 UO history
  • 3 scrimmage plays of 70+ yards – No. 1 NCAA (tied)
  • 6 scrimmage plays of 50+ yards – No. 1 NCAA (tied)
  • 9 scrimmage plays of 40+ yards – No. 1 NCAA (tied)
  • 13 rushes of 20+ yards – No. 3 NCAA (tied), No. 1 Pac-10
  • 158.0 total offense yards per game – No. 94 NCAA, No. 10 Pac-10



Name: Cliff Harris, Sophomore Cornerback/Return Specialist
Candidate for: Jim Thorpe Award, All-America, All-Conference
2010 honors to date:

  • One of 10 Semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (outstanding defensive back)
  • Midseason All-America Selection by SI.com (first-team cornerback, second-team punt returner)
  • Three-time Pac-10 Player of the Week (special teams – Cal, New Mexico; defense - Stanford)
  • Three-time CFPA National Punt Returner Performer of the Week (Cal, Washington State, New Mexico)
Numbers:
  • 22.3 yards per punt return - No. 1 NCAA, No. 1 UO single-season
  • Four touchdowns on punt returns - No. 1 NCAA, No. 1 UO single-season, No. 1 Pac-10 single-season (tied)
  • Five non-offensive touchdowns - No. 1 NCAA, No. 1 UO single-season and career (tied)
  • 6 all-purpose plays of 60+ yards - No. 1 NCAA
  • 1.50 passes defended per game - No. 3 NCAA, No. 1 Pac-10
  • 0.50 interceptions per game - No. 10 NCAA (tied), No. 1 Pac-10
  • 557 yards on punt returns - No. 1 Pac-10, UO single-season
  • 77.0 all-purpose yards per game - No. 23 Pac-10



Name: Casey Matthews, Senior Linebacker
Candidate for: Butkus Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy, All-America, All-Conference
2010 honors to date:

  • One of 15 Semifinalists for the Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker)
  • One of Eight Semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy (defensive IMPACT player of the year)
Numbers:
  • 0.30 fumbles recovered per game - No. 8 NCAA (tied), No. 1 Pac-10 (tied)
  • 0.30 interceptions per game - No. 46 NCAA (tied), No. 4 Pac-10 (tied)
  • 60 tackles - No. 22 Pac-10, leads UO
  • 6.5 TFLs - tops among UO linebackers
  • 30 consecutive starting assignments - tops among UO defense



Name: Darron Thomas, Sophomore Quarterback
Candidate for: Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award, Manning Award, All-America, All-Conference
2010 honors to date:

  • One of 16 Semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award (top quarterback)
  • On the Watch List for the Manning Award (top quarterback, including bowl game)
Numbers:
  • 23 passing touchdowns - No. 9 NCAA (tied), No. 2 Pac-10 (tied)
  • 16.2 points responsible for per game – No. 11 NCAA (tied), No. 1 Pac-10
  • 153.04 passing efficiency rating - No. 18 NCAA, No. 2 Pac-10
  • 265.9 total offense yards per game - No. 21 NCAA (tied), No. 2 Pac-10
  • 7 passing touchdowns vs. AP top 25 teams - No. 3 NCAA (tied), No. 2 Pac-10 (tied)
  • 43.4 rushing yards per game – No. 14 Pac-10
  • 10-0 record as a starter
  • Has sat out 7 of 20 quarters after halftime
  • 20 total passes attempted in the 4th quarter


Now the above players are by no means the only Ducks deserving of recognition, and I expect several others to garner accolades. What makes this group standout is that each one is formally being considered for a major national award.

Some of the superlative statistics listed are courtesy of www.cfbstats.com.


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