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No. 8 Oregon beats UCLA 49-31 for Pac-12 title

Published: Friday, Dec. 2 2011 10:05 p.m. MST

Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas, right, celebrates with teammate Josh Huff after Thomas scored a rushing touchdown against UCLA during the first half of their NCAA Pac-12 Championship NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. (Don Ryan, Associated Press) Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas, right, celebrates with teammate Josh Huff after Thomas scored a rushing touchdown against UCLA during the first half of their NCAA Pac-12 Championship NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. (Don Ryan, Associated Press)

EUGENE, Ore. — LaMichael James ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns and No. 8 Oregon beat UCLA 49-31 in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game Friday night for the Ducks' third straight conference title and a likely berth in the Rose Bowl.

Rick Neuheisel tipped his hat to the UCLA fans in his last game as coach. The former Bruins quarterback was fired this week after four seasons with his alma mater.

While the Bruins (6-7) played with passion for their outgoing coach and kept it closer than many thought they would, it was not enough to overcome the Ducks (11-2), who head to a BCS bowl for the third straight season.

Darron Thomas threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns, becoming Oregon's career leader with 63 TD passes.

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