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Entries in LaMichael James (15)


Auburn Wins BCS National Championship

Picture of Gene Chizik and Nick Fairley

One Great Season

Better late than never.

Football fans didn't get the 60 minutes of excitement they were promised, but they still saw a thrilling final five minutes as Auburn won the BCS National Championship game over Oregon, 22-19, in Glendale, Ariz., Monday night. Auburn's Wes Byrum made a 19-yard field goal as time expired to provide the winning margin.

Auburn appeared to have scored the game-winning touchdown on a scamper up the middle by freshman running back Michael Dyer in the late seconds. But officials reviewed the play and ruled him down inside the 1-yard line. The Tigers then ran one play to kill some clock before trotting out Byrum for his heroic kick that sent Toomer's Corner into toilet-paper mode back home in ice-covered Alabama.

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Auburn-Oregon Preview: Finally, The Prediction

Logo BCS National Championship Game

One Great Season

The OGS editorial team was hoping to crank out 17 BCS National Championship Game preview breakdowns before tonight's kickoff. Please forgive us for only providing you with 15 pieces over the last two weeks.

Below are the links to all of them, as well as to some other recent stories related to Oregon and Auburn. And below that section will be one final preview ending in One Great Season's official prediction for tonight's title tilt. Lastly, don't forget to visit OGS after the game and througout the day Tuesday with post-game coverage and reaction.

Auburn-Oregon Previews:

+ The Quarterbacks
+ The Running Backs
+ The Receivers
+ The Offensive Lines
+ The Defensive Lines
+ The Linebackers
+ The Defensive Backs
+ Special Teams
+ The Coaches
+ Auburn Rush Offense vs. Oregon Rush Defense
+ Auburn Pass Offense vs. Oregon Pass Defense
+ Oregon Rush Offense vs. Auburn Rush Defense
+ Oregon Pass Offense vs. Auburn Pass Defense
+ Stats, Trends & Other Notes

+ NCG COACHES: No Sophomore Jinx For Kelly, Chizik

+ AMERICA'S TEAM: Is It Oregon?


+ COLLEGE STARS: Did Cam Newton Steal Terrelle Pryor's Season?

+ HEISMAN BROADCAST: Fowler, ESPN Navigate Newton's Bumpy Road

+ COMPARISON: Auburn Comeback Impressive, But Oregon Win More Telling

+ TIMELINE: The Cam Newton Saga

Some think the long layoff will hurt the Ducks more because their offense is reliant on sharpness, angles, technique and precision. I am not one of them. I'm more inclined to think Auburn's defensive anchor, tackle Nick Fairley, may have enjoyed himself at a postseason banquet or two or downed a few slices of holiday pie. He's Auburn's best chance to disrupt the Oregon offensive flow, and while he'll be the best defensive player on the field for either side, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Ducks come right out at an even more frenetic pace than usual to see what kind of conditioning they're up against. One of two things will happen: the Lombardi Award winner will tire early and the Ducks will be successful, or Fairley and his linemates will be game and Oregon will have to adjust.

So from a cardiovascular perspective, Oregon is more likely to wear the opponent down. But from a physical point-of-view, I give the edge to Auburn. The war of attrition is even.

If everyone stays healthy and the teams play their respective games, I think Oregon has the slightly better chance of winning. In addition to Fairley being the best defensive player in the game, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be the best offensive player of the game. Those kinds of superlatives are nice during awards season, but if your goal is a championship, you need the superior team, and that's where Oregon has the advantage. And back to individual players, Oregon will have the second-best defensive player in the game in Casey Matthews and the second-best offensive player, Heisman third-place finisher LaMichael James.

Newton will make big plays and James will make big plays. So if their achievements cancel each other out, what will be the difference? A Cliff Harris touchdown return, either via punt or interception. Oregon wins, 34-30, in a slightly lower-scoring game than everyone's expecting.


Auburn-Oregon Preview: The Running Backs

Picture Of LaMichael James

Welcome to the second of 17 — yep, 17 — BCS National Championship Game preview pieces here on OGS. Each day until Jan. 10, we'll take a comparative look at Auburn and Oregon. Today's second topic is the running back position.

One Great Season

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was the best player in college football this fall, but a not-too-shabby third-place Heisman finish went to Oregon running back LaMichael James.

James is the best running back in the country. He's small in size but, thanks to some elite-level speed, has a knack for making the big play. He is the perfect type of ballcarrier for the Oregon attack, as well as the poster boy for the evolution of the modern offense.

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LaMichael James: The Forgotten Candidate?

Picture of LaMichael James

Cam Newton Deserves
Heisman Hype, But
So Does Oregon Star

One Great Season

I know most Heisman voters are leaning toward Cam Newton, but it's surprising the way many are treating the race for sports' most coveted individual honor like it's a foregone conclusion.

Do we not remember a guy named LaMichael James?

The Oregon sophomore leads the nation in rushing yards per game (166) and rushing touchdowns (17). And despite missing the season opener, his 1,331 yards on the ground comprise the second-highest total in the country. If he maintains his averages, he'll conclude the regular season with 1,830 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns, for a No. 1 Oregon team that could very well finish 12-0 and headed for the national championship.

James has scored two or more touchdowns in six of the eight games he's played in this year, and has rushed for 227 yards or more three times. And unofficially, he leads the country in big-play touchdowns replayed on "SportsCenter." I mean, have you seen anyone score on long runs more frequently than James?

Sure Newton has also posted gaudy numbers for a great Auburn team, but James should be getting more consideration. And he just might get it because Oregon's final three games are being played at reasonable hours for east-coast viewers, two of which will be nationally televised.

If you haven't seen James and his Ducks, I suggest you take a look:

+ Sat., Nov. 13: Oregon at California (7:30 p.m. ET, Versus)

+ Fri., Nov. 26: Arizona at Oregon (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

+ Sat., Dec. 4: Oregon at Oregon State (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)


More Than A Football Field Should Determine Heisman Winner

Picture of Cam Newton

One Great Season

Are you like me? Are you tired of hearing that "the Heisman Trophy is won on the playing field?"

The line was popular a couple months ago when Reggie Bush and his gravy-training family were the talk of the sports world.

The expression has reared its ugly head again the last week or so as Cam Newton and possibly his own gravy-training family now find themselves the talk of this same fickle sports world.

Sure the Heisman Trophy is won on the football field. But there's also a mention of the word "integrity" in the voter guidelines, and while I'm not yet convicting Newton of taking money to play at Auburn, it sure is starting to stink down there.

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Is Oregon America's Team?

Picture Of Chip Kelly

One Great Season

As far as college football fans go, there are SEC supporters, and there is the rest of America. The following was written with the majority in mind.

Oregon is the only team that can derail the SEC's dominance in the national championship. Teams from the South have won the last four titles, and while some objective experts have opined this year the SEC is down a tad — by its standards, at least — Auburn and Alabama still seem like strong candidates to stretch the league's streak to five in a row.

I agree with many other experts who say that despite its imperfect record, Alabama is sitting quite pretty. I really think the Tide will slow down Cam Newton enough to beat Auburn when the Tigers visit Tuscaloosa for a post-Thanksgiving Day slugfest on Nov. 26.

The winner of that matchup should advance to the SEC championship game, handle an

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Sophomore Jinx? Not At Oregon

Picture Of Chip Kelly

One Great Season

I think we all agree that nobody can stop high-flying Oregon, right?

I wouldn't put it past the ornery Lane Kiffin to cook up some trouble for UO on when the Ducks take their act to USC on Saturday. The Trojans certainly will be a difficult out, but the visitors should get it done in a shootout and head into November still unbeaten and ranked No. 1.

And for those who pay attention to historical trends, let's take a look at some recent accomplishments by second-year people in the great sport of college football.

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Oregon Is Better Than Ohio State Right Now

Picture Of Darron Thomas

One Great Season

Oregon will be my No. 2-ranked team in the country when this week's OGS poll comes out Monday, and I want to tell you exactly why right here.

A handful of times in the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State — currently ranked No. 2 — the Buckeyes have gone into a game against a team with a high-flying offense that experts have incorrectly predicted would run all over the supposedly slower scarlet and gray.

Two notable examples are the 2002 championship game against Miami, and last year's

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OGS Spotlight Game Of The Week: Stanford At Oregon

Picture Of Oregon Fans

One Great Season

For those who might not follow PAC-10 football all too closely, it's important to note that Stanford can follow a very simple formula to win at Oregon Saturday night.

The Cardinal can neutralize the Ducks' defensive speed by, not running around them or away from them, but running right at them. Maintaining possession and keeping the ball away from Oregon's big-play, quick-strike offense will be critical, especially at hostile Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

Stanford's offense hasn't only avoided a drop-off since the departure of 2009 Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart. It's gotten better. Much better.

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Rob Moseley: A Q&A With Oregon Football Writer

Picture Of Rob Moseley

One Great Season

Today's Q&A is with Rob Moseley, who covers the No. 4 Oregon Ducks for the Eugene Register-Guard. You can follow him on Twitter at @DuckFootball.

One Great Season: The season's first month is in the books. Surprises? Disappointments?
Rob Moseley: You've got to be impressed with what Boise State's doing. They've beaten a

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Oregon Ducks On Their Way To No. 2 Ranking

Picture of LaMichael James

High-Octane Offense Leads
Way For PAC-10 Favorites

One Great Season

Mark this down. Oregon will be ranked No. 2 in the country by midseason, possibly as soon as Oct. 3.

The Ducks are fast, athletic and pretty much unstoppable on offense. It doesn't matter that their defense could get exposed some when the Ducks face more capable offenses, and in that pinball league of theirs, it definitely will once October rolls around.

But UO's point-a-minute attack has put up 72 and 48 in its two games and it doesn't look like it will get shut down — or even slowed down — anytime soon.

