If last year was the Oregon Ducks taking the torch from the USC Trojans, this year was Oregon sprinting away from the field with it. USC gave Oregon a fight, and were up by three in the third quarter, before Oregon pulled away down the stretch and won by a comfortable 21-point margin. The win puts the Ducks at 8-0 for the first time since 1933 and will surely keep them atop both human polls when the rankings come out tomorrow.
LaMichael James had another Heisman-worthy day against the Trojans, rushing for 239 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries, showing again, that he can carry this team on his back. Darron Thomas joined James in the great day department, throwing for 288 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. Jeff Maehl led the Duck receivers, catching eight passes for 145 yards and three scores.
For the Trojans, it was Matt Barkley carrying the load, completing 26 of 49 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Marc Tyler added 69 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and Ronald Johnson caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
The Ducks fell just shy of 600 yards of total offense, finishing with 599 yards on the day, 311 of which came on the ground. USC couldn’t match the output, putting up 377 yards. Each team had mistakes on offense, with Oregon turning the ball over twice and USC three times.
Down 32-29, Oregon scored 24 unanswered points from the 11:09 mark of the third quarter to seal the game, once again putting on a show in primetime on national TV. Sitting second in the BCS poll, Oregon controls its own destiny and is looking like a strong contender for the BCS National Championship Game in January.
Chip Kelly and the Ducks improve to 8-0 while the Trojans fall to 5-3 on the season. The Ducks return to Autzen next week to take on the Washington Huskies. USC hosts Arizona State at the Coliseum next Saturday.