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Oregon Weekly Football Release - Week 9
Release Date: 10/26/2010
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For the complete release with full notes, statistics, award lists, etc., please view the PDF.

Kickoff is set for 5:12 p.m. PT at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with a live telecast on ABC and A live radio broadcast will also be available across the Oregon Sports Network and on XM 143 and Sirius 122.

• USC leads the all-time series 37-17-2 and is 23-6-1 vs. the Ducks in Los Angeles.
• The Ducks are 6-1 all-time when ranked higher than the Trojans. The last time that happened was 2007, when No. 5 UO beat No. 9 USC 24-17 in Eugene.
• The two teams have met just three times in L.A. since 2000 with USC winning twice.
• The home team has enjoyed a lopsided victory the past two years - USC 44-10 in 2008, UO 47-20 in ‘09.

• This is the second consecutive year ESPN College GameDay has been on site for Oregon vs. USC.
• Oregon is outscoring its opponents 156-23 in the second half this season and has allowed seven fourth-quarter points.
• The Ducks have 16 touchdown drives of less than 56 seconds and 22 TD drives of five plays or less.
• UO is 19-3 in conference play since the start of the 2008 season.
• SO RB LaMichael James is ranked No. 1 nationally in rushing at 161.8 yards per game, is 29 yards shy of 1,000 on the year.
• James enters Saturday tied with Jonathan Stewart (2005-07) for the most 100-yard rushing games (14) in UO history.
• Oregon is 7-0 to start a season for the third time in 115 seasons and first since 1933.
• UO’s 386 points to date are not only the most in a seven-game stretch in team history, but also the most in a nine-game span, besting the 385 points scored over the first nine games of the 2007 season.

What more could be asked from Oregon’s 30th head coach, who became the first in Pac-10 history to win an outright conference title in his first season at the helm. Becoming the school’s first mentor to take it to the Rose Bowl, as well as earning coach-of-the-year accolades in 15 years, the Manchester, N.H., native guided his team to more wins in his first year in the Pac-8/10 since former UO player and assistant coach John Robinson led USC to 10 wins in 1976.

The Ducks lead the nation in scoring offense (55.1), total offense (569.1) and turnover margin (+1.71). Oregon also ranks among the top 5 in sacks allowed (2nd, 0.29) and rushing offense (3rd, 308.4). Individually, SO RB LaMichael James is first in rushing yards per game (161.8), third in all-purpose yards (181.7) and tied for third in scoring (12.0); SO CB Cliff Harris is fourth in punt return average (19.8) and tied for sixth in interceptions per game (0.57); SR DT Brandon Bair is tied for seventh in tackles for loss per game (1.86).

After the first eight weeks of the college football season, Oregon leads the Pac-10 in 13 of 33 statistical categories: Scoring offense (55.1), total offense (569.1), rushing offense (308.4), pass efficiency defense (100.8), interceptions (13), PAT kicking (49-49, 1.000), sacks against (0.29), first downs (27.1), opponent fourth down conversion (3-15, 20%), turnover margin (+1.71), red zone defense (11-19, 57.9%), on-side kicks (1-1, 100%), on-side kicks against (0-1, 0%). Individually, SO RB LaMichael James is the top rusher (161.8), scorer (t1st, 12.0) and all-purpose runner (181.7) in the Pac-10; SO CB Cliff Harris leads the conference in punt returns (19.8), interceptions (0.57) and passes defended (1.43); SR DT Brandon Bair leads in tackles for loss (1.86); SR LB Casey Matthews is tied for the lead in fumble recoveries (0.43).

The Ducks climbed to No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history on Oct. 17, when they earned the top spot in the AP Top 25, USA Today (coaches) and Harris polls. Still No. 1, Oregon has now spent seven straight weeks in the top 5, which is its longest stretch ever.

Oregon is No. 2 for the second straight week in the BCS standings after debuting in that spot in the first rankings of the year Oct. 17. UO is directly behind No. 1 Auburn and ahead of No. 3 Boise State. The top two teams in the final rankings on Dec. 5 will play for the BCS National Championship on Jan. 10, 2011 in Glendale, Ariz. Prior to this season, the Ducks highest BCS ranking was No. 2 on Nov. 11, 2007.

