The Oregon Ducks opened the 2010 season as a question mark. They had dismissed starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli during the offseason and their 2009 leading rusher, LaMichael James, was suspended for one game. The Ducks, however, laid to rest any doubt about their resilience with a 72-0 drubbing of the New Mexico Lobos. Running back Kenjon Barner led the way in James' absence, rushing for a career-high 147 yards and four touchdowns.
2 of 12Darren Carroll/SI
Defeated Tennessee 48-13
In his return to the team following a one-game suspension, LaMichael James proved his value. Stymied by a tough Vols defense during the first half, he broke through early in the second half with a 72-yard touchdown that tied the game. Sparked by James' brilliance, Oregon rattled off 35 unanswered points to down Tennessee 48-13.
3 of 12Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Defeated Portland State 69-0
It didn't take long for LaMichael James to get rolling against Portland State. On the Duck's first drive of the day, James ran untouched for a 66-yard touchdown. He finished with 227 yards on 14 carries as the Ducks amassed a school-record 528 yards on the ground during their 69-0 trouncing of the Vikings.
4 of 12Nick Doan/Icon SMI
Defeated Arizona State 42-31
Unable to establish the run against the Sun Devils, the Ducks turned to their passing game and defense. Quarterback Darron Thomas threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns and the defense forced seven turnovers as Oregon won 42-31.
5 of 12Jed Jacobsohn/SI
Defeated No. 9 Stanford 52-31
In their first real challenge of the season, the Ducks came out flat, falling behind 21-3 in the first quarter to Stanford. But stellar performances from LaMichael James (who ran for a career-high 257 yards, three touchdowns), Darron Thomas (238 yards passing, three touchdowns ; 117 yards rushing, one touchdown) and a Ducks defense that held Stanford scoreless in the second half rallied Oregon to a come-from-behind 52-31 victory.
6 of 12AP
Defeated Washington State 42-23
Injuries marred the Ducks' 43-23 victory over the Washington State Cougars as running back Kenjon Barner was taken off the field in an ambulance and quarterback Darron Thomas left the game with an injured shoulder. Neither injury would prove serious: Thomas would return the next week and Barner would only miss the next two games.
7 of 12Peter Read Miller/SI
Defeated UCLA 60-13
In the school's first-ever game as the AP No. 1, Darron Thomas ensured the Ducks would not disappoint. The sophomore quarterback from Houston carved up the UCLA defense early and often, throwing for 308 yards and three touchdowns in the 60-13 victory.
8 of 12John W. McDonough/SI
Defeated No. 24 USC 53-32
Given USC's offseason turmoil, this was the Trojans ' bowl game. And they certainly played like it. The Trojans matched the Ducks' offensive firepower early on and led the Ducks 32-29 in the third quarter, the Ducks' first second-half deficit of the season. Ultimately though, the Trojans couldn't beat the Ducks at their own game as Darron Thomas and wide receiver Jeff Maehl rallied the Ducks to a 53-32 victory.
9 of 12Jed Jacobsohn/SI
Defeated Washington 53-16
Better late than never right? The Ducks were held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time in 2010, but they eventually wore out Washington, defeating the Huskies 53-16 in Autzen Stadium. The balanced effort included a 30-yard touchdown run by Kenjon Barner, who had missed the previous two games after leaving the field in an ambulance during Week 6.
10 of 12John W. McDonough/SI
Defeated California 15-13
The Ducks were held scoreless in the first quarter for the second-straight week and found themselves locked in a defensive struggle as their offense sputtered against an inferior California Bears team. The Bears held the Ducks nearly 40 points below their season average, but punt returner Cliff Harris and Darron Thomas provided just enough offense to allow the Ducks to escape Berkeley with a 15-13 victory.
11 of 12Jed Jacobsohn/SI
Defeated No. 21 Arizona 48-29
After grinding out a win against the Cal Bears, the Ducks were ready for a shootout. The Arizona Wildcats were more than willing to oblige, and the two teams combined for 1,043 yards total offense as the Ducks defeated the Wildcats 48-29. Darron Thomas led the way, throwing for 148 yards and three touchdowns and running for 62 yards and another score.
12 of 12Peter Read Miller/SI
Defeated Oregon State 37-20
Only one game stood between the Ducks and their first BCS title game, and they weren't going to let the Oregon State Beavers stand in their way. Led by a stout red-zone defense featuring linebacker Casey Matthews, the Ducks punched their ticket to Glendale with a 37-20 victory over the Beavers that was not as close as the scoreboard suggested.
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