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USC WR Marqise Lee had a lot of success against Oregon's secondary
We arrive at yet another example of something that every coach in the country harps on—not giving up the big play.
In Oregon's case, the big play was the only reason several teams even came close to beating them.
Against USC, the Ducks had the Trojans on life support before a couple deep passes to Nelson Agholor and Marqise Lee brought them back. I know most fans would say they weren't ever worried about losing, and that may be true, but it could have been a comfortable victory if not for several big plays early.
A similar story unfolded in the first half of the Civil War, where the Ducks had complete command of the game except for two deep passes—to Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton. Oregon seized control in the second half and pulled away, capitalizing on Sean Mannion's deep throws by intercepting them.
Nick Aliotti has often been noted for his bend-but-don't-break defense, which works because opponents are rarely able to drive the length of the field a few yards at a time. When Oregon's defense struggles, it's because they've given up a big play.
If Oregon wants to continue breezing past inferior opponents, they'll have to get better at allowing big plays to occur.
Note: Again, I'm harping on something the defense did fairly well, considering no team came within 10 points of the Ducks aside from Stanford. Still, it was an issue at times, and that's why it is included here.