In a stunning thriller at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, the Oregon Ducks trounced the USC Trojans before a sold out crowd of 59, 997, with a final score of 47-20.
USC's Matt Barkley led his team with a valiant effort, including a solid effort in the first half, but following half-time the Ducks proved to be too much for this Trojan team. The Ducks put up more than 600 yards of offense with Masoli and LaMichael James setting rushing records.
The 66th sold out Autzen crowd was into the game from the very first snap and effectively disrupted the Trojan offensive line on almost every play. ESPN measured the noise at more than 110 decibals at field level. That's louder than standing next to an operating jack hammer.
The Trojans won the toss and chose to take possession of the football. They showed some of their magic and marched down the field but weren't able to convert in the red zone and had to settle for a field goal. This proved to be a preview of what the Ducks had in store for the "men of Troy."
Oregon came right out and matched the Trojan field goal with one of their own to tie it up at 3-3.
In the next series, the Oregon Defense held the Trojans to three and out. USC punted and Oregon returned the punt to inside the Oregon 35 for excellent field position. The Ducks were obviously excited and Masoli threw a series of high and outside passes resulting in the Ducks punting the ball back to the Trojans.
The Trojans couldn't take advantage of the new possession and punted again. Within minutes Oregon regained their composure and marched down the field for their first touchdown. Oregon 10 - USC 3.
The Duck defense went to work and once again frustrated USC with limited gains on the field. Despite several solid Barkley passes, in the end the Trojans couldn't capitalize and they had to punt, again.
The second quarter was the Trojans most productive and saw them rack up a total of 14 points.
The rest of the first half was almost all Ducks domination with Oregon stretching the lead to 24-17 at the half. From there, when the Ducks returned to the field in the second half, they made the necessary adjustments to put it away and the Trojans fate was sealed.
In the course of the evening Oregon showed that they are a balanced team that is effective on offense, defense and special teams. The spread option offense kept USC confused most of the evening, while the Gang Green II defense consistently frustrated the Trojan offense and sacked Barkley on more than one occasion.
It was superb effort by Oregon who are now 5-0 in the PAC-10 and 7-1 overall. Highlights from this game will be played for years to come on the big screen at Autzen. It is a game Duck fans will relish with fond memories.
With the USC win, Oregon may move up to No. 4 or 5 in the national rankings Sunday and is now in charge of their own destiny for a trip to the Rose Bowl.
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