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  • Ducks' Marshall can finish, too

    After ceding his starting role, the sophomore rushes for 133 yards
  • EUGENE — Whether he is the starting running back or finishing another Oregon victory, Byron Marshall is ready for any role.
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  • EUGENE — Whether he is the starting running back or finishing another Oregon victory, Byron Marshall is ready for any role.
    Marshall started in place of De'Anthony Thomas for four straight games and went over 100 yards each time. Thomas got the start against UCLA, but when he couldn't finish, Marshall got the heaviest workload in the backfield and made it five straight games over the century mark.
    "De'Anthony came back healthy, he got the start and I just had to fill in," Marshall said after running for 133 yards and three touchdowns in Oregon's 42-14 victory over UCLA on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. "I've got a real good player in front of me, we know that. Whenever my name is called, I have to go in and make the most of it."
    Marshall had just one carry in the first quarter, but went 40 yards for a touchdown to start the second quarter, when Oregon took a 14-7 lead.
    "It was perfectly blocked," Marshall said. "Jake Fisher sealed the edge and Pharaoh Brown had a block, and I just turned it up."
    Marshall had just five carries in the first half, and Thomas, returning from an ankle injury, ran 10 times for 31 yards. Thomas didn't play in the second half when the injury flared up.
    "I tried to make an attempt to get back out there and contribute to the team," Thomas said. "I did the best I could. I just wasn't feeling it."
    Marshall found out at halftime that Thomas would not return with the score tied 14-14.
    "I knew he was down. It stinks to have a player down like that," Marshall said. "I had to step up in the second half. Everyone did."
    Marshall had 14 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, and Oregon outscored the Bruins 28-0.
    "We had more momentum, things just picked up with the offense," Marshall said. "Things were clicking and we really tried to pick it up in the second half."
    On Oregon's go-ahead drive in the third quarter, Marshall ran for two yards and then six yards before catching a 23-yard pass to take the ball to the 11-yard line. He ran in the touchdown on the next play to put Oregon ahead 21-14.
    Marshall added a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the Ducks ahead 35-14.
    Marshall finished with 19 carries and has had at least that many carries in all five Pac-12 games. He has at least 106 rushing yards in each of those games and multiple touchdowns in four of those five.
    "He's done a great job stepping up," Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "He has made the most of every opportunity."
    Freshman Thomas Tyner ran 14 times for 77 yards and scored Oregon's final touchdown on a 2-yard run, giving him a touchdown in six of the seven games he has played. Oregon ran for 325 yards, averaging 6.1 per carry.
    Thomas was thrown hard to the ground a couple of times, but he said those tackles didn't bother him.
    "I can take hits," he said. "People don't think I can take hits, but hits don't hurt at all. You just get back up and get ready for the next play."
    Thomas said his biggest pain came when UCLA defenders landed on his ankle. He missed three games after being injured on the opening kickoff against Cal, but he said he hopes having 12 days before the next game at Stanford will help him avoid missing another game.
    "We've got a bye week, so I'm going to try and take advantage of that and get back out there next week," he said.
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