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CFN Analysis: Oregon's crazy win over USC
Oregon QB Kenjon Barner
The CFN Instant Analysis on Kenjon Barner and Oregon's brilliant day
Oregon proved its case this evening.
Kansas State? Notre Dame? How about the Ducks? As long as multiple teams remain unbeaten, there’ss going to be hotly-contested debate over who’s the most deserving in the race for Miami and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Oregon added a bunch of new backers to its bandwagon with Saturday night’s convincing win over USC in The Coliseum.
The Trojans scored, even pulling to within three points twice in the third quarter. However, you just could feel that the Ducks had an answer whenever one was needed. Most of those answers were provided by RB Kenjon Barner, who likely thrust himself deep into the Heisman mix by rushing for five touchdowns and well over 300 yards on the ground. USC was defenseless—again—another poor effort from Monte Kiffin’s kids, who’ll be saddled with the indignity of having allowed more points than any other Trojans D in school history.
Oregon looked like the No. 2 team in the country tonight, regardless of what any human or computer model indicates. The Trojans, on the other hand, are on the verge of becoming one of this season’s biggest disappointments in college football.
A preseason favorite to be where the Cats and the Irish and the Ducks currently reside, Troy now has three losses, and is far from a sure-thing any longer to even take the Pac-12 South. This team had too much talent to be 6-3, with no gimmes left on the November schedule. Kiffin—and his son –have done a horrible job of managing a squad that had a lot more potential than it’s shown through nine games.
By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek
The University of Southern California Trojans have played collegiate football for 124 years. They had never allowed as many as 62 points in that period of time.
124 years. That's one century and almost one quarter of another century.
That's a span of twelve decades and almost one half of another decade.
124 years. That's longer than the Chicago Cubs have gone without winning a World Series.
It's longer than the history of college football's bowl games, which began in 1902 with the first Rose Bowl.
The Oregon Ducks don't care about history. They don't care about the fact that they entered this season with a first-year quarterback, their third opening-day signal caller in the past four seasons. They made USC's defense – the stronger unit on the Trojans through the first nine weeks of the season – look invisible. They dominated, allowing USC into the game only because of a few mistakes.
It's really rather simple: USC needed a boatload of turnovers and other large-scale miscues from Oregon to beat the Ducks last season in Eugene. Oregon wasn't perfect this time around, but the Ducks performed much closer to their standards. When Oregon plays appreciably close to its standards in a non-season-opening, non-bowl game when the opposing defense has only one week to prepare, you can pretty much forget about beating the Ducks.
Nothing more needs to be said.
By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN
Okay, now things are getting interesting.
The season is winding down and the possibility of two polar contrasts in styles matching up is a real possibility as Oregon continued its flair against a more than qualified opponent, USC. Remember, this was supposed to be the game where the Ducks’ wings were clipped. It was supposed to be where the athleticism, the surroundings, and the gravity of everything caught up to Chip Kelly’s crew.
Okay, maybe next week.
Can anyone stop the Oregon offense? The Ducks have gone up against all sorts of variable styles and continued to pile up yards and post scores in bushels. To beat them, you have to outscore them. And that’s easier said than done, as this year the point-a-minute offense is looking like a point-a-minute offense against anyone and everyone. Aside from the possibility of maybe one team.
Who else is drooling at the possibility of the pyrotechnics and lasers of the Oregon offense going against the brawny, smash you in the mouth style of the Tide?
If there’s anyone that can stop the quack attack, a bruising and athletic Alabama defense might just be the cure. Likewise, if there’s a team out there that can move the ball consistently against arguably the best defense in the country, it could be team NIKE with wings.
Yeah, there’s still some work to do for both teams. Aside from the possibility of both teams playing in a league championship game, Oregon also has to play Stanford and Oregon State, while Alabama must get past Johnny football and the emotion that might have Auburn rise up in the Iron Bowl. Maybe.
Still, the two look to be on a collision course, and that should make everyone happy.
And USC? We can officially call the Trojans a disappointing team for 2012. There is a load of NFL talent on both sides of the ball, but USC has just not been able to translate athletic gifts into consistency and winning results on the field.
All is not lost however, because USC could still win the Pac-12 South and get a rematch with Oregon where a victory would right a lot of wrongs and land the Trojans in the Rose Bowl.
That sadly, is not where the cross-hairs were aimed for the team and fanbase in Southern California.
By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn
If USC’s defense has the old version of Nintendo on hand, I suggest they avoid Duck Hunt. Nothing is getting hit.
It took about four hours and 1,300 yards of offense later, but Oregon welcomed the world to just how strong they really are. Look, if we’re going to fall all over ourselves with language about how sexy low scoring SEC affairs are, it’s only fair to acknowledge the offensive brilliance of Oregon and USC.
In the end, USC wore down, but the play calling all night on both sides was brilliant. The Trojans seemed gassed emotionally after bringing it within 10 and seeing a rather askew call go against them on an onside kick where Lane Kiffin did his best Chip Kelly but couldn’t get the rub. Up until that point, this was pristine offensive football. The first punt came with 14:23 in the fourth. All night, be it a fourth down pass where USC was never even able to set up, or Kenjon Barner being Barry Sanders patient behind his blocks, it’s time to acknowledge that this Oregon group is as good offensively as Alabama is defensively.
Aside from a missed field goal and an unforced fumble in SC territory, Oregon wasn’t stopped a single time. This is child’s play to this football team. The speed of the game gassed Southern Cal all game long, and the offense, as hard as it tried, couldn’t keep up. That’s the thing with Oregon, the pace. It wasn’t widely reported about three weeks ago when it leaked out, but Bill Belichick of all people solicited Chip Kelly’s council this summer to learn how he paces his offense. That’s high praise. And when the Oregon defense had to have the stops, they got them.
Folks, Oregon is frightening. If Kelly learned the lessons from his first BCS title tilt, you might dump that crystal football in the pond. Kudos to the USC crowd late for cheering their team’s effort in the waning, meaningless moments. Who says they don’t have good fans down there?
By Terry Johnson
Follow me @TPJCollFootball
With its decisive victory over USC, there's no denying that Oregon deserves a shot in the national championship game.
Make no mistake about it: this is a very good Trojan defense. Sure, it doesn't rank among the nation's leaders in any statistical category, but the USC defense has played very well against the run the season, allowing a paltry 3.5 yards per carry. More importantly, this unit was one of the few in the country that had both the speed and athleticism to keep up with Ducks' offense.
As well as Monte Kiffin's defense has played this season, it had absolutely no answers for Chip Kelly's spread attack. Forget Kenyon Barner's astronomical 324 yards and 5 TDs, USC simply couldn't stop any part of the Oregon offense. The Ducks scored on 9 TDs on 13 drives, and only punted the ball one time.
Not a bad performance against the toughest competition it's faced all season.
Let's be honest: tonight's game proves that Oregon is for real. Regardless of whether it plays a creampuff non-conference opponent or one of the most talented teams in the conference, the Duck offense will continue to score points in bunches.
Can they have this type of success against the vaunted defenses of Alabama, Kansas State, or Notre Dame in the BCS championship game?
It's tough to say. However, based on the clinic they put on tonight against USC, they've certainly earned the right to find out.