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Ducks RB Thomas Set To Return

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Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas (ankle) expects to play against UCLA, adding another layer to an otherwise-dangerous offense. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.
Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas (ankle) expects to play against UCLA, adding another layer to an otherwise-dangerous offense. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.

Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas (ankle) proclaimed himself ready to play Saturday against UCLA, returning perhaps the most explosive weapon on arguably the most explosive offense to the field.

"I'm ready," Thomas said to The Oregonian. "I'm hungry and ready to get back on the field."

The Ducks (7-0, 4-0) have averaged 54.7 points per game since Thomas injured his ankle returning a kickoff against Cal. Sophomore Byron Marshall has rushed for more than 100 yards in four consecutive games, emerging as a feature back in Thomas' absence, including a 192-yard effort last week against Washington State.

But while Marshall and freshman Thomas Tyner have combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, Thomas averages 8.6 yards per carry for his career and has scored a touchdown every seven carries this season. Though Thomas only has three catches this year, he had 46 and 45 receptions his first two seasons in Eugene and also has returned four kicks for touchdowns for the Ducks.

Thomas said he could've played last week against Washington State if needed, and it sounds like he'll be full go against UCLA on Saturday.

That's good news for the Ducks, who face just their second Top-40 opponent of the season according to the Sagarin ratings in the Bruins.

"You've got to make him go East and West, sideline to sideline," UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr told the Los Angeles Times. "He's a one-cut guy. He can be by you in a second. It's important to keep him in front of us."