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PAC 10 Preview: Oregon Wins Wild Race

Picture Of Chip Kelly

One Great Season

Of all the tight races expected in college football this year, and there will be many, the PAC 10 looks to be the most wide open.

Depending on injuries, luck and a bounce or two here or there, any one of seven teams could conceivably win the conference in 2010. Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Arizona, California, Stanford and even a depleted USC team will contend for the league's BCS bowl bid.

Four of these teams will be led by star quarterbacks. Washington's Jake Locker has been touted as a potential No. 1 NFL draft pick for two years now. Stanford's Andrew Luck, only a sophomore, is a legitimate Heisman candidate and many think he'll continue to flourish under popular coach Jim Harbaugh despite the loss of Toby Gerhart.

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The Heisman Trophy: Which Sophomore Will Win It?

Picture of Dion Lewis

Second-Year Player Could
Earn Coveted Honor Again

One Great Season

Because of the new rule that only a sophomore can win the Heisman Trophy, there are some angry upperclassmen heading into the 2010 college football season.

Obviously that's not a rule, but the last three winners — Tim Tebow in 2007, Sam Bradford in 2008 and Mark Ingram in 2009 — all were second-year players, and there's no reason to think it can't happen again this year.

Certainly Ingram has a chance — maybe two — to repeat the feat, but if he falls short like Tebow and Bradford did, here are a few sophomores who should definitely stay in the mix as long as their health cooperates in 2010:

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No. 11: Oregon Ducks

LaMichael James

The One Great Season College Football Countdown continues Friday. We'll be counting down the preseason Top 25 teams in 2010. Today's No. 11 is Oregon.

One Great Season

It's funny how, in the year of the quarterback in the PAC 10, one team without a star at the position seems the consensus pick to win the league.

Oregon lost Jeremiah Masoli after a pair of off-field incidents led to his dismissal. The dual-threat quarterback is now at Mississipi (get it?), but the cupboard in Eugene is hardly bare.

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Ducks Embarrass Trojans, 47-20

Jeremiah Masoli

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- Jeremiah Masoli is no doctor, but he seemed to dress up as one on national TV in Oregon's Halloween blowout of visiting USC at Autzen Stadium last night.

With surgical precision, the Ducks quarterback (pictured, right, scoring a first-quarter touchdown) carved up the Trojans defense for 386 total yards and a pair of touchdowns as the home team took control of the PAC 10 race and handed USC its biggest loss of the Pete Carroll era, 47-20.

Masoli passed for 222 yards and a score and ran for 164 more yards and another touchdown as Oregon outscored Southern Cal 23-3 in the second half and improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference. The Ducks piled up 613 yards of total offense, including 391 rushing yards.

Redshirt freshman LaMichael James, who took over at running back for LeGarrette Blount after the Boise debacle, picked up 183 yards and a touchdown against a USC defense that was ranked fifth best against the run, allowing only 80 yards a game.

Masoli and James have been leading an offense that's probably playing better than anyone in the country, and Oregon's defense has been no slouch either. The Ducks Saturday night played aggressively and held the high-flying USC offense to 327 total yards.

"It was a real mess for us tonight," Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. "Oregon did everything that they wanted to do."

The Trojans fell to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the PAC 10, beginning the month of November in fourth place in the conference they've ruled for so long.

On Wednesday, the Ducks concluded practice by running their two-minute offense. On just their second play during the drill, Masoli hit one of his receivers on a 60-yard catch-and-run play that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown. A few minutes later when Masoli spoke to reporters, he seemed more calm and confident than any player I've seen this year, answering questions thoroughly and sincerely and even sprinkled in a smile or two. It showed on Saturday night during a nationally televised game at Oregon's notoriously raucous stadium, on Halloween, against the seven-time defending PAC 10 champions.

"I was as relaxed as I've ever been in my career," Masoli told the Associated Press after the game. "Even me and LaMike (broke) a couple jokes every so often. It feels great."

The Ducks did seem to benefit from that two-minute workout, not because they they were at any point in a hurry and in desperate need of a late-game score, but because coach Chip Kelly and his offensive assistants dialed up a perfect quick-strike game plan that produced six scoring drives requiring no more than 3:02 for each.

Many felt prior to the game that a USC win would have given the one-loss Trojans much-needed BCS cred in a year when an unbeaten Texas appears headed to a championship-game clash with the winner of the SEC.

Those same observers probably weren't thinking the Ducks, ranked 10th in last week's BCS standings, were capable of dominating one of the sport's elite teams this decade. Oregon has won its share of big games in recent years, but hasn't been able to keep its foot on the gas and finish the season with sustained success. Or in the case of 2007, when quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon led the Ducks to a defeat of USC but later went down with a season-ending injury.

But now that Oregon seems to be playing lights-out and is focused, healthy, well-coached and recovered from the season-opening fiasco at Boise State, the Ducks should without question be in that title-game conversation. If I had a vote, I'd have no problem at all ranking them ahead of the Broncos, and I'd say confidently that if the teams met again today Oregon would handle Boise State.