LaMichael James ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns, leading the No. 8 Oregon Ducks over the UCLA Bruins 49-31 in the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game Friday night at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks earned their sixth-ever trip to the Rose Bowl, to be played on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Oregon has gone to three consecutive BCS bowl games.
It was the fourth 200-yard game this season for James and seventh in his illustrious career. He also caught two passes for 24 yards. Oregon on the night racked up 573 yards of offense and 25 first downs.
Kevin Prince left the game briefly with 11 minutes remaining after getting sacked for the third time on the night. Prince fumbled on the play, but the Bruins recovered. After completing his first pass, to Nelson Rosario for 14 yards, backup quarterback Richard Brehaut was intercepted, the Bruins' fourth turnover on the night.
Brehaut had missed the previous six games with a broken leg. Prince came back in the game on the next drive for UCLA. Prince in the game passed for 163 yards and two touchdowns, both to Nelson Rosario. Rosario caught five passes for 91 yards on the night, and has amassed 1,099 receiving yards on the season, just the seventh 1,000-yard season in UCLA history.
Bruins' head coach Rick Neuheisel, who was fired on Monday, ended his tenure at UCLA with a second consecutive blowout loss, as UCLA fell to 6-7 on the season. Neuheisal ended his UCLA coaching career with a 21-29 record.
The Bruins allowed 45 or more points in five different games this year, and on the season gave up a school record 419 points. The previous record was held by the 2005 squad, who allowed 410 points, though in 12 games.
Oregon in the Rose Bowl will play the winner of Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan St. Spartans. The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Hirbstreit, and Lisa Salters on the call.
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