Everything looked great on the scoreboard this past week for the Ducks, but everyone associated with this program all held their breath as standout LaMichael James stayed down after a play early in the fourth quarter.
This game was really never in doubt. Even after Cal took a 15-14 lead in the second quarter, you had a feeling that Oregon was going to explode.
Explode they did. They reeled off 29 straight points in the second half as they rode James’ back on the way to their fourth straight victory.
If James is out for an extended period of time, Junior Kenjon Barner tried to ease fans’ minds as he had a big game in his own right. He managed 88 yards on just 10 carries. Including a 68-yard run that was really put the game away.
You have to wonder why “LaMike” was still in this game at the time he picked up the injury though. It was a blowout, 43-15 game. There was honestly no reason for him to still be out there. Maybe Kelly need to examine his future game plans.
He was indeed out there though, and the Ducks season may be the price for that as he landed awkwardly on his right arm. Later found out to be a dislocated right elbow. It was not a pretty sight.
The Ducks will likely have to fight on, and they don’t have any time to rest as they have a tough opponent this week in the Arizona State Sun Devils.
The number 18 ranked Sun Devils are coming off of a dominating 35-14 win in Utah. Now they continue the road trip into Oregon as they will try and take advantage of a Ducks team that will in all likelihood be missing the best running back in the Pac 12, and probably the country as well.
Even with the injury though, Oregon figures to score a lot of points against an Arizona State defense that isn’t the best. Not to say it will be a blowout, far from it actually. The Sun Devils have a potent offense of their own that will try to take advantage of an Oregon secondary that has already allowed quite a few 200- yard-plus passing days.
The highlight being Nick Foles of Arizona, grabbing 396 through the air when they met earlier in the season.
Before going down with an injury, LaMichael James put up yet another monster game. He managed 239 yards on 30 carries for his third straight game of at least 200 yards on the ground. He also added a touchdown into that mix.
Often overlooked quarterback Darron Thomas kept up his run of steady play as he was able to throw for three touchdowns against Arizona. Giving him a total of 15 touchdowns to just two interceptions on the season.
Another breakout day for freshman standout De’Anthony Thomas. He accounted for three touchdowns in the last weeks game. Two through the air, then added another one on the ground. He amassed 114 yards on 6 catches in the passing game. While adding 18 yards on just the two carries in the running department. Not bad for a guy who was originally recruited as a cornerback.
Lineman Ramsen Golpashin with a knee injury
Running Back LaMichael James with a dislocated elbow
Linebacker Michael Clay with an ankle injury
Tight End Curtis White with a leg injury
Off of the field itself, the Ducks have a big weekend in store recruiting wise. They are set to host five players that are rated in the top 20 of their position in high school.
The list includes:
Safety prospect Shaquille Thompson
Defensive Tackle prospect Ellis McCarthy
Safety prospect Reggie Daniels
Running Back prospect D.J. Foster
Linebacker prospect Jeremy Castro
Two of the prospects are from the state of Arizona, so they will have a chance to make some serious headway with the pair if they are able to knock off the top team from their home state.
It looks like Chip Kelly has this Oregon program headed in the right direction.
Arizona State at Oregon
When: 10:15 PM ET, Saturday, October 15, 2011
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon