GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Oregon's star running back and Heisman trophy finalist talked Thursday about what makes the Oregon team so tough. Speed. And he's not worried that the team has lost its edge after a month between games.
"We really practice hard. That's one thing I can say," said James. "I think we practice harder than anybody in the country. If you are going at that tempo every day, it really doesn't matter how long the layoff is."
James also had high praise for head coach Chip Kelly.
"He is intense...he comes out and gives the program and my teammates energy all the time."
James also suggested that Kelly has a lighter side different from the all-business face coach Kelly shows the media.
"I think that's probably why we close practice. He doesn't want you to see that side. He wants you guys to see the tough-guy role," said James. "He is a great coach."
James admits his favorite part of the Oregon game is "because of the speed, the tempo."
While James made it clear the team has taken a businesslike approach to preparing for the school's biggest game in its history, their time in Arizona hasn't been all work. Wednesday night, James and some teammates attended the Phoenix-Los Angeles NBA game in town.
For the game, James has a single hope: "The clock ticking zero and we winning the game."