After plowing/cutting/sprinting/juking/awesoming his way through the Arizona defense for a school record 288 yards, the rushing chapter of the Oregon records books might as well be titled "Hey Guys, Look At All This Cool Stuff LaMichael James Did." That being said, I thought it would be interesting to see where Oregon's greatest running back stacks up in Pac-
10 12 History.
This is probably the biggest prize. The Arizona game vaulted James 7 places up the career list (passing 3 Beavers in one night: Steven Jackson, Yve Bernard and Quizz), and his 3,890 yards now stand 6th place all-time in the conference. Granting that barring a major late-season injury James is as good as gone after this year, lets see where he might end up. The list:
1. 6,245 - Charles White, USC, 1976-79 (1147 - 6246 - 5.4)
2. 5,044 - Ken Simonton, Oregon State, 1998-2001 (1041 - 5044 - 4.8)
3. 4,810 - Marcus Allen, USC, 1978-81 (932 - 4810 - 5.2)
4. 4,169 - Darrin Nelson, Stanford, 1977-81, (730 - 4169 - 5.7)
5. 4,106 - Napoleon Kaufman, Washington, 1991-94 (736 - 4106 - 5.6)
6. 3,890 - LaMichael James, Oregon, 2009-Present (589 - 3890 - 6.6)
James will almost certainly move into the top 5, and it will be exciting to see how far he can go. He needs 216 yards to pass Kaufman for 5th, and 279 to pass Nelson for 4th. Currently averaging 153 yards/game, James could hit #4 as early as the Oct. 15 home game against ASU, and if not then, will likely leave Colorado on Oct. 22 firmly at #4. Then, things get tricky. There's a decent plateau between Nelson and Allen, and to pass Allen for #3 all-time, James needs 920 more yards. Passing Simonton for #2 will take 1154. Over the remaining 9 games (10 if making the CCG), James needs to average only 102 yds/g (92) for #3. 128 yds/g (115) for #2. Considering that James averaged 144 yds/g on the season last year, he has an pretty good chance to grab #2 if he stays healthy.
Of course, Charles White's record is safe. And it will probably be safe forever, because any back good enough to threaten will leave early for the NFL, rather than challenge it. Looking at James' numbers, if he came back for a senior season and stayed healthy throughout, he would need to average 107 yards/game (including bowl, excluding CCGs) to break the all-time mark, meaning that the all-time mark would be shockingly within reach were James inclined to shoot for it. Of course, he's as good as gone after this year.
With that all mapped out, lets's take a look at some other marks James is in line for.
Season Rushing Touchdowns.
In 2010, James' 21 touchdowns scored 8th all-time for a season. 22 would put him in a 4-way tie for 5th. Toby Gerhart holds the record at 28. James currently has 7 TDs through 4 games, with 9 (possibly 10) games to go.
Season Rushing Yards.
James' 1,731 yards in 2010 came in 10th all-time. Marcus Allen holds an all-time mark of 2,427, with Charles White of USC coming in second at 2,050.
Most Yards Gained By Class.
in 2009, LaMichael James smashed the Pac-10 Freshman rushing record with 1,546 yards.
In 2010, James' 1,731 set a Pac-10 mark for Sophomores.
The current record for rushing yards in a season by a Junior is 1,875. If james can average 140 yards/ game for the remainder of the season (126 w/ CCG), he will leave Oregon with every class record for which he was eligible.
Other Records/ Notes.
James (if I am reading the record book correctly) holds the official record for average yards/rush over a season when totaling over 200 carries, posting a 6.7 average in 2009. However, this is far behind the ungodly mark of 8.7 yards / rush set by Reggie Bush in 2005, which was later vacated by NCAA penalty.
With 1000 + yards this season, James would become the 9th player to post 3 seasons of 1000+ yards in a career. No player has ever posted 4, which James will not, and no player likely will for a long while since most players with three 1000+ seasons by their junior year will be gone. Jacquizz Rodgers' somewhat unexpected departure meant that he did not shoot for the 4-year record, which he most likely would have achieved.
Overall, it will be interesting to see what the rest of the season holds for LaMichael James. He already holds a lot of impressive marks, and there are more on the horizon if he keeps playing like himself. His level of production will be interesting to see, considering the presence of capable backups in Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas who weren't there last year - when he had a tremendous amount of carries down the stretch and got yards, but his production and top-end explosiveness seemed to suffer from the wear and fatigue. He will likely touch the ball less as the year rolls on, but stay fresher. Whatever happens, and whatever he does/does not achieve with the rest of this year, it's been an absolute pleasure to watch him play.