Oregon Week: USC peaking at the right time?

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Marc Tyler #26 of the USC Trojans carries the ball on a 24 yard run down to the one yard line to set up a touchdown in the first quarter agaisnt the Washington Huskies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

If you peruse the web there will be a ton of stories about how Oregon is unstoppable. That their unique offense, I would say gimmicky, is difficult to prepare for and difficult to stop. There will also be some stories about how their defense is much improved.

The narrative has been set.

I am on record in saying that I really don't give 'SC much of a chance...I know some will not like that, but I just don't see USC having the depth to match Oregon as the game progresses. USC has the talent, but it is still raw, so the depth is still an issue. Remember USC had the lead in the 3rd qtr. last year before the Ducks turned on the jets.

They simply couldn't keep up.

But that was last year.

USC's defense this year...nee, right now is better.

They have come together. Early games in the season really don't matter at this point. they were part of the road map to get the team is today.

In looking at USC's two losses I can only give minimal blame to the defense in the ASU loss. that was pretty much on the offense...no need to rehash it. In the Stanford game 'SC wasn't given much of a chance but went to-to-toe with a very good offense, throwing all they could at the Cardinal.

Of course this week is different, this will be the most athletic and explosive offense they will see this season. But with USC's defense playing a much more complete game USC does have a chance.

It's college football.

As we have seen in the past anything can happen.

Unfortunately, preparing for this game is difficult because USC's defense is pro-style in nature. Monte Kiffin, up to this point, still hasn't unlocked the code to beat it with the scheme he likes to run.

"They're difficult to prepare for because they are so unique," Kiffin said, adding, "Their style is just extremely different than what you face. There's nothing pro-style about it."

But Oregon does have some issues...particularly on third down.

Oregon, which was 1 of 9 on third down against Stanford, has struggled in that situation as the season has progressed. The Ducks converted 50 percent of those opportunities in September, 45.7 percent in October and only 28.6 percent so far in November.

It may not be enough to turn the tide but it is a slight chink in the armor.

Oregon also got off to a slow start against Stanford before getting it together...so USC needs to come out the gates hot.


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