James gracious after mean effort

TUCSON, Ariz. — LaMichael James did all the right things.

After his record-shattering performance against Arizona, he praised his teammates. He repeatedly credited his offensive line. He said he was unaware he was close to breaking school records until others informed him.

Then, after several more questions from reporters, James admitted he wanted a chance at that record.

James set the Oregon record for single-game rushing yards with 288 on 23 carries Saturday in the Ducks' 56-31 victory over Arizona. He played into the fourth quarter, establishing the school record on a six-yard carry on third and 5, setting up Oregon's final touchdown. He eclipsed the old record, set in 2001, by three yards.

"As far as most yards in a game, I never knew about that until somebody told me on the sideline, 'Hey, you need 15 more yards,'" he recalled. "Then I was like, 'Hopefully, I can stay in the game.'"

Again, he lavished praise on his offensive line.

"With the offensive line blocking like they did tonight, I feel like I could've had a lot more yards," he said. "They did a good job blocking for me."

James also set Oregon career records for rushing touchdowns (42) and overall touchdowns (47) as he scored two rushing TDs. He had already owned the school record for all-time rushing yards, now at 3,890.

And he set the Oregon single-game record for all-purpose yards with 363.

James' prolific night was part of a trend for Arizona. The previous week, Stanford's Stepfan Taylor rushed for a career-best 153 yards against the Wildcats, who are allowing 233.5 yards rushing per game.

"LaMichael James was spectacular tonight," Arizona coach Mike Stoops said. "We just couldn't find a way to stop him. His speed and footwork really worked against our defensive line, which is very young."

James said the return of running back Kenjon Barner was key to his performance. Barner rushed for 72 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns after missing the last two games with a leg injury.

Quarterback Darron Thomas ran for 52 yards on 10 carries, flaunting Oregon's well-balanced attack.

"Having Kenjon back, guys can't really key on me because Kenjon is a phenomenal player," James said. "And Darron, him running the ball, really did great things for us tonight. We weren't very one-dimensional running the ball."

With James, it was more of the same from the junior.

"He's a hard-working guy," Thomas said. "He runs all day. Continuous. He's been doing that ever since he started."

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