LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans leads the offensive huddle in the end zone against the Washington Huskies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. USC won 40-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Since their loss to LSU Oregon has played some pretty solid football.
They pick and prod their opponents in the first half, make adjustments and then turn on the jets in second half.
I think most USC fans are realistic that this will be a very tough game. Oregon's game isn't perfect but they are able to make up the occasional mistake or flaw with depth and speed. The game is also in that nut house that is Autzen Stadium so Oregon has that going for them as well.
USC has beaten Oregon once in the past four years. It hasn’t won in the state of Oregon since 2005, when most of these Trojans were in middle school.
But then something happened. The Trojans started growing up. They started sensing what they were capable of and they learned how to do it. Does this sound like a team with no hope, like a team worried about if it can return to the top of its conference?
"I don’t want to say anything about Oregon, but we will play anybody, anywhere. We’ll show up ready to fight," defensive tackle Christian Tupou said. "We’ll play anybody -- on the field, in the parking lot ... Nobody’s scared around here."
"I think more than ever, we are [ready]," quarterback Matt Barkley said. "Oregon’s very good this year, but I think they were better when we played them in the past."
This USC team has faced some pretty bleak times over the past eighteen months but they have kept up a pretty good attitude and they have really started come together over the past few weeks.
A positive attitude is a great thing to have but it has to translate to performance on the field.
For the Ducks, it is on a sure path to the Pac-12 title. The question is where will that road take them? The Rose Bowl is pretty much assured but they are now back in the hunt for the BCS Title game...so this game has a lot of meaning to them. But I don't see the Ducks taking USC seriously.
USC is looking to get better and prepare for next season.
These next two, and final, games are important for many reasons. With no post season in their future, USC wants to win while getting solid performances at the same time.
Should be an interesting week....