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Royce Watch: The King has left the building

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Freeman ends regular season college career perfectly

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Royce Freeman ended his regular season college career in perfect style. Not only did the senior workhorse lead his team to a 59-point win over their rivals in the Civil War, but he ended his prolific career on top of the Pac-12 rushing touchdown rankings.

The Maxwell Award semifinalist amassed 122 rushing yards on 19 carries, alongside two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 20 yards in the 69-10 win over Oregon State. Additionally, Freeman placed himself inside the college football record books.

It was his 31st career 100-yard rushing performance for the Duck. Freeman has now rushed for 100 yards or more in six straight games, beginning with Stanford. He has not run for less than 122 yards in any 100-yard game this season. It was his ninth overall contest with 100 rushing yards or more in 2017.

After the game Freeman was reflective on his time as a Duck, alongside his senior left tackle Tyrell Crosby.

“It means a lot. We’ve been playing together since we were freshmen. He’s been out there blocking his butt off. If you ask me, he’s one of the best if not the best tackle in the country. He gives everything he has every single Saturday for us. I’m so appreciative to him as a teammate.”

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon
Royce Freeman rumbles ahead for a few of his 122 yards against the Beavers on Saturday. With his ninth 100-yard performance of the season, Freeman has the most in program history over his career (31).
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

During the first half, Freeman became just the fourth player in college football history to rush for 5,000 yards and receive 800 yards.

“Right now, it’s more joy that we beat the Beavers,” Freeman stated. “A lot of emotion. To see my mom and brother out there to welcome me. Reflecting on all the memories I have from Autzen.”

With his first score against the Beavers, Freeman coincidently tied former OSU running back Ken Simonton (59) for the most rushing tallies in Pac-12 history. His next TD placed him in first place all by himself.

The 16-year Pac-12 record was broken by Freeman on a 13-yard scamper in the second quarter. It placed the senior running back first in conference history and put Oregon ahead 31-7. For his career, he has 60 rushing touchdowns and 64 overall (four receiving).

“I really enjoyed it more for our seniors,” Willie Taggart stated. “For those guys to go out with a victory in the Civil War game from Autzen Stadium was really important to me and the rest of the team that we go out and play well for those guys.”

FREEMAN’S SWAN SONG

  • 244 carries (14th)*
  • 1,475 rushing yards (7th)*
  • 6.0 yards per carry (41st)*
  • 16 rushing touchdowns (10th)*
  • 14 catches
  • 164 receiving yards
  • 12.0 yards per reception

*Nationally Ranked

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon
Oregon State Beavers linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu watches Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert hand the ball off to running back Royce Freeman in the first quarter at Autzen Stadium during the 121st edition of the Civil War.
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of his storied Duck career, Freeman leaves the program as one of the best running backs ever. Here’s the elite company he is now apart of:

PAC-12 CAREER TD FROM SCRIMMAGE

#1 - Royce Freeman, 64 (Oregon)

#2 - Ken Simonton, 60 (Oregon State)

PAC-12 CAREER RUSHING TD

#1 - Royce Freeman, 60 (Oregon)

#2 - Ken Simonton, 59 (Oregon State)

PAC-12 CARRER RUSHING YARDS

#1 - Charles White (6,245 career rushing yards)

#2 - Royce Freeman (5,621 career rushing yards)

OREGON CAREER RUSHING LEADERS

#1 - Royce Freeman (5,621 career rushing yards)

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

CFB ALL-TIME RUSHING LEADERS

Photo courtesy of sports-reference.com

Don’t be surprised if that was Royce Freeman’s final college game. With the 2018 NFL Draft on his horizon, he could allow the younger guys an opportunity to grow at a bowl game. Nevertheless, Taggart said he is fine with whatever his senior RB wants to do.

Next up for Oregon (7-5, 4-5) is a bowl game. Details will follow after the conference championships have been played. Regardless, ATQ will take you every step of the way.

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