In the crosshairs: Oregon Ducks

Overall record: 7-0
Conference record: 4-0
National Rank: 1 (AP, Coaches), 2 (BCS)
Last Week: defeated UCLA 60-13

When you throw out the national rankings and records, you’ll find that the Ducks have always been a troublesome opponent for the Men of Troy. Oregon has won 7 of the last 12 meetings, capped by a 47-20 shellacking in Eugene last year.

Oregon has captured the national focus as a frontrunner in the current title chase, but it is a well known foe of a USC program with vengeance on its mind. Chip Kelly’s blur offense has put up astronomical numbers, and has done it in very little time. The quack attack hung 60 points on the Bruins last Thursday, and managed to do it in a just a little more than 21 minutes of possession. But after disposing of Stanford at home earlier this year, the top ranked Ducks may receive their greatest challenge to date, and will play in the most hostile environment.

“In their two-deep, out of their 44 players, they have 12 five-star recruits and 26 four-star recruits,” Kelly said. “I don’t know if there is anybody in the country who has that. I keep hearing USC is down in talent. We have zero five-star recruits in our top 44 and 11 four-star recruits.”Chip Kelly on USC

Oregon by the Numbers

Category

Nat. Rank

Conf. Rank

Average

Total offense

1

1

569.14

Rush offense

3

1

308.43

Pass offense

31

4

260.71

Pass efficiency

16

3

158.81

Scoring offense

1

1

55.14

Total Defense

30

3

331.57

Rush Defense

37

4

127.14

Pass Defense

51

3

204.43

Pass Efficiency Defense

7

1

100.84

Scoring Defense

12

2

15.86

The Skinny: A football game is 30 minutes in duration, and for this reason the Ducks enter unbeaten. Four of Oregon’s six opponents hung tough for a half, before defenses succumbed to fatigue and the no-huddle offense. The Ducks have outscored opponents 156-23 in the final 30 minutes of ballgames. After drawing a 13-13 tie with Tennessee in Knoxville, Oregon responded with a 35-0 second half burst. The Ducks trailed Stanford 31-24 after two quarters, but sealed the victory with a 28-0 second half performance.

This is where the problem exists for USC, even after all the Chip Kelly praise for the talent on the roster. As gifted as the Trojans may be, they are very thin. To have success on Saturday, a depleted group chasing Ducks for four quarters may have to will its way to victory.

One key factor is Matt Barkley and the Trojan offense, which could hand the defense an assist. Chip Kelly’s quick strike attack serves no favors to teammates on the other side of the ball. It is a Ducks unit that already spends the majority of the day on the field. If USC can sustain drives, it will only add to the wear and tear of Oregon’s defensive unit, and possibly level the playing field in the second half. Kiffin’s squad also has to avoid playing into Oregon’s strength, which is cashing in on opponent turnovers. The Ducks lead the nation in turnover margin (+12), while the Trojans are +2 in the category. Carelessness may lead to a one-sided ball game. Ball protection may give us the Coliseum shootout that is expected.

All Time Series: USC leads 36-16-2
Streak: Oregon won 1
Last Meeting: 2009- Oregon 47, USC 20 (Eugene)

Fun Facts

  • Oregon last won in the L.A. Coliseum in 2001, Pete Carroll’s first year.
  • USC has held the Ducks to 10 points in each of the last two Coliseum meetings.
  • Oregon did not appear on the schedule of the 2003 and 2004 USC National championship teams.
  • In 1985, the two teams met in Tokyo Japan to play in the Mirage Bowl.

Cardinal Red-Out—Be loud, wear it proud.

Fight On!

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~ by Anthony on October 28, 2010.

One Response to “In the crosshairs: Oregon Ducks”

  1. Bring on USC! Chip Kelly has taken the right approach with this team since day one, here’s how.. http://waterthebamboo.com/blog/press/oregon-ducks-ranked-1

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