Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas is one of the most explosive players in the country and is always good for a highlight play or two most weeks. But it was the junior’s comments to the media that made headlines on Monday night.
When asked whether the Stanford Cardinal could hold the Ducks to 14 points like they did last year, Thomas said, “I don’t think so. I feel like this team, we should put up 40.”
Oh De’Anthony, no. no no son. You just broke the first rule of big game week preparation: don’t ever give your opponent any extra incentive to want to beat you.
Video of the quote is after the jump.
I don’t think Thomas made the comment maliciously, I think he was answering honestly. Last year the Ducks completely fell apart offensively as Stanford upset them 17-14. Frankly, Oregon should put up a lot of points, since that’s what they do and this is the same Cardinal team that lost to Utah a few weeks back. But that doesn’t mean it’s smart to say that kind of thing out loud, especially not with cameras and microphones rolling.
I like Thomas, he actually seems like a good kid from all reports. He plays hard, is fun to watch and has always seemed humble in interviews. That said, this was a dumb thing to say. Stanford’s defense – with it’s ferocious front seven that may be the best in college football – is almost certainly going to tack that quote to the wall immediately and take it personally.
Thomas has actually had a disappointing season as he has dealt with an ankle injury and the emergence of fellow running backs Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner. So far this year Thomas has 52 carries for 369 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He also has a shockingly low six receptions for 75 yards and no scores.
The Ducks are currently 10.5-point favorites heading into Thursday night’s big matchup in Palo Alto against the Cardinal. The game will almost certainly determine who heads to the Pac-12 Championship Game from the North Division.