Mystery still surrounds Collin Klein injury and status Saturday against TCU. Reports had surfaced that he suffered a concussion last weekend, but Coach Snyder still hasn’t confirmed the nature of Klein’s injury….
The Ducks outlast the Trojans in a back and forth battle at the Coliseum….
Last Saturday night the Ducks came to the Coliseum prepared for battle against the Trojans and to seek revenge for that loss last season (35-38 at Autzen) that ultimately knocked Oregon (9-0; 6-0 Pac12) off as a national championship contender. Four quarters and 113 points later, they accomplished that feat outscoring USC 62-51 in an offensive battle that put up over 1300 yards of total offensive. Ducks TB Kenjon Barner (Heisman candidate, yes?) rushed for a school record 321 yards and five TD’s, contributing to the No. 2 Ducks 730 total yards of offense – the most yards ever allowed by SC. And SC (6-3; 4-3 Pac12) has been playing football since 1888…
AP Photo - Kenjon Barner
If you were pouring yourself a drink during the opening drive, you missed the first TD put on the board by the Ducks as freshman QB Mariota marched down the field and connected with De’Anthony Thomas on a 16 pass that put the Ducks up 6-0. Oregon’s explosive offense continued to score the next five consecutive possessions and headed into the half up 34-24.
SC pulled within 3 five minutes into the second half when junior RB Silas Red converted a first and goal on the Oregon 2 yard line. 34-31 Ducks. Oregon responded five minutes later with a 75 yard drive that was capped off by Barner’s 9 yard run to put the Ducks back up by 10 with five minutes left in the third. 41-31 Ducks. SC answered back and QB Matt Barkley connected with Marqise Lee on an 11 yard pass that set SC up first and goal on the Oregon 3 yard line. Silas Red finished the drive with a 3 yard run to put the Trojans within 3 once again. 41-38 Ducks. Four plays later, Marcus Mariota found Huff in the end zone on 36 yard pass to put Oregon back on top 48-38.
The Ducks outlasted No.18 USC in this back-and-forth second half battle; defeating the Trojans with a final score of 62-51 – the third highest scoring game involving ranked teams in the 76 year history of the AP poll.
AP Photo- Kenjon Barner
Mariota finished the night 20 of 23 for 304 yards, 4 TD’s; no interceptions - and rushed for 96 yards. Huff added another 125 on 6 receptions - but the night belonged to Kenjon Barner. Barner averaged 8.4 yards every time he touched the ball. Barner’s 321 total yards came against what was the nation’s No. 29 rush defense – a defense that had allowed only six rushing TD’s in its previous eight games.
Matt Barkley passed for 484 yards and 4 TD’s, 157 of those coming from 12 passes to Marqise Lee.
Up next: Oregon at California: 7:30 PM Saturday night on ESPN
Remember all that buzz around the Pac 12 conference last summer? The Triple Threat with Woods, Lee, and Barkley. USC predicted to play in the national championship game. Kiffin is legit. Sanctions have been lifted and they’re back… Last summer was a great time to be a Trojan. But when fall came, the leaves started falling off the trees - and USC followed.
This Saturday marks the first game for the Oregon Ducks (8-0; 5-0 Pac12) this season to be up against a ranked opponent on gameday. SC is coming off a disappointing 39-36 loss to No. 22 Arizona (5-3; 2-3 Pac12), a team that Oregon railroaded 49-0 in front of crowd of 58,000 fans at Autzen Stadium in late September.
AP Photo - Oregon
The only advantage USC (6-2; 4-2 Pac12) has in this much anticipated battle is home field advantage. SC is 10 for 11 at home; their most recent loss last season when Stanford defeated the Trojans 56-48 in triple OT. But the wounds are still fresh between Oregon and USC. The only loss that Oregon has chalked up the last 20 of 21 games was to the Trojans – a devastating 38-35 loss at Autzen Stadium that bumped them off the BCS national championship radar.
Last week the Ducks thumped the Bufffaloes 70-14, pulling their starting lineup midway through the second quarter. Oregon scored 4 TD’s the first 15 minutes of play, averaging less than 2 minutes per offensive possession. Oregon finished the day with 30 first downs resulting in over 600 yards of total offense, 425 of those coming on the ground.
SC also put up over 600 yards of total offense last week against Arizona, but only 125 on the ground. Early season Heisman hopefully Barkley was 31 of 49 for 493 yards in the air; connecting with Sophomore Marqise Lee for 345 of those on 16 passes. SC looked strong the final minutes of the fourth with four consecutive first down conversions, but ran out of time as they drove down the field hoping to force it into OT.
AP Photo - Southern Cal
This weekend expect more in the air with Barkley (25 TD passes for 2266 yards on the season) looking to connect with Woods and Lee (76 receptions for 1129 yards). The other area where SC may rack up some yards is with penalties. SC leads the FBS in penalties, averaging 20% more than any other team in the country. SC players tell you it’s a ‘pride thing’ when questioned about racking up 18 personal fouls this season. Call it what you want, but in close matchup that ‘pride’ may cost you the W in the end.
I expect Chip to push the quick snap and get points on the board as quickly as possible. If Oregon can defend SC’s passing game they should exit the Coliseum with healed wounds and continue their quest to the national title.