USC never led in its matchup with Oregon, but didn’t get blown out or embarrassed. That’s more than I, personally, expected.
What I love about Bleacher Report is that it is a fan’s perspective—and while I am a writer—I am also a fan, of USC particularly. I have season tickets, I tailgate and I was at this game, so what follows are impressions based not just on what I witnessed, but on the reaction of the crowd around me.
Oregon 62, USC 51
Well then. Cue the East Coast-biased media saying the Pac-12 has no defense.
It is hard to be a West Coast-based football fan at times; heck—it is hard to be a college football fan at times—the media sways on the lightest of breezes to skewer every team and conference that is not a part of the SEC. It is a fact. If you dispute it, I’d lay odds that nine out of 10 of you are not on the West Coast.
All of that said, it was an interesting game. Sure, USC lost, but they lost while putting up 51 points. Big deal, you may be thinking. But it IS very much a big deal. No one else has hung that many points on Oregon in YEARS.
USC’s defense allowed 62 points, so don’t pull out the celebratory hats and noisemakers just yet, Trojan fans.
This was a total failure of the USC defense which is, say it with me—UNACCEPTABLE.
Make no mistake—allowing 62 points might be the most the Trojan football program has allowed in a century. In fact, Oregon’s 738 yards and 62 points ARE the most ever allowed by USC since the school began playing football in 1888.
Well then. Ahem.
Matt Barkley did pass for an impressive 484 yards and four TDs, exposing some previously unexposed Oregon defensive issues which future opponents can exploit to their advantage.
Marqise Lee had 12 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns in this second consecutive loss by the Trojans.
Oregon QB Marcus Mariota destroyed the USC defense with 304 yards passing, no interceptions and 96 yards rushing.
In USC’s defense, the Trojans did put up a fight, scoring more and gaining more yards than any team Oregon has played this year so far.
As suspected, the USC defense just could not keep up with the relentless pace set by Oregon—and that has to come down to coaching and conditioning, since preparing for Oregon’s speed was a coaching no-brainer. You know they are on your schedule; how do you not prepare for them defensively.
Monte clearly didn’t. And before all y’all end up crying in the comments—I am well aware Ed Orgeron is the de rigueur defensive coordinator, but let’s be clear—Monte is calling the shots.
There is no excuse for the offensive firestorm USC allowed tonight.
However, USC did show signs tonight that made me feel like not all hope was lost for the season. They DO have the talent and skill to beat ASU, UCLA and perhaps even Notre Dame.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a more thorough analysis.
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