- Ryan McGee, ESPN Senior Writer
Now that's more like it.
That was the universal response from much of the Pacific Northwest on Saturday evening, as No. 21 sliced and diced his way through the Arizona Wildcats. RB LaMichael James cooked up an Oregon single-game rushing record of 288 yards, then added a little frosting with two touchdowns that also earned him the Ducks' career TD mark.
It was the kind of performance that inspires AP writers to describe James as "zipping and zagging through the desert night, playing the Road Runner to Arizona's Wile E. Coyote."
It was the kind of performance that left Arizona coach Mike Stoops openly begging for an explanation, saying, "We just couldn't find a way to stop him."
And it was the kind of performance that can vault a preseason Heisman candidate back into the race for college football's biggest one-man award. Even if he doesn't want to talk about such things.
"I don't care about individual honors and records and all that. I just want to win games," says the 5-foot-9, 185-pound redshirt junior, repeating the same mantra he stuck to throughout 2010, all the way to the front row at the Downtown Athletic Club. "If that means breaking records, that's fine. But it's not like I'm out there doing it myself. Individual records are really team records. It's about the guys up front and the guys blocking downfield, even if it's my name in the record book."
Or even if it's his name engraved at the feet of the big, bronze, stiff-armed man. What are his chances of making that happen? Read ahead.
Why he'll win
Ryan McGee evaluates the Heisman candidacy of Oregon running back LaMichael James, who is beginning to overcome his so-so Week 1 performance against LSU but still faces some significant hurdles in his campaign.