Oregon Ducks vs. USC Trojans Preview and Pick

#23 Oregon Ducks +16.5 (4-1) 3-2 ATS at #9 USC Trojans -16.5 (2-1) 2-1 ATS, Saturday October 4, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (92,000) Los Angeles, California 8:00p.m. EST

By Wilson of Predictem.com

The top two PAC 10 power houses will collide this Saturday as the Ducks try to hand the Trojans their second loss in as many games. The Trojans were upset last Thursday night in Corvallis, Oregon by the Oregon State Beavers 27-21. The loss bumped the USC from #1 in the country down to #9.

The Ducks beat USC last year in Eugene at Autzen Stadium 24-17, which was just one of the Trojans two losses all year. The Oregon Ducks appear to be back on track after suffering an upset loss at home last week to Boise State 37-32 as Oregon flew into Pullman, Washington and dismantled the Washington State Cougars 63-14. Don’t get me wrong, beating the Cougars this season is not exactly a tall order but never the less; the Ducks got their wings back and should be more on track against USC on Saturday.

Oregon’s running game was in dominant form against the Cougars as the Ducks gained 346 yards on the ground-they simply ran over the Cougs. Running backs Legarette Blount and Jeremiah Johnson each rushed for 3 touchdowns. In total, the Oregon offense accumulated 507 yards. They are averaging 47.4 points per game which is in the top 10 for division one teams.

Defensively, the Ducks are giving up 22.2 points per game, and that number needs to drop especially when facing high caliber teams like USC. Also hurting the Ducks lately has been their penalty yardage, they had 11 penalties for 69 yards in the Washington State game. They will not be able to afford costly penalties against USC.


Oregon’s latest QB Jeremiah Masoli was 9-of-16 for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Oregon has had QB issues all season with the injuries to Nate Costa and Justin Roper. Masoli, the third string QB has to find his way in a tough PAC 10 conference where quarterbacks seem to be dropping like flies!

Meanwhile, USC is coming off of the big loss to the Oregon State Beavers. The Trojans were ran over by OSU freshman running back Jacquizz Rodgers who rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns against the USC defense. The Trojans could not tackle Rodgers, who eluded them all night.

To make matters worse for USC, QB Mark Sanchez tossed a late interception that led to a Beaver score and put the game out of reach. Sanchez actually had good numbers as he threw for 227 yards and three TDs on 18-of-29 pass completions. But Sanchez took partial blame for the loss as did RB Joe McKnight who fumbled and dropped a pass.

USC is averaging 36 points per game and allowing just 12.3. They fell to a non-ranked team in Oregon State, which proves how difficult the PAC 10 can be, so the Trojans will be sure to prepare properly as Oregon is always very athletic and fast.

The Trojans are 2-1 ATS and 1-2 O/U while the Ducks are 3-2 ATS and 3-2 O/U. The way these two teams can explode you may have a great bet on the over.

This game will be a good one, and the PAC 10 title may very well be on the line as both teams are likely to run the table after they meet. If Oregon can clean up the penalties and play their game they may have a chance in the Coliseum, but a slim one at that!

Wilson’s Pick: What a rough week for the Ducks to visit USC after USC just got their #@!##@ handed to them in Corvallis. You can bet they’ll be fired up to roast some duck Saturday. I think this game is a close one early, but USC pulls away in the second half. I like USC to win and cover. Luck to ya.