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Royce Watch: Freeman eclipses 1,000 rushing yards for third time in four years

The senior is finishing his illustrious career on a high note

Utah v Oregon Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Royce Freeman was the MVP of the game vs Utah, rushing for 139 yards on 20 carries (7.0 YPC). Overall, it was the 28th time in his career he rushed for 100 yards or more. This week, Freeman was named a Maxwell Award semifinalist.

“Those guys help me out a lot,” said Freeman in reference to his running back mates. “They take the pressure off me. All praise to the offensive line.”

With his noteworthy performance, Freeman eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third time in his Duck career. For his outstanding career, the Imperial product has 5,242 rushing yards in four years of service with the Ducks.

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 (5,242 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

  • 182 carries (8th)*
  • 1,096 rushing yards (8th)*
  • 6.0 yards per carry
  • 10 rushing touchdowns (14th)*
  • 11 catches
  • 144 receiving yards
  • 13.1 yards per reception

*Nationally Ranked

NCAA Football: Utah at Oregon
Royce Freeman rushed for 139 yards on 20 carries against a stout Utah rush defense on Saturday. With the performance, Freeman eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third time in four years.
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

DOMINANT EFFORT

Against one of the toughest run defenses in the Pac-12, Freeman exhibited greatness. I thought he would be the central focus of Utah’s game plan, thus being bottled up by their stingy unit. The Utes DID focus on him, but Royce didn’t let it bother him.

He dashed 34 yards on his longest gain of the day, which led to UO points. Throughout the game, Freeman dictated the pace and tempo of the Oregon offense. It worked to perfection. Not to mention, it made Braxton Burmeister comfortable behind center.

This is what the Rolls Royce does, as we’ve witnessed for four years now. Just when you think a team can slow him down, he surpasses 100 rushing yards against them. Freeman helped dictate the tempo in Oregon’s dominant 41-20 victory over Utah.

LAST DANCE

What does Freeman have in store for the final regular season road game of his career? It will be a fitting end against the best defense in the Pac-12 Conference over the last two years. What better hurdle for the senior star to overcome?

In 2016, the Freeman rushed for 50 yards on 11 carries (4.5 YPC) before the contest got out of hand. Nevertheless, his last trip to Husky Stadium resulted in 138 rushing yards on 27 carries in Oregon’s 26-20 victory during the 2015 campaign.

During his freshman season with the great Marcus Mariota taking snaps for the Ducks, Freeman plowed ahead for 169 rushing yards on 29 carries (5.8 YPC), including four scores. Royce certainly has a special spot in his heart for Oregon’s neighboring state.

The Ducks (5-4, 2-4) are on the road this week for a trip to Seattle against No. 12 Washington (7-1, 4-1). Nobody needs a reminder of what happened last year in Eugene. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. PT on Saturday from Husky Stadium via FS1.

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