The Oregon Ducks hosted the USC Trojans on Saturday night, hoping to clinch the Pac-12 north with a victory and remain undefeated in conference play. Shockingly, the No. 4 Ducks trailed for the entire game, and a late-game comeback attempt culminated in a missed field goal that failed to tie the game and force overtime. The Ducks lost, 38-35, and kept Stanford's hopes alive for a Pac-12 championship berth for at least one more week.
The Trojans managed to hold the Ducks scoreless in the first quarter, and Matt Barkley got USC on the board first with a 59 yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee. Barkley fired another 12 yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods in the opening seconds of the second quarter and the Ducks were suddenly looking at a 14-0 deficit.
Darren Thomas completed a 29 yard touchdown pass to De'Anthony Thomas midway through the second quarter to get the scoring started for the Ducks, but Barkley once again completed a short pass to Woods to get that score back with just over two minutes left in the half, and Oregon went to halftime trailing by a score of 21-7.
USC scored on a 26 yard field goal by Andre Heidari before the Ducks scored their second touchdown of the game on a 9 yard Kenjon Barner touchdown run. USC would score twice more in that third quarter, on a rushing touchdown by Marc Tyler and another Barkley pass, this one to Randall Telfer, to run their lead to a massive 24 points and a 38-14 lead. On the kickoff, however, De'Anthony Thomas would take it to the house, returning the kick for a 96 yard touchdown. The two-point conversion would fail, but the Ducks edged closer, closing the gap to 38-20.
The fourth quarter would be by far the most thrilling, as the vaunted Ducks speed took over and broke out for the first time in the game. A 75 yard drive would lead off the final quarter, culminating in am 8 yard rushing touchdown by Barner. Midway through the quarter, a 60 yard drive would end with a LaMichael James rushing touchdown. A two-point conversion later, and the Ducks were within three.
The Trojans started another long drive, making it to the red zone and looking to put the game away, when Marc Tyler suddenly fumbled. The Ducks recovered at their own 14 yard line, and started their own drive toward the end zone.They made it to the USC 20 yard line with 0:05, and Alejandro Maldonado came in to attempt the field goal that could send the game to overtime and keep the hopes for an Oregon National Championship Game appearance alive. The kick, which was a career long attempt for Maldonado, sailed wide left as time expired, and the Trojans were victorious.
Darron Thomas finished the game 23-for-35 with 265 passing yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. Kenjon Barner led all rushers with 127 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns.
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