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Oregon Football: Winners and Losers from the USC Game

Nathan LoweryCorrespondent INovember 4, 2012

Oregon Football: Winners and Losers from the USC Game

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    In 1984, the L.A. Coliseum played host to 1984 Summer Olympics.

    The Coliseum was the venue for the track and field events of the Olympics; now 28 years later, it played host to another track meet.

    Only this was supposed to be a football game.

    In one of the most offensively dominant games since Washington-Baylor last year, Oregon dominated from start to finish to down the USC Trojans 62-51 to improve to 9-0 on the season.

    Both teams combined for 1,345 yards of total offense.

Winner: Kenjon Barner

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    Kind of a no-brainer here, but Kenjon Barner was an absolute winner against the Trojans by rushing for 321 yards and five touchdowns, both of which set Oregon records.

    The performance earned Barner a Walter Camp Player of the Week Award and vaulted him to No. 2 in Bleacher Report's Heisman Power Rankings.

Loser: Oregon's Defense

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    This was the Oregon defense that we are used to seeing in the past. 

    The Ducks allowed 615 yards of total offense and 51 points to Matt Barkley and Co. and gave Marqise Lee yet another monster performance with 12 receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while also racking up almost 200 yards in the return game.

Winner: Oregon's Defense

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    While the Ducks did give up more than 600 yards of total offense and 51 points, they made the plays they needed to when it counted.

    Both Kiko Alonso and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had an interception to their names, and the unit as a whole made two red-zone stops.

    Just as Marqise Lee's performance the past two games meant nothing to his team because USC lost both games, giving up 615 yards and 51 points doesn't mean much because the Ducks won the game.

Winner: Josh Huff

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    What a way to come back.

    Huff, who has dealt with injury issues since he hurt his knee against Fresno State in Week 2, showed up Saturday night in L.A.

    While it was't nearly as impressive as Marqise Lee's performance, Huff led the Ducks with six receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Loser: Kiffin and Sons

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    This wasn't just the worst defensive performance from USC this season; it was the worst one to befall the Trojans ever.

    Yes, you read that right, ever.

    That 730 yards of total offense is a school worst, as is 62 points.

    Monte Kiffin, the father of head coach Lane, was one of the brightest defensive coordinators in the NFL, working with Tony Dungy (ironically Tony's son Eric is a wide receiver for the Ducks) to utilize the Tampa 2 defense which was known as one of the league's best.

    Apparently that didn't apply to college football.

Winner: Marcus Mariota

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    Growing up in Hawaii, Marcus Mariota dreamed of playing in the L.A. Coliseum.

    However, not as a visitor, but as a Trojan.

    Fortunately for him, and for the Ducks, he chose Oregon, and making the biggest start of his life, on the road at USC as only a redshirt freshman with national title hopes on the line, Mariota lit up the stat sheets and the Trojan defense.

    Mariota easily out-played Matt Barkley, a Heisman front-runner in the preseason, going 20-of-23 for 304 yards and four touchdowns, while also adding another 96 yards on 15 carries.

    Remember, he's only a freshman.

Loser: The BCS Computers

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    The computer polls have not been giving the Ducks their due respect this season.

    They did after Saturday night's dismantling of the Trojans. 

    Oregon dropped a spot in the BCS poll each of the past two weeks despite being ranked No. 2 in nearly every other poll because of the computers.

    That wasn't the case this week with the Ducks leap-frogging Notre Dane to take No. 3 in the BCS standings, where they finished last season, and are right on current No. 2 Kansas State's heels.

Loser: Matt Barkley's Heisman Hopes

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    I wonder where Matt Barkley would be right now if he had declared for the NFL draft last season.

    Despite throwing for 484 yards and five touchdowns, Barkley threw two costly interceptions on the night, giving him 10 on the season, three more than he threw all of last season, which contributed to USC dropping its third loss, putting it in the passenger seat for not only the Pac-12 title, but also the Pac-12 South crown.

    Kiss a trip to New York goodbye.

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