Oregon vs USC: Latest Spread Info, BCS Impact and Predictions

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor INovember 1, 2012

Prior to the Week 9 games, the Oregon vs. USC matchup looked as though it could rival Alabama vs. LSU for the regular season game of the year. But the Trojans dropped a tight game to an underrated Arizona team, knocking some of the luster off the Week 10 meeting with the Ducks.

There is something more disconcerting for USC than the reputation hit, though.

The Trojans surrendered 39 points to Arizona, revealing concerns with their defense. Oregon throttled Arizona 49-0 in Eugene earlier in the season.

The Ducks are solid on both sides of the ball.

Oregon's defense can be simply dominant. They also have one of the more prolific offenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), creating major issues for the Trojans.

It is fair to point out that the Ducks have yet to face most of their toughest competition in the Pac-12. Aside from USC, they also face Stanford and Oregon State in the coming weeks.

This game is a must-watch for college football fans, at least for the first hour. The aforementioned SEC showdown starts an hour after this game kicks off and could strip some of the audience.

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, L.A. 

When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. 

Watch: Fox 

Live StreamGoDucks.tvUSC All-Access 

Listen: 590 KUGN, Eugene, 750 KXTG The Game, Portland, and Oregon Ducks Radio Network; 710 ESPN Los Angeles


Current Betting Lines (via Bovada, OddsShark)

Money Line: Oregon -310, USC +255

Spread: Oregon -8½

The Ducks obviously have a lot riding on this game, but so do the Trojans. Major bowl games hang in the balance and both teams should be expected to bring their A game.

Should that happen, it isn't good news for USC. Oregon's best game is in a completely different league.

In an effort to secure their No. 2 ranking in the major polls, Oregon will need to win this game in decisive fashion. Kansas State is also facing a Top 25 team and Notre Dame is fresh off a win over a Top 10 team.


Over/Under: 70½

I'd eagerly awaited the over/under figure on this game. My predicted 76-point total had me thinking this could be a value bet.

I should have known better.

I still like the over in this game, but would be more apt to take the Ducks and surrender the points.

No. 4 Oregon at No. 17 USC. You don’t need us to tell you how big this game is for the Ducks, but we will anyway: pac12.me/VaZTku

— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) October 31, 2012



Key Injuries (via USA Today)









Troy Hill




Keloni Kamalani










Aundrey Walker




Christian Thomas




Cody Temple




Scott Starr




Brian Baucham





BCS Implications

There are two postseasons remaining before the current BCS system implodes and a four-team national championship playoff is implemented. Oregon is one of four schools looking to demonstrate why playoffs needed to start much earlier.

The Ducks likely lose their shot at a national championship with a loss, so the stakes couldn't be much higher.

Oregon lost out on a return trip to the BCS National Championship Game last season when it was upset by USC at home. Matt Barkley threw four touchdown passes as the Trojans jumped out to a 38-14 lead.

Oregon cut the deficit to 38-35 with seven minutes remaining, but Alejandro Maldonado missed a game-tying 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Oregon is out to keep its 2012 championship hopes alive and would like a little revenge. Hanging a loss on the Trojans could cost them a shot the Rose Bowl. 


Keys to Oregon Victory

The Ducks simply need to continue to play their game. They have a stout ground attack and a stingy defense.

The Trojans were able to stymie Oregon's outside run game last year and it took some time for quarterback Darron Thomas to respond and lead his team. But the USC defense isn't as fast as it was last season, which should leave more room on the outside for Oregon to run.

Marcus Mariota isn't a prolific passer, but he can hurt a team with his legs as well as his arm if the standard ground game gets bottled up.

Running back Kenjon Barner is tough to contain, though that's not new information for the Trojans. He hit USC for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 15 carries last season. His long on the day was only 17 yards, but he still averaged 8.2 yards per carry.

As long as Oregon can avoid turnovers and surrendering big plays to USC. there isn't much of a chance for an upset.


Keys to USC Victory

Matt Barkley to Marqise Lee. Period.

If the Trojans are going to pull the upset again this season then they'll need another big game from Lee. He had 187 yards on eight receptions against Oregon last season as a freshman.

He had a slightly better game against Arizona last week, posting a Pac-12 record 345 yards on 16 carries.

The Ducks aren't likely to let him control the game. They won't be caught focusing all their attention on Robert Woods, but the dual receiver threat should keep this game interesting.



Oregon is looking to Storm L.A. They are asking their fans to wear white and are distributing the shirts seen in the video below.

The Trojans are responding in kind, looking for a sea of red.

Oregon plans to whiteout the Coliseum, USC wants cardinal-out bit.ly/SdDe1s #USC @uscpsycho

— Reign of Troy (@ReignofTroy) October 31, 2012

USC has a pair of losses on the season but also has enough offensive firepower to beat almost any FBS team. Oregon is one of the few exceptions.

The Ducks simply dominate on offense. The only team that has been able to slow their onslaught in 2012 is the men wearing headsets on their own sidelines.

But the coaches have cost the team some style points by reigning in the offense this season. With the tight BCS Rankings, don't expect Chip Kelly to go easy on USC.

Oregon could face four Top 25 teams in their final five games, including the Pac-12 Championship Game. Winning these matchups will bolster their computer rankings and could get them close to Notre Dame and Kansas State on that metric.

Blowing the opposition out will keep them ranked No. 2 in the major polls and could put them back in the title game for the second time in three years.

The Ducks will come out hard and fast and aren't likely to take their foot off the gas in this game.

Predicted Score: Oregon 52, USC 24


Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.


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