Oregon Ducks Football

December 3, 2011 by staff 

Oregon Ducks Football, LaMichael James ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 8 Oregon beat UCLA, 49-31, in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game Friday night for the Ducks’ third straight conference title and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

Rick Neuheisel tipped his cap to the UCLA fans in his last game as coach. The former Bruins quarterback was fired this week after four seasons with his alma mater.

While the Bruins (6-7) played with passion for their outgoing coach and kept it closer than many thought they would, it was not enough to overcome the Ducks (11-2), who head to a BCS bowl for the third straight season.

Darron Thomas threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns, becoming Oregon’s career leader with 63 TD passes. James became the first rusher in Pac-12 history with three straight 1,500-yard seasons. He moved into a tie with USC’s LenDale White (2003-05) for second on the league’s career rushing TD list with 52.

Neuheisel, fired following last weekend’s 50-0 loss to No. 9 Southern California, hugged quarterback Kevin Prince as time ran out.

Oregon will play the winner of the first Big 10 championship game today between No. 11 Michigan State and No. 15 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

The heavily favored Ducks scored on their first series when James ran 30 yards for a touchdown.

After UCLA answered with a pick-six, Thomas scored on a 10-yard keeper and then found true freshman tight end Colt Lyerla alone in the end zone with a 7-yard scoring pass to make it 21-7.

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