This gridiron battle was tabbed at the beginning of the year as maybe the biggest contest to watch in 2012. Well, the outcome just might have proved those prognostications correct.
Before a sellout crowd of 93,607 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the #17 University of Southern California Trojans lost to the #4 Oregon Ducks 62-51. The 113 points were the most ever scored by two Top 20 teams in a single contest. No other game between two schools ranked in the Associated Press Top 20 have ever scored this many points – Oregon was ranked 2nd and USC 18th by the AP, heading into this recording-breaking affair.
Many more milestones were achieved in the game as well. The Ducks racked up a mind-boggling 730 yards against the Trojans which was the most USC has ever given up since they first started playing football 125 years ago. Another record that went into the books was the 62 points Oregon scored against the Trojans, which was the most ever given up in USC’s notable history.
An individual landmark performance was turned in by the Ducks’ running back Kenjon Barner. The senior ran for a school record 321 yards and five touchdowns on 38 carries. Barner’s feat was the most rushing yards ever allowed by the Trojans.
The game produced 1,345 total yards from two offenses that essentially could not be stopped by the other’s defense. The difference may have been in turnovers where Oregon had just one fumble whereas USC had a fumble and two interceptions.
Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley looked very good most of the afternoon and evening but did throw those two interceptions. He finished with 484 yards in passing and five touchdown throws in a losing effort. Barkley’s targets were the usual stars with sophomore sensation Marqise Lee grabbing a game-high 12 receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns while All-American Robert Woods snatched another six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. But the top receiver for USC in reception yardage was a true freshman who might have had a coming out party. Nelson Agholor had six receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown.
The Oregon Ducks quarterback wasn’t exactly outdone by Barkley though. Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes and had 400 yards in total offense which was a career best for the young quarterback with a heady performance that belied his redshirt freshman status.
Although the Trojans offense seems to be working well of late, their defense, which they leaned on heavily all year, has failed to stop anyone in the last two games. As far as the Ducks are concerned, they finally had to play four quarters for the first time this year but with astounding results. Let’s just say the Oregon Ducks have plenty to cheer about.
Oregon heads off now to cinch up the North Division with a game at California next week, followed by two contests: first at home game against #14 Stanford and then their rivalry game at #11 Oregon St.
USC stays home to play a good Arizona State team next week, followed by their crosstown rivalry battle against #18 UCLA. The regular season ends at the Coliseum versus #4 Notre Dame.
The Oregon/USC scoring fest will go down in the annals of history but there’s a chance these two schools could meet again in less than four weeks for the Pac-12 Championship. Put in new bulbs for the scoreboard as it just might be another one for the record books.
Sources – University of Oregon, University of Southern California
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Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!