Heisman candidate James injured
LaMichael James showed the entire country on a nationally televised Thursday night game on ESPN why he is the best running back in the country. LJ ran for 239 yards on 30 carries, which marked his 3rd straight game of 200 yards or more, setting a team record. James’s speed is like no other running back I have seen. Every time he touches the ball, he poses an immediate TD threat from anywhere on the field.
Then came the moment every Oregon Ducks fan feared, early in the fourth quarter James suffered an arm injury falling to the ground. My instant response was, James just broke his arm and he’s done for the year. It was a somber moment, as texts from all my fellow Duck fans came flying in. The game announcer made the statement “We all hope the injury isn’t as bad as it appears to be.”
LJ suffered a dislocated elbow and is listed as day to day. This injury is far from what everyone expected, a huge relief. In an interview session with the media LJ made the statement, “I have suffered from this injury in high school and played the next week”.
Oregon plays the toughest challenge since the opening week loss in 9 days. Arizona St. comes into town and is playing extremely well right now. Is it possible James can return in time? Nobody knows and Chip Kelly will keep everyone in the dark till right before game time.
Overall Oregon played a pretty good game demolishing the Cal Bears 43-15. Oregon trailed Cal at halftime 15-14, then Oregon reeled off 29 unanswered points. Darron Thomas struggled in the first half before cranking up the offense in the second.
Oregon still hasn’t hit its stride in the passing game. A wide receiver still has yet to step up and be a big play maker that Jeff Maehl was a year ago. De’Anthony Thomas seems to be stepping up his game and looks like the player everyone thought he could be. I have nicknamed him “double fumble” and been his biggest critic since the two back to back fumbles in the LSU loss. De’Anthony made several big plays in the game and continues to play WR/RB. This position Oregon calls “Taser” and was invented the year LJ was a freshman.
De’Anthony finished the game with 6 catches for 114 yards and 2 TD’s, adding another TD rushing. With LJ’s injury status questionable, Oregon will turn to Thomas and his work load should increase.
Oregon still has many other options from the backfield. Kenyon Barner is my guess who will start at RB, but expect to see more Tra Carson also. I also expect to see a lot of RB by committe because the backfield is so talented. I only wish we had this problem at WR.
I will follow up with an injury update with LaMichael James as soon as one becomes available. Go Ducks!