If Auburn stops James, Oregon has Barner

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Oregon coach Chip Kelly said both backs are very similar. Both ran track for the Ducks in the offseason, so they’re equally speedy in the team’s breakneck spread-option.

“They are both fast, they’ve both got great change of direction, they’ve both got great vision. They are both tough. They both catch the ball very well,” Kelly said. “It is really like 1 and 1-A for those two kids.”

James, a Heisman finalist who has rushed for 1,682 yards, said Barner keeps him grounded.

“I really can’t say enough about Kenjon. He is funny. He has a funny haircut. Everything about Kenjon is really funny,” James said. “Without Kenjon, this would be a tough year for me.”

Barner, meanwhile, said he and James push each other. He also knows the best way to get to James.

“I listen to country music,” he laughed.

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