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Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Aaron Fentress previews the Oregon running backs.

Kenjon Barner was so productive as a reserve that his 1,856 yards and 20 touchdowns on 304 carries places him within 1,441 yards of becoming the program's second all-time rusher behind LaMichael James (5,082). Barner has performed spectacularly in spot starts during his career and had his most productive season last year (939 yards, 11 touchdowns). His career 6.1 yards per carry average suggests that if given 300 carries in 13 games he could put up one of the greatest seasons in school history. Then there's De'Anthony Thomas, who produced 595 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground with just 55 carries (10.8 yards per carry).

Rob Moseley previews the receivers and tight ends.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Among Oregon's top six pass receivers in 2011, just two were true wideouts — Huff and Lavasier Tuinei. Filling out the top six were the tight end Paulson and three running backs, Thomas, Barner and LaMichael James. The guess here is that it's a different story this season. With guys like Rahsaan Vaughn, Daryle Hawkins and B.J. Kelley poised to take a step forward, this projects as a deeper, more productive crew. And there's worlds of talent behind the vets, any number of which could blossom this fall, as well. Tight end is the same story; a likely burgeoning standout in Colt Lyerla, and intriguing talent behind him. The Ducks aren't in great shape here, but they've proven they don't need game-breakers at receiver in order to be prolific on offense with Chip Kelly running the show.

GO DUCKS!

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