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Oregon Weekly Football Release - Week 6
Release Date: 10/08/2010
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For the complete release with full notes, statistics, etc., please view the PDF.

Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. PT at Martin Stadium with a live radio broadcast across the Oregon Sports Network and on XM 194 and Sirius 215. A delayed television broadcast will be aired on Comcast SportsNet Northwest at 6:30 and 11 p.m.

• Oregon leads the all-time series 42-38-7, including a 23-19-2 mark in Pullman (one of the 23 wins, a 37-26 result in 1979, was later vacated).
• The Ducks have won five of the past six meetings between the schools and three of the past four in Pullman.
• UO has out-scored WSU 168-27 over the past three meetings and have not put up less than 52 points in any of those contests.

• The Ducks have allowed only seven points after halftime and zero points in the fourth quarter this season.
• Oregon ranks No. 1 nationally in scoring offense and total offense while Washington State ranks 116th in scoring defense and 118th in total defense.
• UO has been ranked in the top 10 of both polls for five consecutive weeks, the most since a seven-week stretch in 2007.
• 24 of Oregon’s 31 offensive drives resulting in a touchdown have lasted 1:59 or less and 12 have lasted less than 60 seconds.
• Through five weeks of the season, the Ducks have seen five players recognized as Pac-10 players of the week: 2 offense, 2 special teams and 1 defense.
• UO’s 283 points to date are the most for a five-game stretch in school history, besting the 253 over the first five games of the 1998 season.
• The Ducks are 5-0 for the first time since 2002, when they began the season 6-0 and finished 7-6.

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 (56.6), total offense (569.2), turnover margin (+2.2) and sacks allowed (0.20). Oregon also ranks among the top 5 in rushing offense (2nd, 331.0), passing efficiency defense (4th, 95.13) and punt returns (5th, 20.1. Individually, SO CB Cliff Harris is the national leader in punt return average (28.1) and tied for third in interceptions per game (0.80); SO RB LaMichael James is second in rushing yards per game (178.0) and eighth in all-purpose yards (179.8).

After the first three weeks of the college football season, Oregon leads the Pac-10 in 11 of 31 statistical categories: Scoring offense (56.6), total offense (569.2), rushing offense (331.0), pass efficiency defense (95.1), interceptions (11), PAT kicking (37-37, 1.000), sacks against (0.20), 1st downs (27.2), opponent 3rd-down conversions (22-81, 27.2%), turnover margin (+2.2) and red zone defense (7-14, 50%). Individually, SO RB LaMichael James is the top rusher in the Pac-10 (178.0); SO CB Cliff Harris leads the Pac-10 in punt returns (21.8), interceptions (4) and passes defended (8); SO PK Rob Beard is first among kickers in scoring average (10.8); SR DT Brandon Bair leads in tackles for loss (1.70); SR LB Casey Matthews leads in fumble recoveries (0.60).

SO RB LaMichael James has broken the 200-yard rushing barrier twice this season, rolling up 227 vs. Portland State and 257 vs. Stanford. He is tied with Michigan QB Denard Robinson as the only players in the FBS with multiple 200-yard games on the year. 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.

After his career-high 257 rushing yards vs. Stanford, SO RB LaMichael James has now eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark 12 times in his career to rank second all-time at UO. James is only two away from Jonathan Stewart’s (2005-07) school record of 14. He has surpassed the 100-yard pinnacle three times this season and nine times in 11 career Pac-10 games.

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 2,258, the sophomore from Texarkana, Texas, ranks eighth all-time at Oregon and is poised to cut deep into the career list this season. He is only 287 yards  away from Ricky Whittle (1992-95, 2,545) for fifth and within 650 yards from unseating Jonathan Stewart (2005-07, 2,891) for second.

After being shutout for major weekly awards after Week 4, the Ducks bounced back big in Week 5, with SO RB LaMichael James being selected as the Walter Camp national player of the week on offense and national running back performer of the week by the College Football Performance Awards. Oregon also claimed Pac-10 player of the week honors on offense (James) and defense (SO CB Cliff Harris).

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

While not formally on the watch list for either of college football’s major quarterback awards, SO QB Darron Thomas was recognized as a player to watch by the Manning Award and earned honorable mention from the Davey O’Brien Award for their weekly quarterback honor after piloting the Ducks victory over then-No. 9 Stanford. Thomas posted career highs with 355 yards of total offense and 117 rushing. His 20 completions (20-29-2) were also a career-best and he accounted for four touchdowns (3 pass, 1 rush).

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 tied for third nationally and first in the Pac-10 with 13 touchdown passes this season.

Through five games, the Ducks have 25 plays from scrimmage of 25 yards or longer, 11 of 40 or more yards, five of 60 or more yards and two of 70-plus yards. Of the 25 big plays, 16 have resulted in touchdowns.

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*
54 - Huff reception (Thomas) at ASU*
52 - James rush vs. PSU
47 - Maehl reception (Thomas) vs. PSU*
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*
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 - Paulson reception (Thomas) vs. UT*
25 - Davis reception (Thomas) vs. STAN*
25 - Barner rush vs. UNM*
* indicates TD

The Ducks lead all FBS teams in rushes of 20 yards or more with 18 such runs to date. Oregon also has the second-most rushes for 10-plus yards with 50.

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 straight 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.

In outscoring their opponents by a combined 283-75, the Ducks have totaled more points than any other five-game stretch in their history, besting the 253 points scored by the 1998 team between Sept. 5 and Oct. 10 of that year.

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 looks 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 21 receptions through the first five games of the season, SR WR Jeff Maehl has broken into the top 10 on Oregon’s all-time list. Maehl has 122 career receptions, tying Terry Obee (1986-89) for tenth. The true senior from Paradise, Calif., has played the last 34 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 26 straight games dating to Oct. 4, 2008 vs. USC.

UO is 5-0 for the first time since 2002 and only the seventh time in 115 seasons. The school record for most consecutive victories to start a season is eight by the 1933 squad.

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.

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

With three 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 71 consecutive games, dating to 1999.

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

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 20-3 at Autzen, averaging 44.2 points per home game.

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 four games he’s played in this season, giving him 21 scores in 17 career games. Four of his last eight touchdowns have gone for 50-plus yards.

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 16 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 1,210 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 (2,174).

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 13 appearances in an Oregon uniform. Brought out of a potential redshirt midway through last season, the former U.S. Army All-American ranks tied for first among active players in career passes defended with 17 (5 INT, 12 PBU). Add to that his first “pick 6” on a 76-yard return at Tennessee, and a pair of punt returns for touchdowns, 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 one catch for a 13 yards in the win vs. Stanford, has 21 career receptions - all but two resulting in either a first down or a touchdown. He is averaging 18.0 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.

TOP 25
The Ducks moved up in both national polls after Week 5, jumping one spot to No. 3 in the Associated Press and USA Today (coaches) top 25 polls. Oregon has now spent five straight weeks in the top 10, its longest stretch since seven consecutive weeks in 2007.

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.

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 tied Oregon’s season record for punt return TDs and also 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, 7, 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.

Oregon opened the season with assurances that no fewer than seven of its 12 regular-season games would be nationally televised as part of the Pac-10’s network television contract, beginning with the school’s Sept. 11 road opener at Tennessee. The Ducks’ first venture to a SEC venue since 2003 was televised on ESPN2. Other confirmed TV games - at Arizona State (Sept. 25, FSN), Stanford (Oct. 2, ABC/ESPN2), UCLA (Oct. 21, ESPN), USC (Oct. 30, ABC), and Arizona (Nov. 26, ESPN). The Oregon at Oregon State game (Dec. 4) is guaranteed to 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 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