Oregon vs. USC: Postgame Grades from Ducks' Win vs. Trjoans

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2012

Oregon vs. USC: Postgame Grades from Ducks' Win vs. Trjoans

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    The Oregon Ducks defeated the USC Trojans on the road, 62-51. This slideshow has final grades and player analysis for the Ducks in their major victory that should help propel Oregon into the National Championship race. . 


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    Marcus Mariota—A

    Mariota was electric all night for the Oregon Ducks as he managed the game perfectly en route to the victory.

    As he dissected the defense, Mariota only threw three incompletions to go with his x yards x touchdowns. He relied on the prowess of his running game, but kept the defense honest enough with his passing ability.

    Mariota only had one mistake on the night—a fumbled exchange in the endzone that gave USC the ball back, but it ultimately didn’t matter. 

Running Backs

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    Overall game grade — A+

    Kenjon Barner had a jaw-dropping stat line at the game’s conclusion, and his outstanding efforts propelled the Ducks to victory.

    Barner carried the ball 38 times for an astounding 321 yards and five touchdowns, which landed him with a 8.4 yards per carry average.

    Easily the MVP of the game for Oregon, Barner could be well on his way to a Heisman Trophy. 

Wide Receivers

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    Overall game grade — A

    It was hard for the receivers to do a bad job against USC with quarterback Marcus Mariota and Kenjon Barner taking things into their own hands, but they all contributed majorly with down-the-field blocks that sprung Barner for huge runs. 

    Josh Huff had a massive game, catching six receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Keanon Lowe and Daryle Hawkins added a few receptions as well which helped contribute to the victory. 

    As mentioned, the number were impressive, but the blocking from the group was even more so. 

Tight Ends

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    Overall game grade — C

    It was a quiet game for the Oregon Ducks' tight ends, as Colt Lyeria recorded the lone reception for 13 yards. 

    The unit didn't have to do much with Kenjon Barner  and Co. carrying most of the load, but the blocking from the tight ends was very impressive in victory. 

    Oregon gained 730 yards total, and a big part of that was the exceptional blocking from the receivers and tight ends on the roster. 

Offensive Line

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    Overall game grade — A

    The offensive line for Oregon won't get much credit in the victory over USC, but it's a major reason the Ducks were able to amass 730 total yards. 

    Kenyon Barner was able to run wild on the Trojan defense, and that started in the trenches with the offensive line executing blocks effectively all night long. Quarterback Marcus Mariota was well-protected all night long, allowing him to control the pace of the game. 

    It's an unheralded job being an offensive lineman, but the Ducks' unit was perfect in victory. 

Defensive Line

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    Overall game grade — C

    The defensive line for the Oregon Ducks struggled all night to put pressure on USC quarterback Matt Barkley and he made the team pay with 484 yards and five touchdowns through the air. 

    USC running back Silas Redd gained 92 yards and two touchdowns as well, which clearly indicated that the defensive line for the Ducks was simply not winning the battle in the trenches. 

    As mediocre as the defensive line was for most of the game, it was the farthest thing from the worst unit on the defensive side of the ball for Oregon. 


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    Overall game grade — C-

    The linebackers for Oregon struggled most of the night against USC as Michael Clay and company failed to contain running back Silas Redd and Co. 

    The unit failed in pass protection most of the night and was ineffective rushing quarterback Matt Barkley. With the woes the defensive line was experiencing up front, the linebackers had a tough time shedding blocks and getting to the ball carrier. 

    There's a lot of talent in the linebacking corps for the Ducks, but any time a defense as a whole gives up 615 yards and and 51 points, it's been a bad day for every unit on the defensive side. 

Defensive Backs

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    Overall game grade — D

    The defensive backs struggled the most for the Ducks, giving up 484 yards to Matt Barkley. Marqise Lee abused the unit all night for 157 yards and two touchdowns, as did Nelson Agholor with 162 yards and a touchdown. 

    Not only did the defensive backs have serious issues with giving up the big play, they also committed several bone-headed penalties that seriously limited the defense's ability to stop the USC offense. 

    It's hard for any secondary to stop the USC receivers, but Oregon's secondary luckily has the best offense in the land to counteract the deficiencies, and the secondary was saved against USC.

Special Teams

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    Overall game grade — D

    The special teams unit for the Ducks against USC was a joke all night long, giving up massive returns to the Trojans returners which routinely allowed USC to start in great field position. 

    With the Ducks' special teams unit having major issues stopping any returns, USC was allowed to win the field position battle and score on short fields to keep the game much closer than it should have been. 


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    Overall game grade — A+ 

    Chip Kelly and his offensive staff had an excellent game plan going into the matchup with USC that allowed the offense to put up over 700 yards and 60 points against what was thought to be a physical and athletic defense. 

    While the defense and special teams were mediocre at best for Kelly, he got the most out of the talent he had. It's the offensive side of things where Kelly and his staff shined, as he routinely put his playmakers in a position to succeed. 

    Kelly is considered a mad genius for his offensive coaching skills, and he showcased just that in massive victory over USC.