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Oregon Weekly Football Release - Week 4
Release Date: 09/20/2011
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For the complete release with full notes, statistics, etc., please view the PDF.

Television: ESPN2 with Carter Blackburn (pxp) & Brock Huard (analyst). Local Radio: Oregon Sports Network with Jerry Allen (pxp), Mike Jorgensen (analyst) & Jay Allen (reporter). National Radio: Westwood One with John Tautges (pxp) & Terry Donahue (analyst). Satellite Radio: XM 193, Sirius 112.

• Oregon leads the all-time series against Arizona, 22-14, and has won 14 of the past 16 meetings, dating to 1994.
• The Ducks have averaged 49.0 points per game during their current three-game winning streak against the Wildcats.
• UO is 10-9 all-time vs. the ‘Cats in Tucson and have won six of the past seven games played in the desert.

• Arizona SR WR Juron Criner has five touchdowns on eight career receptions against UO, which is the most of any active player in the series. SR RB Keola Antolin has four TDs against the Ducks, all in a 55-45 loss to Oregon in 2008.
• JR RB LaMichael James has 47 rushing attempts for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two games vs. Arizona.
• Oregon kickers have connected on seven consecutive field goals over the past five games against UO.
• James is one rushing score shy of Derek Loville’s (1986-89) school record of 41. James equalled Loville’s overall TD mark of 45 with three last week vs. Missouri State.
• JR QB Darron Thomas needs 377 yards of total offense to break into Oregon’s career top 10. Tony Graziani (1993-96) currently occupies the No. 10 spot with 4,827.
• The Ducks have won 12 consecutive conference games, last experiencing a league defeat at Stanford Nov. 7, 2009. UO has won its conference opener the past three seasons.

Oregon’s 30th head coach, who in 2009 became the first in Pac-10 history to win an outright conference title in his first season at the helm, followed that feat with a second conference crown while securing the program’s first trip to the BCS Championship Game following the 2010 season. The Manchester, N.H., native guided his team to more wins (22) in his first two years in the Pac-8/10/12 than any coach in conference history. Recognized as Pac-10 coach of the year for the second time in as many seasons, Kelly was named the recipient of five national coach of the year awards last year: AFCA, AP, Eddie Robinson, Sporting News and Walter Camp. He’s overseen the team’s first 12-win season and led the Ducks to a school-record 12-game winning streak. In his first head coaching job at any level, Kelly has a mark of 24-5, 17-1 in Pac-12 play. His .828 overall winning percentage is the second-highest in school history and his .944 percentage in conference play is the best in Pac-12 history.

The 2011 Oregon Ducks return 39 letterwinners, including 13 starters - seven on offense and six on defense. UO also welcomes back every specialist with the exception of holder Nate Costa.

Of Oregon’s 19 offensive drives resulting in touchdowns, five have lasted one minute or less. UO’s longest drive of the season, in terms of yards, lasted 37 seconds as the Ducks drove 93 yards in three plays on consecutive pass completions of 46, 40 and 7 yards against Missouri State.

JR RB LaMichael James ripped off the longest run in Autzen Stadium history and second-longest scamper in UO history with a 90-yard touchdown vs. Missouri State Sept. 17. It was the longest run by an Oregon player since Bob Smith went 92 yards for a score vs. Idaho in 1938. Jonathan Stewart held the previous stadium record with an 88-yarder vs. Fresno State in 2007. James also had a 50-yard touchdown run vs. the Bears, becoming the first UO player known to have two TDs of 50-plus in the same game.

With 3,602 career rushing yards, JR RB LaMichael James is 13th in Pac-12 history and needs just 122 more yards to tie USC’s Anthony Davis (1972-74) for tenth. James needs 504 yards to break into the top five.

Only ten Oregon backs have ever eclipsed 200 rushing yards in a single game, but JR RB LaMichael James joined Reuben Droughns (1998-99) as the only players to hit the mark four times in a career when he ran for 204 yards vs. Missouri State Sept. 17.

It took three games before the Ducks had a 100-yard rushing performance, but JR RB LaMichael James did that and then some when he ran for 204 yards vs. Missouri State. It was the 19th 100-yard game of his career (in 28 appearances), extending his own Oregon record.

FR TE Colt Lyerla has three receptions on the season - all resulting in touchdowns. After scoring on a 20-yard catch vs. Nevada Sept. 10, the Oregon native had TD grabs of 7 and 26 yards last week vs. Missouri State.

With three touchdown passes vs. Missouri State Sept. 17, Darron Thomas now has 43 for his career to stand in sixth place on UO’s all-time list. Danny O’Neil (1991-94) holds the record with 62. Thomas is tied for third nationally with 10 TDs this season.

