Barner Earns National Honor

Oregon led Washington State by just four points at halftime six weeks ago. During that break Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell urged star back Kenjon Barner to play with more heart.

EUGENE, Ore.,- The senior finished the game with 195 yards rushing and that effort level hasn't let up since, eclipsing the 100-yard mark in each contest.

Saturday his ability and effort culminated in the most impressive rushing performance in school history. Barner broke the record for yards in a game with 321 and tied his own modern-football record of five touchdowns in a game in the win 62-51 win over USC.

"It's exciting when you see a guy doing the things you coached him to do," Campbell said. "That's the big thing I got out of the game. We've been talking about some little things that Kenjon needed to do to be a better back… and to see him do those things in a game was really rewarding."

National pundits took notice too, awarding him with the school's first Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honor since LaMichael James did it versus California last season.

"Obviously he didn't play enough in his first eight games," head coach Chip Kelly said of Barner's performance. "We were just trying to get him on par with this ninth game."

The magnitude to which Barner carried Saturday didn't effect him Monday, as he practiced fully and "was ready to go," according to Kelly.

Kelly attributes Barner's superior shape and conditioning to his performance Saturday, pointing to his 38 carries as a spectacular feat.

"I think everybody else got a little bit tired, but he doesn't get tired," he said. "I think it's a testament to how hard he's worked to prepare for this season."

Of those 321 yards, 273 came before first contact, a tribute to great blocking up-front and on the perimeter.

"We watched a couple of his runs and he made maybe one great cut and had five finish blocks to spring him," offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said.

"Kenjon deservingly so gets a ton of credit and a bunch of guys are working really hard to make it happen and he knows that too."

Helfrich said a "new standard was set" for Oregon's offensive line play and Kelly highlighted wide receivers Josh Huff, Will Murphy, Daryle Hawkins and Bralon Addison for their effort on the edge.

Southern California's 51 points was the most allowed by a Duck defense since they gave up 51 in a loss to Stanford in 2009. USC quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 484 yard against the Oregon secondary, including two-deep passes for touchdowns.

Oregon struggled to tackle effectively, both Kelly and linebacker Michael Clay agreed. Clay attributed a poor fundamental approach as a big key for allowing receivers Marqise Lee, Robert Woods and Nelson Agholar to all reach the end zone.

"We need to get better at tackling, that was probably the most glaring out of anything," he said.

Kelly felt that Oregon's secondary problems weren't schematic, but individual mistakes. On Lee's 75 yard touchdown, Kelly says it was just a matter of corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu staying on his feet.

"There were a couple of times they were draped on them, those guys came up and made the catch. There wasn't plays where all of a sudden this guy is wide open and there is a bust coverage from a nickel standpoint," he said.


Chip Kelly

On playing Cal on the road after mustering just 15 points on the last visit:

"The last I went down there none of these guys were here, to be honest with you. We don't look back at something that happened two years ago. You learn from it as a coaching staff, but last we played them up here we did pretty good. But that means nothing either. Last year's game means nothing, two year's game means nothing, three year's game means nothing, it's about this season."

On Lamichael James' presence Saturday:

"Anytime he's around this program it's awesome, because he's an awesome kid. He bleeds green and yellow. We talk to him a lot."

Michael Clay

On the defense's effort:

"We fought all four quarters down to the last play. Effort wise we played really hard."

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