TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — LaMichael James rushed for a school record 288 yards and broke the Oregon mark for career rushing touchdowns with two scores to lead the No. 10 Ducks to a 56-31 victory over Arizona in their Pac-12 opener on Saturday night.
Oregon (3-1), the two-time defending Pac-10 champion, won its 13th consecutive conference game, blowing open a 35-3 lead then holding off a Wildcats' rally before pulling away again with its lightning-quick offense.
All but the last of the Ducks' seven touchdown drives lasted less than three minutes. Darron Thomas passed for two scores and ran for two more
Nick Foles completed 33 of 55 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns for the Wildcats (1-3).
Arizona, playing its third consecutive top-10 team, has lost eight of nine dating last year with the lone victory this season's opener against Northern Arizona.
Oregon has the top-ranked offense in the Pac-12. Arizona's defense statistically is the worst. So the results from the opening kickoff were predictable.
James, who also had a 51-yard punt return, averaged 12.2 yards per carry in his second consecutive and fifth career 200-yard rushing game. He broke Oregon's single-game rushing record of 257 yards by Ontario Smith against Washington State in 2001.
With his touchdown runs of 12 and 19 yards, the speedy back has 43 scoring runs, breaking Derek Loville's school record of 42.
The Ducks amassed 516 yards, 415 on the ground.
With his team down 35-3, Foles led the Wildcats to three consecutive touchdowns. His 7-yard pass to David Roberts, and 2-point conversion toss to David Douglas, cut Oregon's lead to 35-24 with 3:14 to go in the third quarter.
But the Ducks simply zipped to another score. James had a 31-yard run and Thomas went the final 5 yards for the touchdown.
Foles got Arizona to the Oregon 6 on the subsequent kickoff, but the drive stalled and on fourth down he was sacked.
The Ducks reeled off five of their trademark lightning-fast touchdown drives, in six possessions, to open a 35-9 lead at the half.
James led the way, rushing for 133 yards in 11 carries in the first two quarters.
Oregon's first-half TD drives went 2:42 (8 plays, 80 yards), 2:19 (10 plays, 72 yards), 2:06 (8 plays, 80 yards), 2:02 (6 plays, 55 yards) and 1:37 (4 plays, 28 yards).
The Ducks amassed 300 yards in the first two quarters, 214 on the ground in 27 attempts.
Thomas had touchdown passes 10 yards to tight end David Paulson, his first scoring catch of the season, and 6 yards to Kenjon Barner, who also ran for a pair of scores.
Of the Ducks' 28 touchdown drives this season, 22 have taken less than three minutes. Another went 3:01.
Foles completed 14 of 29 passes for 189 yards in the first half, with several passes dropped. His 34-yard touchdown pass to Richard Morrison cut the lead to 35-9 with 1:04 to play. But Arizona's kicking woes continued when Alex Zendejas' conversion attempt was blocked.
The Wildcats recovered the subsequent onside kick but the half ended when Foles was sacked twice and Arizona tackle Shane Zink was called for a personal foul on the final play, the last of eight first-half penalties against the home team.
The stadium was almost full, and the student section was packed at kickoff, but about half of the students and a good share of the rest of the crowd was gone by halftime.
Foles' performance included a left-handed toss as he was being swarmed on the sidelines 11 yards to Keola Antolin and a first down at the Oregon 34 as the third quarter came to an end.