USC-Oregon Live Blog
Todayâs game kicks off at 5:00 on the West Coast. All updates will be timestamped with game time. Be sure to check out our Twitter feed for instant info at http://www.twitter.com/dailytrojan
5:25 Fourth Quarter, USC 32, Oregon 46 – Matt Barkley’s interception in USC’s endzone just about seals the deal for the Trojans.
Oregon continues its habit of halting opponents in the final quarter â the Ducks have given up just seven points all year.
12:20 Fourth Quarter, USC 32, Oregon 43 – USC turns the ball over on downs. It certainly feels like the Ducks will cruise to a victory from here. USC has no momentum and the Ducks continue to move the ball easily on a tired-looking USC defense.
1:14 Third Quarter, USC 32, Oregon 43 – Just like that, the Ducks are back in the driver’s seat. Oregon answered USC’s two touchdowns after halftime with two of its own, the latest a two-yard LaMichael James run.
The USC defense is starting to look tired and the offense hasn’t been able to get anything going without being first set up by a turnover or a good punt return. Fatigue looks likes its starting to hamper the Trojans.
6:46 Third Quarter, USC 32, Oregon 36 – The Ducks didn’t let USC stay on top for long. A 12-play, 69-yard drive that took 4:26 (that’s a marathon for Oregon) ended in a 30-yard touchdown from Thomas to Maehl.
The Ducks were in a third-and-long situation, but Thomas found Maehl streaking across the middle of the field. Maehl ran up the left sideline and into the endzone.
After Oregon’s go-ahead score, the air was let out of the stadium. Now the Trojans offense will try to create some momentum of its own and regain the lead.
11:19 Third Quarter, USC 32, Oregon 29 – In less than four minutes of play in the second half, USC has scored 15 points and retaken control of the game.
Matt Barkley scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak, capping a short drive that was set up by a 55-yard Ronald Johnson punt return and a few Oregon penalties. The Trojans converted the two-point conversion on a pass from Barkley to Johnson.
The stadium is going nuts again and the Trojans might have gotten the spark they needed. Oregon can still score in the blink of an eye, though, and there is a lifetime left in this game.
13:43 Third Quarter, USC 24, Oregon 29 – Johnson hauls in a 5-yard touchdown from Barkley, bringing the Trojans within a score of Oregon.
USC’s quick score was sparked by an interception by defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. Wes Horton tipped a Darren Thomas pass and Casey snatched it out of the air.
This is exactly the kind of start that USC needed. The crowd is rocking again and the Trojans are back in the game.
Halftime, USC 17, Oregon 29 – The Trojans showed they could hang with the Ducks at times, but still find themselves staring down a 12-point deficit after two quarters.
The Trojans basically traded scores with the Ducks to start the first half, which gave USC a 17-15 lead midway through the second quarter. The Trojans were driving and crowd was raucous. The key turning point came when the Trojans lost a fumble as Barkley, in the shotgun formation, looked toward the USC sideline while the ball was being snapped.
Oregon recovered the loose ball and scored on its very next play. The Ducks scored again after a Cliff Harris returned a punt 41 yards to set them up inside USC territory.
The Ducks have only had the ball for 8:49, but that didn’t stop them from putting up 21 points in the second quarter. The nation’s leading offense has gained 313 yards against a USC defense that has looked lost at times.
Still, the Trojans entered halftime with some momentum when Armond Armstead recovered a Darren Thomas fumble caused by DaJohn Harris, halting another potential Oregon score.
If the Trojans are to get back into the game, obviously their defense must prevent big plays and get the Ducks off the field. But more importantly, Barkley and the USC offense must find a rhythm, which has been elusive so far.
Barkley is 12-of-21 for 156 yards and one interception. No running back has asserted himself yet, although Marc Tyler has two touchdowns. All hope is not lost yet at the Coliseum, but a lot is riding on how Oregon’s first possession of the third quarter shakes out.
