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The victory pushed Oregon's record to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Pac-12. The Ducks' march to a bid for their second appearance in the national championship game in three seasons continues Saturday when they visit California (3-7, 2-5)
Barner was the Ducks' second-leading rusher behind James for the past two seasons. While James was clearly the star, coach Chip Kelly would often say that the two were so evenly matched that Barner was option "1A" for Oregon.
Last season Barner ran for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns, and caught 17 passes for 184 yards and three scores.
James, a Heisman trophy finalist as a sophomore, announced in early January that he was going to skip his senior year to enter the NFL draft. He finished his career as Oregon's career leader with 5,082 rushing yards. He is the first Pac-12 player to have three straight 1,500-yard seasons.
Many thought that Barner might follow his pal, but he decided to stay at Oregon and earn his degree in criminology. He graduated this spring.
During the game against USC, Barner surpassed 1,000 yards for the first time at Oregon. But in typical restrained style, he certainly wasn't taking the credit.
"Once we started to get things going and making runs, I was able to get into a comfort zone," Barner said. "The offensive line made blocks, the receivers made blocks. We were just clicking and able to get things going."
James suggested Barner would have many plenty more yards if Oregon hadn't sat him early in most of the games this season. In the Ducks' previous eight games, he'd seen fourth-quarter playing time only twice.
"If they weren't beating teams so bad, I don't know what would happen," James said. "He'd probably have 2,000 yards right now."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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