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College Football Week 9 Analysis: USC vs. Oregon

Not being eligible for postseason play, USC went into their matchup with the Oregon Ducks (No. 2 BCS, No. 1 AP) viewing this as their bowl game for the 2010 College Football season. Playing at home and entering the game as 7 point underdogs, this should have been enough motivation to lead the Trojans to an upset win.

For a short time, it seemed as though USC had found a way to stop the Ducks’ high-octane offense. But Oregon bounced back from a second half deficit and remained undefeated in their 53-32 win over the Trojans.

The Ducks explosive offense was on display once again against the Trojans. LaMichael James rushed for 239 yards and 3 touchdowns and Darron Thomas passed for 288 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Jeff Maehl also was impressive as he had 8 catches for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns.

For just the second time this season, Oregon trailed in the third quarter after USC jumped out in front taking a 32-29 lead. But James’ rushing led the Ducks to 24 consecutive points to give them their first win at the Coliseum since 2000.

“Our team feels like they get stronger as the second half goes along,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “It’s great for this group of guys. There’s no panic.”

Oregon scored two touchdowns in the final half of the second quarter to take a 29-17 lead into halftime. But the Trojans would come out in the third quarter looking to mount a comeback. They scored two touchdowns in under five minutes to open up the second half to regain the lead at 32-29. However, their defense could not stop Oregon for the remainder of the game and the Ducks reeled off 24 unanswered points and showed why they deserve the top ranking in NCAA football.

USC (5-3, 2-3 Pac-10) came into the game as an underdog for the first time in 51 games. Without the offense firepower to keep up with the Ducks, there was no way they could pull off the upset win. They had 377 total yards, but did not help themselves with their 3 turnovers. Matt Barkley passed for 264 yards and 1 touchdown to accompany his 2 interceptions.

The Ducks will host Washington next weekend as they continue to seek an undefeated season and a shot at the national title. USC will host Arizona State nest Saturday.


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