UO is 7-0 for the first time since 1933 and only the third time in 115 seasons. The school record for most consecutive victories to start a season is eight by the ‘33 squad. The only other time UO had more than six straight wins to start the year was 1930, when the Ducks began 7-0.

In outscoring their opponents by a combined 386-111, the Ducks have totaled more points than any other seven-game stretch in their history, besting the 326 points between Sept. 1 and Oct. 20, 2007. In fact, Oregon has already broken the nine-game record of 385 set that same season (Sept. 1-Nov. 3).

Quarterback sacks, for and against, have been a big statistic for the 2010 Ducks. Oregon is tied for second in the Pac-10 and 20th nationally, averaging 2.71 sacks per game, while allowing only two sacks all season. Ten different players have gotten in on the action and six Ducks have multiple sacks, led by SR DE Kenny Rowe with 4.0.  Rowe’s 20.5 career sacks are good for sixth all-time at UO.

After gaining 123 rushing yards vs. UCLA last week, SO RB LaMichael James has now eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark 14 times in his career, tying Jonathan Stewart’s (2005-07) school record. He has surpassed the 100-yard pinnacle five times this season and 11 times in 13 career Pac-10 games.

SO RB LaMichael James has broken the 200-yard rushing barrier twice this season, rolling up 227 vs. Portland State and a Pac-10 season-high 257 vs. Stanford. His performance against the Cardinal ranks second on the UO single-game ledger, while his effort vs. the Vikings tied Tony Cherry (1985) for sixth on Oregon’s all-time list. James is tied for second in career 200-yard games (2) with Jonathan Stewart (2007) and Derek Loville (1988, ‘89). Reuben Droughns (1998 (3), ‘99) holds the school record with four. The 200-yard mark has been topped only 16 times in program history.

LMJ 2000
It took LaMichael James only 16 career games to reach 2,000 rushing yards for his career, going over the milestone Sept. 25 at Arizona State. Now with 2,517, the sophomore from Texarkana, Texas, ranks sixth all-time at Oregon and is poised to cut even deeper into the career list this season. He is only 28 yards away from Ricky Whittle (1992-95, 2,545) for fifth and within 374 yards from unseating Jonathan Stewart (2005-07, 2,891) for second.

Of the Ducks’ 44 scoring drives resulting in touchdowns, 22 (or half) have taken five plays or less.

UO players have received weekly or national recognition in all but one week this season (Week 4). The latest was JR TE David Paulson being selected national tight end performer of the week by the College Football Performance Awards. SR DE Kenny Rowe earned honorable mention defensive line performer of the week from the CFPA following Week 8.

Pac-10 Player of the Week
Kenjon Barner (offense); Cliff Harris (special teams)
CFPA Performer of the Week
Cliff Harris (punt returner)
Paul Hornung Performance of the Week
Kenjon Barner

Pac-10 Player of the Week
Jackson Rice (special teams)
CFPA Performer of the Week
Kenjon Barner (punt returner)
Paul Hornung Performance of the Week
Kenjon Barner

CFPA Performer of the Week
LaMichael James (running back)


Walter Camp National Player of the Week
LaMichael James (offense)
CFPA Performer of the Week
LaMichael James (running back)
Pac-10 Player of the Week
LaMichael James (offense); Cliff Harris (defense)

CFPA Performer of the Week
Cliff Harris (punt returner)

CFPA Performer of the Week
David Paulson (tight end)

After initially being left off the watch list for both of college football’s major quarterback awards, SO QB Darron Thomas was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award and added to the Manning Award watch list following his career performance vs. UCLA. Against the Bruins, the sophomore from Houston had personal bests of 22 completions (31 attempts) and 308 yards. He tossed three touchdowns and also ran for 48 yards on five carries.

