The Ducks are explosive and skilled, but their biggest weapon is their tempo.
Oregon's speed and wealth of talent is enough to deal with. But the Ducks' biggest asset, the tempo at which they play, is what will give USC fits Saturday, according to the Pac-12 Network's Yogi Roth.
...While the Ducks average over 500 yards of offense and over 50 points per contest, what stood out in the tape room was not their often-discussed play calling, their relentless defense or their physical running attack. It was what their tempo does for an opponent's mentality during a game.
The pace at which the Ducks play can be overwhelming. It can prevent the defense from substituting because of fatigue or personnel needs, and keeps opposing coaches from having the time needed to make adjustments during a drive.
Roth makes an interesting point about how these things can be mentally taxing on an opponent, forcing them to play outside of their comfort zone and at a pace they aren't used to — which ultimately forces mistakes that the Ducks can capitalize on as well as anyone in the country.
Preparing for Oregon's tempo may be just as difficult as playing against it:
This will not show up in the stat sheet, but the mental pressure that Oregon's tempo imposes on its opponents will most likely give Lane Kiffin and his staff a sleepless week, as the Oregon at USC matchup is here. Finally.
Come Saturday, we'll find out if the Trojans can keep up.