Royce Freeman was off to a blazing start against the California Golden Bears on Saturday. Oregon’s senior back had six carries for 51 yards (8.5 YPC) with a long of 20 yards before exiting the game prematurely. He is listed as day-to-day by Willie Taggart.
OREGON’S CAREER RUSHING TD RANKINGS
#1 - Royce Freeman (54)
#2 - LaMichael James (53)
Freeman is the Ducks’ all-time leader
UO CAREER RUSHING YARD LEADERS
#1 - LaMichael James (5,082 career rushing yards)
#2 - Royce Freeman (4,738 career rushing yards)
#3 - Kenjon Barner (3,623 career rushing yards)
Freeman is currently 344 yards from being Oregon’s No. 1 running back in program history
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
- 103 carries (7th)*
- 592 rushing yards (8th)*
- 5.7 yards per carry
- 10 rushing touchdowns (1st)*
- 9 catches
- 128 receiving yards
- 14.2 yards per reception
CALIFORNIA NO LOVE
Last year, Freeman had his worst overall performance in Berkeley. The Imperial product carried the rock 15 times for a career-low 10 rushing yards. Freeman clearly entered this year's contest with a chip on his shoulder.
After six carries, Freeman had piled up 51 rushing yards vs Cal at Autzen Stadium over the weekend. However, he exited with a shoulder issue in the first half. Freeman headed to the locker room to be evaluated and never returned, like so many other Ducks in Saturday’s injury-plagued affair.
Freeman is said to be getting better and is currently listed as day-to-day by the Ducks. He has a serious opportunity to play on Saturday in Oregon’s primetime matchup with No. 11 Washington State.
In 2016, Oregon headed to Pullman after losing two straight heartbreakers (Nebraska and Colorado). They continued their winless run on the road with a 51-33 loss.
However, Freeman had his way with the WSU defense. No. 21 rushed for 138 yards on 19 carries (7.3 YPC) including three rushing scores. He added one catch for 13 yards. Freeman carried the offense, literally accounting for 151 total yards and 18 points.
Three separate Cougar backs ran for two touchdowns each. Jamal Morrow led the way with 122 rushing yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Luke Falk didn’t need to do too much heavy lifting, passing for 371 yards (36-of-48) and a tally.
Coincidently, Justin Herbert made his first collegiate appearance last season at Martin Stadium in Washington. He replaced Dakota Prukop after 22 pass attempts. The true freshman completed 3-of-5 passes for 70 yards. The next week he made his first start.
Unfortunately, we won’t see what Herbert had in store for an encore this season. Yet, there is still hope for a bowl appearance if everything goes well with his collarbone’s healing process.
The Ducks have their work cut out for them playing one of the hottest teams in the nation without their best offensive weapons. Nevertheless, this is a team filled with fighters. They have no quit in them and you will see that this weekend.
Next up for Oregon (4-1) is a meeting with unbeaten No. 11 Washington State (5-0) at Autzen Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 5:00 p.m. PT via Fox.