SO QB Darron Thomas passed for a career-high four touchdowns vs. Portland State - all before halftime - becoming the first UO quarterback to accomplish the feat since Justin Roper had four TDs vs. South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl. Thomas ranks third in the Pac-10 with 17 touchdown passes this season. The Houston native also has two rushing scores on the year.

Through seven games, the Ducks have 33 plays from scrimmage of 25 yards or longer, 16 of 40 or more yards, six of 60 or more yards and three of 70-plus yards. Of the 33 big plays, 18 have resulted in touchdowns.

84 - James reception (Thomas) at WSU*
76 - James rush vs. STAN*
72 - James rush at UT*
66 - James rush vs. PSU*
61 - Paulson reception (Thomas) at ASU
60 - Barner reception (Thomas) vs. UNM*
55 - James rush at WSU
54 - Huff reception (Thomas) at ASU*
52 - James rush vs. PSU
47 - Maehl reception (Thomas) vs. PSU*
43 - Costa rush at WSU
42 - Alston rush vs. UCLA
42 - Maehl reception (Thomas) vs. UCLA
41 - Huff reception (Thomas) vs. STAN*
41 - Barner rush vs. UNM*
40 - James rush vs. ASU*
39 - Maehl reception (Thomas) vs. UNM
38 - Alston rush vs. UNM
36 - Reed rush vs. PSU
35 - Thomas rush vs. PSU
35 - James rush vs. PSU*
34 - Maehl reception (Costa) at WSU*
30 - Paulson reception (Thomas) vs. UNM*
29 - Maehl reception (Thomas) vs. STAN*
29 - Tuinei reception (Thomas) at UT*
29 - Reed rush vs. PSU
28 - Maehl reception (Thomas) vs. PSU
28 - James rush vs. PSU
27 - James rush vs. UCLA
27 - Paulson reception (Thomas) vs. UT*
25 - James reception (Thomas) vs. UCLA
25 - Davis reception (Thomas) vs. STAN*
25 - Barner rush vs. UNM*
* indicates TD

The Ducks rank second among FBS teams in rushes of 20 yards or more with 24 such runs to date. Oregon also has the fifth-most rushes for 10-plus yards with 66.

Since 1999, the Ducks are 9-9 against top 10 opposition, including wins in five out of the last seven. Oregon is 3-1 against the top 10 under Chip Kelly, with the lone defeat coming against No. 8 Ohio State in the 2010 Rose Bowl.

The Ducks are 1-0 against top 25 teams this season. Last year, Chip Kelly’s first as Oregon head coach, the Ducks were 4-2 against top 25 competition. UO’s only loss to a non-ranked team during the Kelly era came at Stanford on Nov. 7, 2009.

After the first couple of days of preseason camp, it was evident that true freshman receiver Josh Huff had too much talent not to play immediately. That’s saying something, considering he would be coming into a team returning nine starters on offense, including all three wide receivers. The former USA Junior National Team member has scored touchdowns in three of the past four games and had his best performance to date in the win over then-No. 9 Stanford, catching five passes for 64 yards, including a 41-yard TD.

The Ducks not only set a new single-game record for rushing in the win over Portland State, they crushed the previous standard by 63 yards. Oregon ran for 528 yards against the Vikings, surpassing the team’s 465-yard effort at Washington in 2007.

Oregon’s 2010 defense was billed as a swarming, deep crew during preseason camp and that description has proven to be spot-on. The Ducks saw 29 players make a tackle vs. New Mexico, with 20 of those guys recording multiple stops, and 26 players credited with stops at Tennessee. Against Portland State, 32 players made the defensive stat sheet with 30 making at least one tackle.

The first Pac-10 start by SO QB Darron Thomas produced one of the best games of his young career. Thomas set career highs of 260 passing yards, 19 completions and 33 pass attempts in the win at Arizona State. He also tossed a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score.

With 39 receptions through the first seven games of the season, SR WR Jeff Maehl has broken into the top 10 on Oregon’s all-time list. Maehl now has 140 career receptions, good for seventh, and needs 22 more to reach the top 5. The true senior from Paradise, Calif., has played the last 36 games at receiver after spending the first 10 of his career at safety.

