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Royce Watch: Freeman passes LaMichael James as Oregon’s all-time leading rusher

Say hello to the No. 1 running back in program history

Oregon v UCLA Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Oregon’s Royce Freeman rushed for 160 yards on 29 carries in a loss to UCLA on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. During his homecoming performance, Freeman passed LaMichael James (5,082) as the all-time leading rusher in program history.

Unfortunately for the Ducks, it was a rough outcome in a game UO could have won. Nevertheless, it was a record-breaking day for their senior workhorse.

Not only did Freeman break UO’s rushing record, but he’s now the 22nd running back in college football history to reach the 5,000-yard mark.

OREGON’S CAREER RUSHING TD

#1 - Royce Freeman (54)

#2 - LaMichael James (53)

Freeman is the Ducks’ all-time leader

UO CAREER RUSHING LEADERS

#1 - Royce Freeman (5,103 career rushing yards)

#2 - LaMichael James (5,082 career rushing yards)

#3 - Kenjon Barner (3,623 career rushing yards)

Freeman is the Ducks’ all-time leader

PAC-12 CAREER TOUCHDOWNS

#1 - Ken Simonton, 60 (Oregon State)

#2 - Royce Freeman, 58 (Oregon)

Tied - LaMichael James, 58 (Oregon)

#3 - LenDale White, 57 (USC)

#4 - Skip Hicks, 55 (UCLA)

#5 - Charles White, 53 (USC)

Freeman is currently 3 TDs from being the Pac-12’s all-time scoring leader from scrimmage

FREEMAN’S SWAN SONG

  • 162 carries (7th)*
  • 957 rushing yards (8th)*
  • 5.9 yards per carry
  • 10 rushing touchdowns (11th)*
  • 11 catches
  • 144 receiving yards
  • 13.1 yards per reception

*Nationally Ranked

NCAA Football: Oregon at UCLA
Royce Freeman accelerates past Bruins defensive back Jaleel Wadood on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The Duck workhorse carried the rock 29 times for a game-high 160 rushing yards. It was the 27th time in Freeman’s career he rushed for 100 yards or more.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I’M COMING HOME AGAIN

Midway through the third quarter, Royce Freeman made history in front of his family and friends from Imperial. He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the 27th time during his legendary Duck career. With the achievement, Freeman surpassed the great LaMichael James (26) for the most 100-yard performances in program history.

With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter vs the Bruins, Freeman passed James as Oregon’s all-time leading rusher (5,082) in program history. For his incredible career, Freeman now has 5,103 rushing yards.

He placed himself in third all-time for rushing yards in Pac-12 Conference history, as well. He’s now 16th all-time for rushing yards in college football history.

THE TWO UTES

It has been a tail of two Utah teams this season. Which one will arrive in Eugene over the weekend? The one that was ranked to end last season and start this year with four straight wins OR the team that has lost their last three games in unimpressive fashion.

Utah is in the same boat as Oregon with just one Pac-12 win after four weeks of conference play. Both teams also boast three L’s in the conference loss column. Something will change on Saturday.

Overall, the Utes possess the No. 32 ranked defense in the country. However, those numbers were skewed after a hot start to the 2017 season. They actually squeaked past Arizona in their first Pac-12 contest, 30-24, before engulfing a 3-game losing skid.

They’re much more susceptible through the passing game, but we know that will be an issue for the Ducks with Braxton Burmeister or even Taylor Alie for that matter. There will be some early resistance from the Utah defense, but I envision Royce breaking them down over the final 30 minutes.

Oregon (4-4, 1-4) returns to Autzen Stadium on Saturday for a clash with Utah (4-3, 1-3). Last season, Justin Herbert led an upset win of the No. 12 Utes in Salt Lake City, 30-28. Kickoff is slated for 2:45 p.m. PT from Eugene via the Pac-12 Network.

Stay tuned, if you want to; Twitter @TheQuackFiend Gram @eugene_levys_eyebrows