When it comes to recruiting, every year it seems there are those who say "trust the coaches" and…
James, Boyett and Kelly honored by FWAA
However, thanks to the leadership of Chip Kelly and the stellar play of LaMichael James and John Boyett, Oregon didn't seem to miss a beat. Against Purdue, Boyett was second on the defense with nine tackles. A week later, James rushed for 152 yards and a TD against Utah. The rest of the season saw significant contributions from both red-shirt freshmen and today they were recognized by the Football Writers Association of America for their efforts, as they were placed on the FWAA Ion Insurance Freshman All-America Team. For leading the Ducks to a Pac-10 championship and the Rose Bowl, Coach Chip Kelly was named First Year Coach of the Year.
Boyett's season was marked by jarring and sometimes spectacular hits. Perhaps the most impressive was his upending of an Ohio State receiver in the Rose Bowl. But likely the most meaningful was the stop of an almost certain UCLA touchdown, with a huge hit at the one yard line, that led to a goal line stand by Oregon. He also made a touchdown saving tackle against Washington in Seattle that ultimately led to a Husky turnover. Boyett finished the year as Oregon's leading tackler, with 90 tackles, and was second on the team with three interceptions.
James' season was equally impressive. Just after Boyett and the defense stopped UCLA at the goal line down in LA, James spun out of a tackle in the endzone and was gone on a long run that got the Ducks out of trouble. His teammates said it looked like a move out of a video game, and his stats at times looked the same. All season long he made it clear he was one of the best running backs in the Pac-10. Against California, he out-rushed initial Heisman hopeful Jahvid Best by 63 yards, ending up with 118 and a touchdown. Against Oregon State, he out-rushed Jaquiz Rodgers by more than 100 yards, finishing the game with 166 yards and three touchdowns. He led Oregon with an average of 118.9 yards per game, was second on the team in scoring, and set the Oregon freshman rushing record with 1546 yards, averaging an amazing 6.7 yards per carry.
Kelly was put in the middle of a media firestorm that carried almost through the entire season following his suspension of LeGarrette Blount after the Boise State loss. With many wondering whether the Ducks let Mike Bellotti walk away too soon, Kelly quickly proved that Oregon made the right choice. Calling the eventual reinstatement of Blount a "human-being decision," Kelly turned a controversy into the redemption story of the season, as Blount returned to the line-up and scored a crucial touchdown against Oregon State in the season's final game.
James and Boyett were two of the five Pac-10 players placed on the team, joining offensive lineman David DeCastro from Stanford, defensive end Nick Perry from USC, and linebacker Vontaze Burfict at Arizona State.
The team and coach were selected by a 11-person panel of nationally-prominent writers led by Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News Sentinel.
eDuck.com Recommended Stories
Pac-12 Hoops Media Day Notebook
SAN FRANCISCO -- Some quick hit comments from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on the state of the Pac-12 and some new initiatives that are coming this men's basketball season, including an update on…Read More
Ducks Head Out to Take on Cal
Oregon heads to drought-stricken California to face the Bears and their potentially potent offense. The Ducks have strung together two balanced and convincing wins on the road and at home, with…Read More
eDuck Podcast — Cal Preview
No. 6 Oregon travels south to take on a high-powered California offense on Friday night. Jake and Robby have your full preview here on the podcast.Read More
Week 8: Super Sleepers
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Jeb Gorham digs in his list of rankings to find the best sleepers for deeper formats. Consider giving these players a chance, but be aware of the risk! Tampa Bay…Read More
Watch: Sailfish Goes Psycho!
Check out this classic video of Dan Larson battling an acrobatic sailfish on a trip to the world-famous Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.Read More