There aren’t enough games left in WR Jeff Maehl’s career to approach Keenan Howry’s Oregon record of 48 consecutive games with a reception (1999-02), but the senior still has an impressive string to his credit, having made at least one catch in 28 straight games dating to Oct. 4, 2008 vs. USC.

The Ducks have won 14 straight games at Autzen Stadium, dating to 2008, which is the second longest streak in stadium history. UO won a record 23 straight between 1997 and 2001. Oregon has won its last 11 Pac-10 contests at home since falling in overtime against Oregon State in the 2007 Civil War.

With four sold out crowds in as many games this season, including a State of Oregon record 59,818 vs. Stanford on Oct. 2, Oregon has sold out Autzen Stadium (cap. 54,000) for 72 consecutive games, dating to 1999.

Head coach Chip Kelly made his sideline debut at Autzen Stadium Sept. 12, 2009 (W 38-36 vs. Purdue) after spending the prior two seasons calling plays from a booth high above the field as the team’s offensive coordinator. Since Kelly’s arrival in 2007, the Ducks are 21-3 at Autzen, averaging 44.8 points per home game.

ESPN College GameDay produced its weekly college football preview show from the University of Oregon prior to the Stanford game, marking the fifth appearance in Eugene by the popular show which features Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews. Oregon has a 4-1 record when hosting GameDay and has won three straight dating to 2007.

The 72-0 result vs. New Mexico Sept. 4 was the Ducks’ first shutout since blanking Stanford 35-0 on Oct. 25, 2003.

At the start of last season, UO had 18 returning players with starting experience. This year, 27 such student-athletes came in with at least one starting assignment under their belts. Last year’s returners totaled 174 career starts while this year’s returners totaled 279, an average of 12.7 per man on the 2-deep depth chart.

SO RB LaMichael James has scored a touchdown in all six games he’s played in this season, giving him 26 scores in 19 career games (24 rush, 1 rec).

SO RB Kenjon Barner equaled UO’s modern scoring record with 5 touchdowns (4 rush, 1 rec) vs. New Mexico Sept. 4, tying Saladin McCullough, who ran for five scores vs. Arizona, Nov. 9, 1996. Barner scored all 30 of his points before halftime, surpassing his 2009 season total of 24 (3 rush TD, 1 ret TD).

Just 19 games into his college playing career, SO RB Kenjon Barner has already climbed onto Oregon’s career list for kick return yardage, ranking sixth with 1,221 yards. The Riverside, Calif., product also ranks eighth all-time in punt return average (12.6) and recently surpassed 2,000 all-purpose yards to date (2,203).

The 80-yard punt return for a touchdown by SO RB Kenjon Barner at Tennessee tied for the eighth-longest such return in school history.

SO CB Cliff Harris has made the most of his 15 appearances in an Oregon uniform. Brought out of a potential redshirt midway through last season, the former U.S. Army All-American is the team leader among active players in career passes defended with 19 (5 INT, 14 PBU). Add to that his first “pick 6” on a 76-yard return at Tennessee, and three punt returns for touchdowns this season, and you have a player with a career’s worth of big plays with the majority of his collegiate playing days still in front of him.

JR TE David Paulson, who had four catches for 62 yards and a score in the win vs. UCLA, has 26 career receptions, with all but two resulting in either a first down or a touchdown. He ranks second on the team in receiving yards this season with 273 and is averaging 17.6 yards per catch for his career.

SR RB Remene Alston Jr. and SO RB Kenjon Barner etched their names in the UO record book by each surpassing 100 yards rushing for the first time in the win vs. New Mexico Sept. 4. Alston set career highs with 21 carries and 110 yards, as did Barner, who rushed 17 times for a net of 147.