The Ducks will receive to start the second half, and if the Trojan defense can hold and keep the crowd in it, then USC’s upset hopes appear dim.
1:10 Second Quarter, USC 17, Oregon 29 – USC’s poor punt coverage allowed Oregon to start its drive inside the USC 40. The Ducks took adavantage two plays later when Thomas found Lavasier Tuinei for a wide-open touchdown through the center of the Trojan defense.
The crowd has lived and died with the Trojan defense, so if the Trojans are to have any momentum heading into halftime, they need to make something happen in the final 1:05 of this quarter.
6:45 Second Quarter, USC 17, Oregon 22 – The Ducks immediately take advantage of a costly turnover by the Trojans. Darren Thomas found Jeff Maehl for a 45-yard score that the receiver bobbled but hauled in.
The Trojans had momentum on their side when Barkley lined up in the shotgun. He lifted his foot to signal the snap, but was distracted by a whistle (apparently from a coach) coming from the USC sideline. He turned his head and the ball was snapped. Oregon recovered and the Ducks made USC pay right away.
This upcoming drive is key for the Trojans. Oregon will receive in the second half and the Trojans can’t let Oregon build anymore onto its lead.
8:50 Second Quarter, USC 17, Oregon 15 – The Trojans respond to Oregon’s touchdown with one of their own, an 8-yard run by Marc Tyler. Tyler has two touchdowns tonight.
The drive was sparked by a 25-yard reception by Ronald Johnson from Matt Barkley. It was Johnson’s first catch of the game. Robert Woods has been Barkley’s go-to target, with 5 catches for 51 yards so far.
Defense, your turn.
12:27 Second Quarter, USC 10, Oregon 15 – In just two plays and 46 yards, LaMichael James gave Oregon back the lead after his 42-yard burst through the Trojan defense.
James had been somewhat corralled up to this point, but not after that run. James has 71 yards tonight and has just gone over 1,000 yards on the season.
The Trojan crowd has been taking its cue from the USC defense. If it can’t string together a few stops, the Ducks could start to pull away.
Let’s see if the Trojans open it up more on offense. After a diverse first drive, Lane Kiffin’s playcalling has looked a bit conservative.
1:30 First Quarter, USC 10, Oregon 8 – Marc Tyler’s 1-yard touchdown puts the Trojans back on top.
The Trojans forced Oregon to punt, which brought the crowd back into the game. Ronald Johnson’s punt return set the Trojans up in Duck territory. The Trojans tried a trick-reverse pass that was incomplete, but pass interference was called against Oregon. USC’s offense did the rest.
Let’s see if the Trojans can get consecutive stops against the dangerous Oregon offense.
9:17 First Quarter, USC 3, Oregon 8 – The Ducks strike back in less than two and half minutes on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Darren Thomas to Jeff Maehl. The Ducks added a two-point conversion for good measure.
The Ducks converted two long third downs on that drive. The Coliseum crowd was as loud as it has been all season, but we’ll see how long USC fans can keep it up if Oregon builds a larger lead.
11: 42 First Quarter, USC 3, Oregon 0 – After winning the toss, the Trojans elected to receive. They moved the ball easily, then stalled inside the redzone, settling for a 32-yard Joe Houston field goal. USC leads 3-0.
On eight plays during that scoring drive, the Trojans passed only twice.
The atmosphere at the Coliseum is electric in anticipation of tonight’s prime-time matchup between the No. 24 Trojans and the No. 1 Ducks.
Expect a lot of offense in this game. Oregon brings to town the nation’s top-rated and fastest offense, led by running back LaMichael James. The Trojans aren’t so bad themselves, averaging 494 yards per game.
Oregon is the first top-ranked team to visit the Coliseum since 1988. If the Trojans are to pull off the upset and stay alive in the Pac-10 race, the USC defense must slow the Ducks’ up-tempo offense, which averages just above 55 points per game.
We’re less than 10 minutes from kickoff. Stay tuned for updates throughout the game!