Perhaps the 2012 Rose Bowl game won't be the final college football game for Oregon Ducks running back LaMichael James after all. Despite earlier reports that James, the leading rusher in the nation, would declare for the 2012 NFL Draft, the Ducks' tailback insisted that he hasn't yet made his decision on whether or not to turn pro.
"There’s really nothing going on," James told Rob Moseley of the Eugene Register-Guard. "I don’t really know what happened with that deal. But I know my family called me, like, ‘You declared for the draft?’ I think it’s kind of an unfair statement for somebody to go out and say something I didn’t say."
James said he will not reveal his decision until after the game against the Wisconsin Badgers on January 2. As for the game itself, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly told reporters after practice on Sunday that Wisoncsin was a "sound" defensive club and that Oregon would have their hands full.
"They have two outstanding linebackers in [Chris] Borland and [Mike] Taylor that are in the top 11 of the country in tackles," Kelly said. "They tackle extremely well in space. It's a very well coached defense."
Borland and Taylor will have to stop a Ducks' offense that averaged 46.2 points and 516 yards per game this season. James ran for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns in 11 games, leading all of FBS averaging 149.6 yards per contest. He ran for over 200 yards in four different games this season.
The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PST. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, and Erin Andrews on the call. Stay tuned for more updates as the game approaches.