Oregon’s 72-0 rout of New Mexico on Sept. 4 produced a fair number of school records, including 720 yards of total offense to best the old mark of 694 at Oregon State in the 2008 Civil War. The Ducks equaled the program’s modern scoring record with 72 points while setting a new modern record for scoring margin (also 72 points), the most since a 72-10 victory vs. Nevada, Sept. 18, 1999. It was UO’s most points overall since a 97-0 win over Willamette (Ore.) in 1916.

With 668 yards of total offense against Portland State, Oregon has recorded two of its three most prolific offensive games in history this season. The yardage against the Vikings ranks third in school history behind 720 vs. New Mexico and 694 at Oregon State in 2008.

Only three new starters took the field in Oregon’s season opener vs. New Mexico, led by SO QB Darron Thomas as the only first-time starter for the offense. On defense, JR DE Terrell Turner and SR DT Zac Clark made opening assignments for the first time. True FR K Eric Solis handled kicking duties in his first-ever game at Autzen. Others to make their first career starts this year are FR DT Wade Keliikipi, and SO DE Dion Jordan, both vs. UCLA.

Of the many records set in Oregon’s lopsided 72-0 victory over New Mexico to start the season, none may hold up longer than the mark set by SO CB Cliff Harris, who became the first UO player to return two punts for touchdowns in a single game. The Fresno, Calif., product replaced regular returner SO RB Kenjon Barner, who was given the rest of the day off with UO on top 42-0 in the second quarter, and fielded the first two punts of his career, taking one back for 61 yards and the next for 64. Harris, who now holds Oregon’s season record for punt return TDs with three, tied the conference single-game record, which was last accomplished by USC’s Mike Garrett in 1965 vs. Cal (also Sam Brown, UCLA vs. Stanford, 1954).

After claiming its third Pacific-10 Conference championship of the decade (t’00, ‘01 and ‘09), Oregon sets its sights on its ninth league title in 2010. (Only USC won more shares of the conference crown, seven, during that span than Oregon.) The Ducks hope their next 10 seasons will be as successful, if not more, than the previous decade as they accumulated more wins (87-38, 69.6%) than any other 10-year span in school history.  Entering 2000 having achieved a school-record nine wins on six occasions, Oregon not only matched that number since the start of the century, it posted 10 or more victories in a single season five times.

An overlooked facet of Oregon’s success has been the continuity of its coaching staff. Although second-year head coach Chip Kelly begins just his fourth season as part of the Ducks’ program, the core of the staff has remained intact over the course of three different head coaches. Running backs coach Gary Campbell enters his 28th year on the Oregon staff, which equals the longest tenure of any Oregon assistant football coach in school history. In addition, offensive line coach and running game coordinator Steve Greatwood begins his 25th year on the Ducks’ coaching staff, linebackers coach Don Pellum is in his 23rd season, while defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti begins his 20th season at Oregon.

The Ducks are in line to have nine of their 12 regular-season games nationally televised as part of the Pac-10’s network television contract. Starting with the Sept. 11 road opener at Tennessee on ESPN2, other TV games include Arizona State (Sept. 25, FSN), Stanford (Oct. 2, ABC/ESPN2), UCLA (Oct. 21, ESPN/ESPN 3D), USC (Oct. 30, ABC), Washington (Oct. 6, TBA), at Cal (Nov. 13, Versus), and Arizona (Nov. 26, ESPN). The Oregon at Oregon State game (Dec. 4) will also be televised - the remaining questions are what time and network. The choices would be 12:30 (ABC), 4:00 (Versus) or 7:30 (FSN). In addition, televised home games vs. New Mexico (Sept. 4) and Portland State (Sept. 18), and a road game at Washington State (Oct. 9), were picked up by the Oregon Sports Network via Comcast SportsNet Northwest.

The University of Oregon received the top spot in the Pac-10 preseason media poll. The defending Pac-10 champions garnered 15 first-place from the 35 West Coast media members who participated in the poll. The Ducks earned the top spot for just the second time since the poll began in 1961. Oregon was also a preseason favorite in 2001, going on to win the Pac-10. The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 26 of 49 previous polls, including nine of the last 10.

Ducks On Pac-12 Networks