FR LB Rodney Hardrick, who was playing tight end and linebacker for Colton (Calif.) High School this time last year, made the most of his collegiate debut Sept. 17 vs. Missouri State with three solo tackles and a game-high (tie) 2.0 tackles for loss.

JR QB Darron Thomas’ six touchdown passes vs. Nevada Sept. 10 matched the school record previously achieved by Joey Harrington (vs. Arizona State in both 2000 and ‘01) and Danny O’Neil (vs. Stanford in 1994). Thomas became the first Oregon player with five touchdowns in one half, connecting with five different receivers over the first two quarters.

JR QB Darron Thomas had a passing efficiency rating of 303.05 against Nevada, completing 13 of 19 attempts for 295 yards and six scores. That rating was the fourth highest in college football since 2005 among QBs with at least 15 attempts against FBS competition and highest since Jimmy Clausen - also against Nevada - had a 303.66 in ‘09. No Pac-10/12 quarterback has had a more efficient day passing the ball in at least seven seasons.

Eight Ducks made their starting debuts in the season opener vs. LSU. On offense, JR WR Justin Hoffman, FR C Hroniss Grasu and SR RG Ramsen Golpashin got the nod, and on defense, SO DT Taylor Hart, SO DT Isaac Remington, SR LB Dewitt Stuckey, JR LB Michael Clay and FR CB Terrance Mitchell. In Week 2, JR WR Rahsaan Vaughn made his first career start, and in Week 3 it was SO FS Avery Patterson and JR LB Kiko Alonso getting their first-ever starts, bringing the total number of first-time starters this season to 11.

JR RB LaMichael James’ versatility has been on display through the first three games of the season as he’s racked up yardage rushing (325), receiving (144), punt returning (54) and kick returning (21). James’ 544 all-purpose yards to date give him 4,231 for his career - good for sixth in school history.

Already the school’s all-time rusher with 3,602 yards, JR RB LaMichael James is fast approaching the Oregon record for touchdowns - both rushing and overall. James has 40 TDs running the football, which is one behind Derek Loville’s 41 from 1986-89, and 45 overall, tying Loville’s record of 45.

FR RB De'Anthony Thomas piled up a game-high 204 all-purpose yards in his Autzen Stadium debut vs. Nevada, including team-highs of 81 rushing and 93 receiving. Both of his catches went for touchdowns (24 and 69 yards). It was the most all-purpose yards by an Oregon freshman since LaMichael James totaled 214 at Stanford in 2009.

SO LB Boseko Lokombo made the most of his first career interception, capping the Ducks’ 69-20 win over Nevada with a 67-yard “pick 6”. It was the second touchdown in 15 career games for the Canadian, who recovered and returned a fumble for a 32-yard score last season at Arizona State.

Five true freshmen got the call to play in the season opener vs. LSU. In order of appearance: RB Tra Carson, RB De'Anthony Thomas, OL Jake Fisher, TE Colt Lyerla and DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. LB Rodney Hardrick became the sixth first-year frosh to play, when he saw the field vs. Missouri State. Last season, five Ducks played as true freshman, but the only non specialists were DT Ricky Heimuli and WR Josh Huff. Through three games, 15 redshirt freshmen and three transfers have also made their UO debuts.

After not recording a single play from scrimmage of 25 or more yards in the season opener vs. LSU, the Ducks are back to their big play ways with 15 over the past two games. Last season, the Ducks had 57 such plays - an average of nearly 4.5 per contest.

90 - James rush vs. MSU*
69 - De. Thomas rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. NEV*
62 - De. Thomas rush vs. NEV
51 - Hawkins rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. NEV
50 - James rush vs. MSU*
46 - Vaughn rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. MSU
44 - James rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. NEV*
40 - Tuinei rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. MSU
34 - Tuinei rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. MSU*
29 - Carson rush vs. MSU
27 - James rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. MSU
26 - Lyerla rec. (Bennett) vs. MSU*
26 - Forde rush vs. NEV*
26 - Da. Thomas rush vs. NEV
25 - Vaughn rec. (Da. Thomas) vs. NEV*

The Ducks have won 18 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 13 Pac-10 contests at home since falling in overtime against Oregon State in the 2007 Civil War.

With standing room only crowds in both home games thus far, Oregon has run its sellout streak at Autzen Stadium (cap. 54,000) to 76 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 25-3 at Autzen, averaging 46.5 points per home game.

Since 2000, Oregon is 31-6 in regular season, out-of-conference contests, earning notable victories against the likes of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan (x2). During that stretch, the Ducks are 3-1 against the SEC, 5-2 vs. the Big Ten, 1-1 vs. the Big 12, 3-0 against the Mountain West, 12-2 vs. the WAC, 2-0 against Conference USA and 5-0 vs. FCS sides.

