USC continued its breakneck pace at practice Tuesday as it prepares to face top-ranked Oregon on Oct. 30.
The Ducks score more points faster than anyone in the nation, meaning the Trojan offense must continue its stellar play if USC is to keep up.
USC averages almost 38 points per game, not as eye-popping as Oregon’s 54.3 but still impressive.
If USC can hold Oregon to around 35 points, it could be good enough to give the Trojans a shot. But senior wide receiver David Ausberry said he’s not approaching the game that way.
“It’s important every week to play like that,” Ausberry said. “We’ve got playmakers and we got great coaches so they’ll put the ball in the guys’ hands that need to make plays.”
Only against Virginia, when the Trojans put up just 17 points in an ugly win, has the USC offense looked out of sync. That is a major contrast to last year when the unit was often inconsistent, especially against Arizona State and Arizona.
The key, according to Ausberry, has been staying away from injuries, or at least recovering from them faster.
“Guys are a lot healthier this year,” he said. “We still have certain injuries, but I feel like guys are coming off injuries a lot quicker.”
Freshman tailback Dillon Baxter is one of those players that has been sidelined. Baxter sprained toes on his left foot against Stanford and did not play against Cal.
Baxter missed practice again Wednesday, but he said his condition is improving. It is only the big toe that is hindering him now.
“I’m going to try to practice [Thursday],” Baxter said, adding that he would definitely practice next week and is on pace to play against the Ducks.
Cal was the first game the tailback has missed and his first real injury of any sort, he said.
“It sucks. No one wants to be hurt but you can’t do anything but rehab,” Baxter said.
The Trojans will likely enter next Saturday’s game unranked, while the Ducks, if they take care of business against UCLA Thursday night, will probably remain the No. 1 team in the AP poll.
That is unfamiliar ground for a USC team accustomed to being top dog and fending off attacks from other teams trying to knock them off.
But Ausberry, who was part of top-ranked Trojan teams earlier in his career, said none of that matters.
“We know to play ball regardless,” Ausberry said. “Things I learned from those older guys, being a freshman, [is] you gotta play regardless. Doesn’t matter if it’s No. 1 or No. 100.”