Friday, December 2, 2011
Halftime: Oregon 35, UCLA 17
By Ted Miller
EUGENE, Ore. -- UCLA is fighting but it doesn't have as many weapons as Oregon. The Bruins trail 35-17 at the break. The Ducks appear headed for their third consecutive conference title and the Rose Bowl.
Oregon, by the way, gets the third quarter kick.
Stat of the half: The most obvious number would be 318-151, which is the yardage totals for Oregon and UCLA, respectively. But the Ducks were expected to dominate. What stands out is five -- as in five turnovers. The Bruins have lost three fumbles and the Ducks have a fumble and an interception. Not terribly clean football.
Best player in the half: Ducks running back LaMichael James is running fast and with authority. He has 115 yards on 13 carries -- 8.8 yards per tote -- with two TDs. Along the way, he became the first player in conference history with three consecutive 1,500-yard rushing seasons. That's pretty amazing folks: First... ever. Think of all the great backs before him. And, oh by the way, he's a junior.
Best call: Why do you go for it on fourth down? Because it helps you score. At least for Oregon. The Ducks were 3-for-4 on fourth down in the first half, and scored long touchdowns -- 30 and 25 yards -- on fourth-and-short plays. UCLA was 0-1 on fourth down.