What's buzzing:

Dr. Saturday

Kenjon Barner makes himself a Heisman candidate as Oregon makes it’s national championship case

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

Oregon running back Kenjon Barner made himself a household name during the No. 2 Ducks' 62-51 over No. 18 USC.

It's not like people didn't know him before -- he is one of the nation's most dynamic running backs -- but his accomplishments have often been muddled in the dizzying haze of Oregon's gaudy offensive stats.

But against USC, a game the Ducks needed to make a statement, Barner was at his best. He had 38 carries for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns. Barner broke the record of former star back LaMichael James, who was on the sideline for the game.

But was it enough to make himself a Heisman winner? Maybe not yet, but it definitely gets him high up in the conversation. Because Oregon's offense has so many weapons — namely quarterback Marcus Mariota and all-purpose back De'Anthony Thomas — it's easy for Barner's stats to get overlooked. Combine that with the lack of competition Oregon has played to this point and Barner will need to play this well throughout the rest of the season to make it to New York and fight for the bronze trophy.

But more important than individual awards, this was a game Oregon desperately needed. That cannot be overstated. The Ducks had been walloping opponents, which has impressed voters enough to make them No. 2 in the country, but it hasn't done much for the BCS computers. USC was the highest-ranked opponent the Ducks had faced and while the 62-51 shootout wasn't ideal, it was a still a statement that Oregon deserves a national championship spot.

The race for the top two spots in the BCS standings is going to go down to the wire and every little style point the Ducks can rack up will only help their cause.

- - -
Video courtesy of The Big Lead

Got a tip for Dr. Saturday? Email us at dr.saturday@ymail.com. You can also connect with us via Twitter @YahooDrSaturday and be sure to "Like" Dr. Saturday on Facebook for football conversations and stuff you won't see on the blog.

Fantasy football advice on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
James Harden determined to make Houston Rockets a playoff contender
Sean Payton's contract extension was voided by the NFL
UK not considering hiring Bobby Petrino after firing Joker Phillips
Y! News: Why Michael Bloomberg's NYC Marathon plan backfired

View Comments (28)
  • Liverpool's Sturridge frustrated with wide role under Klopp

    Liverpool's Sturridge frustrated with wide role under Klopp

    (Reuters) - Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has urged manager Juergen Klopp to deploy him in his favoured centre forward position, where he operates on "autopilot". The 26-year-old scored twice after coming on as a substitute in their 5-0 win against … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Marlins get OF Jeff Francoeur from Braves in 3-team trade

    The Miami Marlins acquired Jeff Francoeur from the Atlanta Braves in a three-team trade Wednesday night, hoping the well-traveled outfielder can provide a boost toward a playoff spot. Francoeur was the only major leaguer included in the deal that … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Drury hits sac fly in 11th, D'backs beat Braves 10-9

    Drury hits sac fly in 11th, D'backs beat Braves 10-9

    Brandon Drury came out of high school thinking he might help the Atlanta Braves win games one day. Drury drove in Jake Lamb with a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 10-9 win over the Braves. The Diamondbacks … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
  • Blatter says he will accept verdict as CAS appeal begins

    Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he will accept the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal against his six-year ban from football's governing body, with the hearing beginning Thursday. Both Blatter and Michel Platini, … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • Wales manager Coleman questions Arsenal decision to play Ramsey

    Wales manager Coleman questions Arsenal decision to play Ramsey

    (Reuters) - Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey's injury could have been prevented, Wales manager Chris Coleman has said, adding he was surprised the Euro 2016 semi-finalist was rushed back for the opening Premier League game against Liverpool. Manager … More »

    Reuters - 32 minutes ago