Oregon recorded its third straight and sixth overall season of double-digit wins last season - all since 2000. The Ducks set a new record for victories in a season at 12, as well as wins over two-year (22), three-year (32), four-year (41) and five-year (48) spans.

With another Pac-10 crown in 2010, Oregon became the first team to win consecutive outright conference championships since USC won three in a row from 2003 to ‘05. Last year’s team became the first to go undefeated in Pac-10 play since the start of round robin play in 2006 and the first to ever win nine league games. Four of UO’s nine conference titles have come since the start of the 21st century.

A running tally of weekly accolades for Oregon Football:
Week 1 - vs. No. 4 LSU

Week 2 - vs. Nevada
Mark Asper
    Team Offensive Player of the Week
Ben Butterfield
    Team Special Teams Player of the Week
Michael Clay
    Team Defensive Player of the Week
LaMichael James
    CFPA Punt Returner of the Week
    Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll
Darron Thomas
    CFPA Performer of the Week
    CFPA Quarterback of the Week
    HM Davey O’Brien Award QB of the Week
De'Anthony Thomas
    Honorable Mention CFPA RB of the Week

Week 3 - vs. Missouri State
LaMichael James
    CFPA Running Back of the Week
    Team Offensive Player of the Week
Keloni Kamalani
    Team Special Teams Player of the Week
Eddie Pleasant
    Team Defensive Player of the Week
Jackson Rice
    Honorable Ment. CFPA Punter of the Week

Oregon is 3-3 against the top 10 under Chip Kelly, with two defeats coming in BCS bowl games: vs. No. 8 Ohio State in the 2010 Rose Bowl and No. 1 Auburn in the 2011 BCS Championship, and the other vs. No. 4 LSU in the 2011 Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas.

The Ducks are 0-1 against top 25 teams this season and are 7-4 against ranked opposition in the Chip Kelly era. UO’s only loss to a non-ranked team during Kelly’s tenure came at Stanford on Nov. 7, 2009. The Cardinal became ranked the following week as a result of their victory.

An often overlooked facet of Oregon’s success has been the continuity of its coaching staff. Third-year head coach Chip Kelly, now in his fifth season on staff, is a relative newcomer in Eugene compared to his core group of assistants, who have remained intact over the course of three different head coaches. Running backs coach Gary Campbell is in his 29th 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 enters his 25th season at UO, linebackers coach Don Pellum is in his 22nd campaign, while defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has spent 19 full seasons at Oregon over three separate stints. Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Oregon and Washington saw no turnover on their respective staffs from 2010 to ‘11.

Mark Asper, Sr., OL
•2nd Team All-Pac-12 (Lindy’s)
•4th Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)

Kenjon Barner, Jr., RB
•4th Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
•Paul Hornung Award Watch List
•CFPA Punt Returner Trophy Watch List

Rob Beard, Jr., PK
•1st Team All-Pac-12 (Sporting News, Lindy’s)
•2nd Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele, Athlon)
•Lou Groza Award Watch List

John Boyett, Jr., S
•2nd Team All-America (Athlon)
•1st Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele, Athlon)
•2nd Team All-Pac-12 (Lindy’s)
•Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List
•Jim Thorpe Award Watch List
•CFPA Defensive Back Trophy Watch List

Cliff Harris, Jr., CB/PR
•1st Team All-America CB (Phil Steele, Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy’s,,; PR (Phil Steele, Athlon,; AP (Playboy)
•1st Team All-Pac-12 CB (Phil Steele, Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy’s); PR (Phil Steele, Athlon)
•Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List
•Paul Hornung Award Watch List
•CFPA Punt Returner Trophy Watch List
•CFPA Defensive Back Trophy Watch List

Josh Huff, So., WR/KR
•2nd Team All-Pac-12 (Lindy’s)
•Paul Hornung Award Watch List

LaMichael James, Jr., RB
•1st Team All-America (Phil Steele, Playboy, Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy’s,,
•1st Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele, Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy’s)
•Doak Walker Award Watch List
•Maxwell Award Watch List
•Walter Camp Award Watch List
•CFPA Running Back Trophy Watch List

Josh Kaddu, Sr., LB
•4th Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
•Butkus Award Watch List

David Paulson, Sr., TE
•1st Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele, Athlon, Lindy’s)
•John Mackey Award Watch List
•CFPA Tight End Trophy Watch List

Jackson Rice, Jr., P
•CFPA Punter Trophy Watch List

Darron Thomas, Jr., QB
•2nd Team All-Pac-12 (Lindy’s)
•3rd Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)
•Maxwell Award Watch List
•Davey O’Brien Watch List

Terrell Turner, Sr., DE
•4th Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele)

Carson York, Jr., OL
•2nd Team All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele, Athlon)
•Lombardi Award Watch List

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