UO stumbles out of record book
CORVALLIS — The streak is over for Oregon. And so is that one, and that one, too.
The Ducks not only saw their eight-year winning streak against Oregon State end in Saturday’s 34-24 loss to the Beavers at Reser Stadium, but a pair of streaks related to running the football ended in this defeat as well.
Oregon had won the Pac-12 rushing title in each of the previous 10 seasons, but with the Ducks held to 171 net rushing yards on Saturday, their season average fell to 226.4 yards. After rushing for 510 yards in a Friday rout of Arizona State, Arizona ends the season with an average of 235.0 rushing yards for the season, the best average in the Pac-12.
The other Oregon streak related to rushing yards was a nine-season run of having a player rush for at least 1,000 yards. Oregon’s Royce Freeman rushed for 106 yards Saturday, leaving his season total at 945 yards.
Freeman had rushed for 1,365 yards in 2014 and a school-record 1,836 yards in 2015. He raised his career total to 4,146 yards, second at Oregon only to LaMichael James with 5,082, and Freeman is now ninth on the Pac-12 career list.
The question is whether Freeman returns for his final season of eligibility to improve on that total.
"I'm going to take a look at all my options,” Freeman said. “I'm not leaning towards leaving.
"When I'm done reflecting, I'll know."
COACH’S FUTURE: The question hanging with the Ducks remains whether Mark Helfrich will return as the head coach next season.
Helfrich is scheduled to meet with the media on Sunday at 10 a.m. to discuss the 4-8 season, and then will attend Oregon’s team brunch at which player awards will be handed out.
But is nothing planned with UO director of athletics Rob Mullens?
"We didn’t schedule one on the way up the ramp" leaving Reser Stadium, Helfrich joked with the media.
His view is that "nobody’s job is safe in college football ... but that’s for somebody else to decide" his fate.
Asked for a quick review of the season, Helfrich said Oregon "didn’t win enough games. That’s a fact. We have to own that part of it."
UO assistant coaches said they plan on departing Eugene on Sunday afternoon to recruit, and had been told nothing about their futures with the program.
The players who spoke on the subject remain in support of their coach.
"He's done a great job,” UO’s Charles Nelson said. “Why get rid of someone for one bad season?"
Tyree Robinson added that "I know I don't want new coaches, but it is a business so whatever happens, happens."
CLIMBING THE LIST: Junior kicker Aiden Schneider scored six points Saturday on a field goal and three extra points, upping his career total to 275 points and moving past Derek Loville (272) for sixth on the UO all-time list.
De’Anthony Thomas is fifth with 278 points and Freeman is fourth with 288 points. Oregon’s record is held by James with 348 points, with the top total for a kicker being Jared Siegel, second overall with 323 points.
FEWER THROWS: Oregon freshman quarterback Justin Herbert completed 16-of-28 passes for 180 yards against OSU. The completions and attempts are his fewest in his seven starts this season.
Herbert finished his freshman season throwing for 1,836 yards and 19 touchdowns, completing 162 of his 255 attempts. His completion percentage of .635 ranks fourth in UO history for a season.
FINAL NUMBERS: Darren Carrington had three receptions Saturday, raising his career total to 112, which is 20th on the UO career list … senior Johnny Ragin III led Oregon in tackles with a career-high 11, one more than he had a week earlier against Utah … the Ducks extended their streak of scoring at least 20 points to a nation-leading 42 in a row … Oregon’s total offense of 384 yards was the second-lowest total of the season for the Ducks, who had a total of 288 yards against USC … Oregon’s six penalties for 75 yards was average for the Ducks, who came into the game averaging 75.9 penalty yards.