The Duck is one pumped-up waterfowl, thanks to Oregon's high-powered offense. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
I miss football. I miss it being on my TV. I miss the sound of Anthony Newman's still-not-very-good color commentary. I miss the way the light glistens off the top of the green Oregon helmet. I miss the smell of the Autzen turf. Wait, no I don't, I use Autzen turf as my welcome mat. I miss Chip Kelly's smile, and by smile I mean "the way his eyes burn patches of scaly reptile skin onto my face."
The Oregon Ducks scored 82 touchdowns in 2010-11, more than any football team in the world. Am I going to count down all 82? Of course not. That's WAY too much work. And besides, you can watch 80 of them all in a row HERE, the most glorious 14:32 on YouTube. But what I can give you is the Top 15 Oregon Ducks Touchdowns of the 2010-11 season.
15. Boseko Lokombo's fumble recovery against ASU - "Play to the Whistle" This is what Chip Kelly coached teams do: play hard and fast until someone tells you to stop. If BoLo doesn't pick that ball up, there are four other guys who will scoop and score it. Maybe if Dennis Erickson spent more time coaching game discipline and less time coaching the fine art of faking a leg cramp, maybe this wouldn't have happened.
14. Kenjon Barner vs. New Mexico - "Foot in the Ground" This was touchdown number 3 of 5 first half scores for the Burner, and this play may be the nastiest cut of the season. Jeremiah Johnson had the Stiff Arm, LeGarrette Blount had the Leap, and Kenjon Barner has the Cut and Burst.
13. LaMichael James vs. Auburn - "The Ducks Strike Back" After Auburn scored to go up 7-3 in the second quarter, the Ducks answered with a vintage Oregon drive, culminating in a nifty throwback screen to LaMichael James. Much of this score's success is owed to a great play call from Chip Kelly, and even greater execution by all blockers involved. This may have been LMJ's easiest score of the season.
12. Darron Thomas against Washington - "Improvisation" What makes this play so special is, besides Darron Thomas being a fantastic athlete and the perfect quarterback for our system, are the two lights-out downfield blocks by LaMichael James and David Paulson, providing a picture-perfect running lane on a broken play.
11. Cliff Harris' pick-six vs. Tennessee - "Piling On" Alliotti brings the house on a 3rd and long, Chris Simms floats one up, and, similar to TJ3's dagger to crush UCLA's hopes in 2009, a close game becomes a laugher in a heartbeat. This was a team interception, starting with the blitz and ending with Boseko Lokombo busting his ass to block Chris Simms inside the 10 yard line. Cliffy had the easy job: catch the ball and run real fast.
10. John Boyett's pick-six against ASU - "The Ball Hawk Gets His Prey" - This one beats out the CH13 pick because of the downfield blocking by Kenny Rowe and Brandon Bair, sealing off the sideline and giving Boyett room to house it.
9. LaMichael James vs. Stanford - "Hellooooo Endzone!" The epitome of an Oregon fourth quarter touchdown. The opposing defense is tired, our offensive line is still going strong, and LMJ still has more than enough in the tank to take it 70+ to the house. This was the nail in the coffin for Stanford, and capped the most impressive win in college football last season.
8. Kenjon Barner's punt return vs. Tennessee - "This Guy's Extremely Dangerous" If you're scoring at home, that was 79 yards, in pads, from a dead stop, in 10.5 seconds. Attention NCAA football programs: we have AT LEAST two returners that are better than anyone on your team.
7. Cliff Harris punt return #2 vs. New Mexico - "Kash Doubles Down" The best individual return of the year, Cliff puts all his skills on display: a filthy first step, juking two guys, somehow staying on his feet after being tackled at the ankles, and finally flat out running away from the Lobos coverage team. Oh yeah, and it was his second one of the day.
6. Josh Huff vs. Arizona - "The Kid Leads the Charge" Darron Thomas rides the line between crazy and stupid with his option pitches, and this one was nearly disastrous. Luckily, freshman Josh Huff was able to corral the pitch and, thanks in large part to some great blocking, take it 85 yards for the score to put Oregon on top for good against the Wildcats. Huff's contributions to the team were great in his first season, taking over as the primary TZR while Kenjon Barner was sidelined and proving himself as yet another weapon in Chip Kelly's arsenal.
5. Darron Thomas vs. Washington - "The Shimmy-Shake" Washington, like Stanford and many of Oregon's other opponents, decided to key in on LaMichael James and force Darron Thomas to make plays with his legs. Unfortunately for the Fuskies, Darron Thomas is really good at making plays with his legs. This is Exhibit B. And this is only the second-filthiest Darron Thomas touchdown run on this list.
4. Cliff Harris' punt return vs. Cal - "Just the Spark We Needed" On a night where the Oregon offense needed someone else to step up, Cliff Harris was more than happy to help out. This wasn't necessarily an extraordinary punt return - Brian Anger has a big leg, and Cal's special teams is pretty awful - but given the circumstances, it may have been the special teams play of the year. Big ups to Brian Butterfield for blocking to Cal gunners at once and springing Kash for the six.
1. LaMichael James vs. Tennessee - "The Cutback" Lesser backs would have been tackled behind the line. Lesser backs wouldn't have been able to recover from that stumble at the start of the comeback. Lesser backs definitely don't beat five guys to the corner. Lesser backs don't have the legs to break a tackle after running fifty yards. LaMichael James is not a lesser back. That being said, this play doesn't happen without our wide receivers. Watch just as LMJ is starting to cutback. DJ Davis, Lavasier Tuinei, and Darron Thomas immediately recognize what is about to happen, and start running into people. Jeff Maehl comes all the way from the other side and provides the final block as James dives for the pylon. This is the third-greatest play in Oregon football history, behind The Pick and Joey's Throwback Pass. I will not hear other arguments, for they are wrong.
Which touchdown is your personal favorite?
The Cutback (206 votes)
The Juggler (108 votes)
Just the Spark We Needed (71 votes)
The Fake (41 votes)
The Shimmy-Shake (16 votes)
Another TD in the Top 15 (14 votes)
A TD that wasn't mentioned (state your case in the comments) (4 votes)
460 total votes