The wait is finally over.
Matchup: Oregon at USC
Venue: Los Angeles Coliseum (Los Angeles, California)
Game Time, TV: 4:00pm (PST), FOX
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Team Records: Oregon (8-0), USC (6-2)
Standings: Oregon (T-1st in PAC-12), Colorado (T-4th in Pac-12)
After almost a year of anticipation, the Oregon Ducks are set to square off against the USC Trojans in what will likely be the Pac-12’s marquee game of the season.
Duck fans, players, and coaches have hungered for this game since Alejandro Maldonado’s sailed wide of the uprights to give the Trojans a victory at Autzen Stadium and spoil Oregon’s chances of another BCS Championship appearance. Though this game has lost some of its sparkle with USC losing two contests in the Pac-12 (at Stanford and at Arizona), the importance of coming away with a victory from this game for both teams is still as important as ever.
If Oregon wins this one they will solidify their position at the tops of the Pac-12 while laying claim to the throne that the Trojans have been reluctant to give up. A win propels Oregon to the top of the Pac-12 class and officially asserts them as the next Pac-12 dynasty; a bold claim, but true.
Breaking news: Oregon will be wearing their all-white uniforms. Ok, well, admittedly we already knew that. While uniforms hardly have any factor in how a team plays, let’s just talk for a moment about how cool these uniforms are. The stromtrooper look for Oregon has quickly become a fan favorite and helped the Ducks in recent years against USC (Oregon sported the all-white look in Los Angeles two years ago and throttled the Trojans) and will be the lightest uniform Nike has ever manufactured.
Alright…now on to the real business.
In the past 14 years, the Ducks have an 8-6 edge over the Trojans over the past 14 contests, beginning with a shift in the rivalry in 1994. Since that time the Ducks have become the staple for success in the Pac-12 and will look to cement their place among college football‘s elite programs in 2012.
A win over the Trojans would give Oregon its own Pac-12 credibility and even an upper-hand in recruiting over the Trojans.
What to Watch: USC
The main way that USC will stay in this game is by figuring out a way to stop the monster that is the Oregon offense. So far, nobody has been able to even contend with the Ducks. Not only do they have to eliminate the threat of Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas, the Trojans now must also combat Marcus Mariota, Oregon’s phenom quarterback who has given the Ducks even more options on the offensive side of the ball.
If the Trojans are unable to figure out a way to make the Ducks one-dimensional early on, they will have a tough time slowing down the Duck machine.
What to Watch: Oregon
Oregon’s offense will do what it wants; it’s the defense we are paying attention to in this game. The Ducks will be facing one of the premier offenses in college football on Saturday afternoon and will be facing their toughest test in trying to contain both Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.
Saturday’s matchup will let us see whether or not Oregon’s defense is for real or if they have just been fortunate against lesser opponents.
Key Matchup: Oregon Secondary vs. Lee and Woods
No big surprise here, Oregon’s secondary will be the key to asserting the Ducks’ supremacy and giving them a victory on Saturday night. Though they may be a bit undersized, the Oregon secondary has been unstoppable this season and wrecked havoc on every opponent they have faced.
Containing Lee and Woods is an entire different game, however.
The Trojans will have home field advantage and a powerful offense to combat the Ducks, but Oregon is just too good this year and will become the class of the Pac-12 with a resounding victory in Los Angeles.