College Football’s Next Big Thing: Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas

deanthony-thomas

He helped the Oregon Ducks get their first Rose Bowl win in 95 years. Before the big win yesterday, De’Anthony Thomas wasn’t known to many college football fans outside the Pacific Northwest.

Just a freshman, he’s still rather obscure, but that will certainly change next year. Thomas name will be household on a national level, as he’ll make tons of highlight reel plays next year.

Needing just 2 carries (both touchdowns) to hit 150+ yards.,He finished with an INSANE 77.5 yards per carry in the win over the Wisconsin Badgers.

His 91-yard TD run was the longest in Rose Bowl history.

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Badgers Russell Wilson Breaks Passer Rating Record

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His Badgers may have lost an exciting shootout BCS game to the Oregon Ducks, but Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson literally just completed the best season of quarterbacking in college football history. He entered the 98th Rose Bowl game with a passer rating of 191.6.

His performance today yielded a 193.9, giving him a 191.78 for the 2011 season.

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De’Anthony Thomas Breaks Rose Bowl Record for Longest Run

deanthony-thomas

Oregon Ducks freshman tailback De’Anthony Thomas is fast. Like Usain Bolt fast. The two guys ahead of him on the depth chart, juniors LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner are really fast too.

But Thomas has “SEC speed” and he showed it on his 91 yard TD run in the first half; which is the longest run in Rose Bowl history.

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Five Most Memorable Rose Bowl Games of Recent Memory

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Earning the right to play in the Rose Bowl is a dream for every football loving kid in both Pac-12 and Big Ten country. “The Granddaddy of them all,” this game between the Wisconsin Badgers and Oregon Ducks will be the 98th edition. By far the oldest of all college football bowl games, the centennial year will also see Pasadena hosting the national title game in 2014.

I have a very close friend who’s originally from Pasadena, California and lives here in Chicago today. And I’ve explained to her that earning “your way to Pasadena” is the pinnacle for Big Ten football fans. Pasadena exists in this framework as an Eden, a refuge from winter where it’s supposedly 74 and sunny everyday, and watching the sun set against the mountain behind the Rose Bowl Stadium is supposedly worth the price of admission by itself.

It’s home to her, a place; but to Big Ten folk it’s a Utopian state of mind.

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Russell Wilson Should Break Passer Rating Record in Rose Bowl

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Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson will enter the 98th Rose Bowl game with a passer rating of 191.6.

I bring this up because Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III just finished the 2011 season (including the wild Alamo Bowl win) with a pass efficiency of 189.5, which broke the FBS (previously known as college football Division-1A) single season record formerly held by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan.

I think we can officially call this the year of quarterbacking statistics.

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