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De'Anthony Thomas handles career workload as Oregon rolls


With 11 carries in the first quarter, it seemed as if new Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was making a point to test De'Anthony Thomas' ability to handle a bigger workload before taking an early seat against overmatched Nicholls State.

Consider it passed, but more a quiz than a final knowing the Colonels are not nearly up to the level of the FBS opposition the Ducks will play from here on out.

Thomas rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 18 carries in the 66-3 rout Saturday, showing off his trademark electric speed and change of direction.

Oregon finished with 500 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, with sophomore backup Byron Marshall adding 124 yards and a score. Touted true freshman Thomas Tyner did not carry the ball.

If Thomas can handle 15-plus carries every game over the course of a season, it would go a long way to assuaging fears over how the 5-foot-9, 169-pound dynamo might translate to the NFL.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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