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Episode Info: Oregon tailback LaMichael James is back in the Heisman Trophy race after gaining 146 yards against Stanford, but he might not even be the Ducks' best tailback if you listen to USC coach Lane Kiffin. "The only guy I've seen like that is Reggie (Bush)," Kiffin said Tuesday. But Kiffin was not talking about James. He was talking about Oregon freshman De'Anthony Thomas. "The way that he can start and stop and how fast he can cut, he is really special," Kiffin said. "That's why he was maybe the best player in the country (last year)." Thomas, who played at Crenshaw High, famously committed to USC and then changed his mind on signing day. Kiffin still could not explain Tuesday how Thomas ended up at Oregon. "It still doesn't make sense," Kiffin said. "Guys flop but not when they are the leader of the class. "He was one of the first commitments in this class and helped recruit this class. At that point, you've been around him so much, you start to picture how he's going to fit in with all these other guys. It was very strange." A big question now is whether Kiffin would use Thomas at tailback or stick him at cornerback, where there were rumors he would play during the recruitment process. "We would have found ways to get him the ball," Kiffin said. "He would be a great corner but there's no way we would not get him the ball." Ducks 'well-deserving' Quarterback Matt Barkley raised the ire of Oregon fans last weekend when he said the Ducks were "better when we played them in the past." Barkley modified his comments Tuesday but did not back down from what he said. "I just said they were well-deserving of their ranking," Barkley said. "That was just based on scores I've seen. After watching tape, they are one of the top defenses we'll face this year. "They show a lot of different fronts, a lot of different coverages, blitzes. They try to confuse you. But there are weaknesses and holes that we'll have to exploit." Barkley also said the Ducks' defense is "vulnerable" if properly read by the quarterback. "They get after it when they (blitz and change coverages), and they'll catch you off-guard," he said. "That's when we have to be smart enough to, especially me, recognize those and get our offense in the right checks. But they are vulnerable in some aspects." Woods better Wide receiver Robert Woods said he feels a little better than the 70 percent Kiffin described him Sunday. Woods also said he wants to continue returning punts and kickoffs
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