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Oregon Football: 5 Advantages the Ducks Have over USC in the Pac-12 Title Race

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2016

Oregon Football: 5 Advantages the Ducks Have over USC in the Pac-12 Title Race

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    As the 2012 season grows closer and closer, fans are beginning to take a look at their teams and the schedule and wonder if they have what it takes to win their conference.

    In the Pac-12, a few teams believe they have a shot, but at the end of the day it will likely come down to USC out of the Pac-12 South and Oregon, the three time defending conference champion, out of the Pac-12 North.

    With USC on postseason suspension last year, the college football world was robbed of a chance to see a rematch of one of the best games of the year. This year, the rematch will be an option and is something that many believe will happen. 

    Before the season even begins, here are five advantages that the Ducks have over the Trojans should they meet up in the conference championship. 

    Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.

Running Game

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    For the past few years, Oregon has had one of the best running games in the nation and it has been on display against every team in the Pac-12. 

    Last year, the Ducks were able to call upon the running abilities of LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas. Despite the loss of James, the Ducks still have one of the nations best schemes and will continue to have success running the ball against the Trojans. 

Defensive Strength

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    For the first time in a while, the Oregon defense is finally starting to receive some preseason hype, maybe even more than their offense.

    Coming into this season, the Ducks have the look of a team that could have the best defense in the conference. 

    With a strong front seven and a secondary who got plenty of experience in 2011, the Oregon defense could make life miserable for Pac-12 offenses, and help give the speedy Ducks offense even more opportunities to put points on the board. 

Speed

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    Since Chip Kelly has taken over at Oregon, the Ducks have taken their offense to the next level and kicked it into high gear.

    The Ducks go at full speed all the time. Their speed has been a challenge for all of the defenses in the Pac-12, and USC has not been an exception. 

    While the Ducks got off to a slow start last year, it was Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas that caused late game issues and almost led the Ducks to a come-from-behind victory. 

Chip Kelly

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    Chip Kelly came to Eugene in 2007 and has been a part of the Ducks recent dominance over the Trojans, going 4-2 in the six matchups between the teams. 

    While Kelly has a dominating record over most teams, he seems to have a strong understanding of how to combat the Trojans and gives the Ducks their best chance at beating the former conference king. 

    If Kelly is able to continue to find the right players for his system, the Ducks will be in great hands and the Trojans will be back at the drawing board. 

Experience

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    For some people, the thought of USC being inexperienced when it comes to winning a conference title is almost unfathomable but it is reality this season. 

    Coming into the 2012 season, the Trojans do not have a player on their team with conference championship experience and with the exception of the incoming freshmen for the Ducks, all of the players remaining have at least one conference title.

    With their recent run of success, the Ducks find themselves being the more experienced team and may be able to use that to their advantage during the 2012 season. 

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