So when Oregon’s first-string offense needs to push the pedal for 60 minutes, how far can they go? Apparently they break records.
The Ducks pick up 732 total yards, 428 rushing and 304 passing, which are new records in the history of any opponent that USC has faced. It all happened in front of Trojan fans in the LA Memorial Coliseum.
Obviously, Kenjon Barner jumpstarts his Heisman candidacy with 321 yards and five touchdowns on 38 carries. Marcus Mariota was nearly unfazed with 400 all-purpose yards, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. He went an efficient 20-23 passing.
It looked like the game was going to be a rout after Oregon picked it off for the second time up 34-17 late in the second quarter. After Rob Beard missed his only field goal attempt on the night, USC would score a touchdown to make it 34-24 at half.
Once they got within three points after their opening drive in the third quarter, the Ducks looked calm on offense and never seized control of the lead.
If Chip Kelly was saying that this was his best defense he’s coached, he obviously didn’t mean his pass defense. Matt Barkley threw over half as much as Oregon, completing 35-54 passes for 484 yards and five touchdowns. Marqise Lee led the way with 12 catches for 157 yards.
Silas Redd also looked decent with 92 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, but Oregon did fairly well holding the running game down to 131 yards.
USC is ranked near the bottom in the nation on third down conversions and penalties. They went 8-13 on third down and just had three penalties on the night. Oregon had 10 penalties for 79 yards.
Oregon moves to 9-0, 6-0 in the conference, and is clearly the most impressive team on offense in the nation. If the pass defense can improve against stiffer competition down the stretch, they should be able to control their own destiny and reach the national championship.