Ducks Overwhelm Bruins

UCLA chose to receive the opening kickoff and for a while the Bruins looked like a team that would give the No. 1 Oregon Ducks, fresh off a bye-week, a game; until Oregon rover John Boyett picked off a Richard Brehaut pass at Oregon's 30. From that point on UCLA may have wished the lights were turned off and everybody had gone home, but the lights stayed on and Oregon ran away with a 60-13 win.

UCLA chose to receive the opening kickoff and for nearly four minutes the Bruins looked like a team that would give the No. 1 Oregon Ducks, fresh off a bye-week, a game; that is until Oregon rover John Boyett picked off a Richard Brehaut pass at Oregon's 30. From that point on the Bruins may have wished the lights were turned off and everybody had gone home, but the lights stayed on and Oregon ran away with a 60-13 win.

"The week off was good for us," said Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly, in one of the biggest understatements of the season. "We got better as a group."

Oregon was so dominant that it seemed the UCLA players stood and watched the smashing, slashing, uptempo Ducks do what they pleased. Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas was hardly hurried as he stayed safely in the pocket and picked out his receivers to the tune of 308 yards on 22-of-31 passing, three touchdowns with no interceptions or sacks. Was he even touched? Maybe, on a couple of his 48 rushing yards. The combination of passing and rushing (356 yards) is the redshirt sophomore's career best.

The signal caller was hot from the start hitting his first 11 passes.

Thomas did what he pleased by spreading out the wealth to six different receivers. Senior wide receiver Jeffery Maehl went over the 100-yard receiving mark for the second game in a row with 107 yards on eight receptions and a touchdown. Junior tight end David Paulson had four catches for 62 yards. Interestingly, Paulson now has 26 career receptions, and 24 of those catches have resulted in a first down or touchdown. Tonight he added another touchdown catch to his career total as well. Drew Davis had four catches for 37 yards. Freshman Josh Huff was also in the scoring column on one of his two catches for a total of 37 yards.

"It is a byproduct of how we practiced," Kelly observed of his offense. "Darron (Thomas) was really distributing the ball all over the place. When we have receivers and Darron clicking like that, we are hard to stop."

When Oregon needed to change the pace up they went to its Heisman Trophy hopeful LaMichael James. Even though James looked a little banged up in the first quarter, he finished the night with a healthy 123-net yards of rushing and two touchdowns. He also added a 25-yard reception to his tally as well. So far this season, James has appeared in six games (he was suspended for the season opener due to an off-season incident) and in those six he has gone over 100 yards and scored at least one touchdown in each game. He has a total of 11 TDs for the year. James is now tied with Jonathan Stewart (2005-07) for the most career 100-yard games as a Duck, plus he went over 2,500 career rushing yards (2,517) placing him sixth on the all-time Oregon list.

While Kenjon Barner continues to be sidelined from the hit he sustained in the Washington State game, senior Remene Alston came in and rushed for 75 yards and three touchdowns. Back up quarterback Nathan Costa again proved his battered knees could withstand the pressures of playing in the Pac-10. Costa ran for 27 yards on three carries.

Kicker Rob Beard tacked on a 29-yard field goal. So far this season Beard has not missed a field goal or point after touchdown.

Defensively though, this game was a fan's dream come true. Many wondered going into this contest could Oregon stop a run-oriented offense that operates behind a big offensive line. The numbers don't lie and in the end the Duck defenders held the team that ran all over Texas a couple weeks ago to only 131 yards on the ground.

"We came out fast and held them to just a few points," said senior linebacker Casey Matthews. "We did a good job of containing their physical offense."

UCLA's pistol offense was shooting blanks, because when Oregon really needed to stop the Bruins dead in their tracks – they did. All-American candidate Brandon Bair was the leading tackler with eight tackles (seven solos), including one tackle for loss. Bair now has 15 TFLs this season. Boyett was his usual active self, recording seven tackles (six solos) plus the interception and a pass break up. Michael Clay had seven tackles (three solos), and Kenny Rowe had six tackles (two solos) including a sack and a half, and three and a half TFLs. Rowe now has 20.5 sacks in his career and ranks sixth all-time at Oregon in that category.

"People wondered, can you control their rush offense," Kelly offered. "We've handled Stanford and UCLA now."

UCLA's running game was led by Johnathan Franklin's 69-net yards rushing. Quarterback Richard Brehaut was 12-for-23, 159 yards and an interception. Place kicker Kai Forbath booted two field goals (25, 48 yards) and Brehaut also did something no one else has been able to do against Oregon all year – cross the goal line in the fourth quarter. Perhaps that is some consolation.

Oregon has scored 386 points so far this season. That's the most ever for the Ducks in a seven game span, in fact it's the most in a nine-game span in school history. The 60 points scored against UCLA is the most the Ducks have ever scored against the Bruins, and 47-point margin of victory broke a record of 27 points with that particular record set way back in 1929 (27-0).

Oregon is 7-0 (4-0 in conference), the best start since 1933 and only the third time ever in the 115 seasons the Ducks have played football.

Kelly is letting his team enjoy the win tonight but it's back to work in the film room, the coach says there is about "8 hours" or so.

The Ducks have the weekend off, and next week is perhaps the biggest challenge on their schedule – USC at the LA Coliseum, Saturday night on Oct. 30th. What does Kelly think his team will have to do against the Trojans, a team ineligible to go to a bowl this year?

"You have to spread the ball around," said Kelly of the upcoming game. "We've got some really talented receivers and the way Darron is playing right now makes it really tough to defend."

Another understatement, of course when your team has just demolished an opponent 60-13 you might speak softly, after all you are carrying a big stick.

If there is any doubt about that, just ask UCLA.

Official Statistics


eDuck Top Stories