(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.)By ANNE M. PETERSONAP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - With an 86-yard kickoff return against Utah, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas authoritatively announced that he's back.
The dynamic running back had been hobbled this season by an ankle injury that kept him out of nearly four entire games. Now he insists he's fully healed and ready for the final stretch of his junior season.
Thomas' big return coincided with Oregon's rebound in the Pac-12 Conference. Following the Ducks' 44-21 victory over Utah last Saturday, USC defeated Stanford 20-17, popping No. 5 Oregon back into the top spot in the league's northern division.
The Ducks (9-1, 6-1) had fallen behind the Cardinal in the division standings following their 26-20 loss at Stanford the week before.