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Why The Oregon Ducks Are One Of The Best Teams in The Nation

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back LaMichael James #21of the Oregon Ducks heads to the end zone for a touchdown as safety Nathan Snow #22 of the Portland State Vikings gives chase in the first quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
John DostoyevskyContributor ISeptember 25, 2010

The Oregon Ducks are playing better this year with Darron Thomas than they were last year with Jeremiah Masoli. Going into this season that was my number one concern.

Darron Thomas completion percentage is better than Masoli. He has thrown for eight touchdowns through three games. That's half of what Masoli threw all of last year. And he is only a Sophomore. He will continue to get better as the season progresses and put himself in contention for the Heisman.

LaMichael James has averaged 12 yards per carry.  Last year everyone was Mark Ingram this Mark Ingram that. LaMichael James was overlooked. Both players stats are very comparable.

StatsMark IngramLamichael James
Attempts271230
Yards16581546
Average6.16.7
Touchdowns1715

Behind LaMichael James is Remene Alston and Kenjon Barner who are both very capable backups. They have combined for 410 yards in three games.

Oregon has been scoring at will, averaging 63 points a game. And only giving up 4.3 points per game. Granted two of the teams have not been great. But they put in second and third-string players for a majority of the games.

As for special teams, against Tennesse Kenjon Barner had a 80-yard punt return in the third quarter. Oregon will go unbeaten the remainder of the year and should be in contention for the championship.

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