Oregon vs. USC: Why This Pac-12 Showdown Will Go Down to the Wire

Ian BergCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2012

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 27:  De'Anthony Thomas #6 of the Oregon Ducks is congratulated after returning a punt for a touchdown against the Colorado Buffaloes on October 27, 2012 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

This college football season has been unique with every week bringing a strong lineup of quality games. On Saturday, one of the best games of the season is set to kick off with Oregon and USC set to play.

Two prolific offenses will take the field and keep this Pac-12 showdown exciting from start to finish. Matt Barkley and his Trojans need a strong performance to return him to the Heisman discussion, but they also need to win to solidify themselves in the top position of the Pac-12 South Division.

Oregon will be looking for style points and a big win in this game. Right now, the Ducks are looking in from the outside at the national title discussion, and they are doing all they can to change the national perception of this team.

A big win over USC would provide Oregon with a boost of votes, and it could push them back to the top of the BCS rankings.

The Ducks have relied on Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to produce the majority of their offensive successes this year. Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota has done good things, but he couldn’t win these games without his tandem of backs.

Matt Barkley is the hot name at USC, but Marqise Lee and Robert Woods out this season, his stock is not the same. Silas Redd has also helped the Trojans from the backfield.

The teams in this game will be high-scoring, and they will bounce from side to side as they battle it out.

USC is looking to regain national respect, and Oregon is trying to prove it is national-championship-worthy. The Ducks have not been tested against a team like USC yet this year, but the Trojans haven’t faced an offense like the Ducks. 

History suggests that this game will be a fun one to watch. 

The 2011 contest finished with a Trojans upset win over the Ducks. Oregon was the No. 4 team in the country at the time, and USC jumped into the lead, having the game in hand by the third quarter with a score of 38-14.

Just a few short minutes later, and Oregon was within three rankings of the Trojans.

Marqise Lee and Robert Woods both had big games a year ago and are looking to do the same this season. Lee finished with 187 receiving yards against Oregon, while Woods snagged another 53 yards and two touchdowns.

If last season is any indicator of what's to come, this will be a fun contest to watch on Saturday. Make sure you only grab beers during commercials, or you may miss a couple of scores.