Up to this point, the status of Oregon Ducks running back LaMichael James has been up in the air for Saturday's night game against the Arizona St. Sun Devils; even LaMichael thought he'd have a chance to play. Unfortunately, someone slipped up.
Thomas said the Ducks were "practicing, getting ready, trying to push a little harder, knowing we're going to be without LaMichael."
Thomas said he wasn't concerned about not having James, a junior who is fifth on the Pac-12's all-time rushing list.
"I'm all right," he said. "We've got Kenjon (Barner) in the backfield with me. He is a step behind LaMike, doing the same things. We've got Tra Carson doing well for us. I can't wait to see him play. And De'Anthony (Thomas), everybody knows about De'Anthony."
Whoops. Kelly might give his quarterback a stern talk for giving up information like that. Now the Sun Devils can drastically cut back on how much they have to gameplan for the James show and start focusing on the remainder of the Oregon offense, which has been inconsistent to say the least.
In any case, no LaMichael will make it easy for Arizona State to gameplan, since the Oregon offense loses a lot of its potency with him out. De'Anthony Thomas is a burner on the outside and Kenjon Barner can replicate his inside bounce, but no one can really stretch the field and leave defenses guessing on where he's heading the way James can. With ASU's defense looking to stop some Ducks, everyone will have to raise their game a notch, just like Thomas said.
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