Scouting Oregon

Stephen Dunn

Monte Kiffin and his defensive unit will face an Oregon squad that ranks first nationally in scoring offense, and has topped at 50 points or more five times this year.

No. 4 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) vs. No. 17 USC (6-2, 4-2).

LAST YEAR

No. 4 Oregon dropped a 38-35 contest in Eugene to USC, as a last-second missed field goal by Oregon kicker Alejandro Maldonaldo went wide left, which could have sent the game into overtime. The loss snapped a 21-game home winning streak (tops in the nation) and a 19-game conference winning streak.

LAST WEEK

Oregon is fresh off a 70-14 thrashing of Colorado. The Ducks scored 14 straight points before the Buffs offense even took the field, and the score was 56-0 at halftime.

OFFENSE

The Ducks rank first nationally in scoring offense (53.4 ppg), third in rushing offense (330.6 ypg) and seventh in total offense (540.1 ypg). They have scored 30 points in 21 straight contests, one game shy of an FBS record, and have topped 50 points at least five times in eight games this season. For what it's worth: Oregon holds a 290-56 scoring edge on its opponents before halftime.

DEFENSE

The Ducks allow just under 20 points per contest, ranking 24th nationally, one spot ahead of USC. Remember: this is an Oregon defensive unit that shut out Arizona 49-0.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Marcus Mariota: The redshirt freshman has thrown for 1,483 yards and 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions, and is also threat to run, rushing for 378 yards and three scores.

RB Kenjon Barner: The senior has recorded four straight 100+ rushing yard games, and for the season, has 974 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. He ranks second in the conference behind UCLA's Johnathan Franklin in rushing yards, and 12th nationally.

RB De'Anthony Thomas: The sophomore is a threat both on offense and on special teams. He has notched 499 rushing yards, 218 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns (one on punt returns).

LBs Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso: Both seniors lead a linebacking core and rank No. 1 and No. 2 on the team with 43 and 42 tackles, respectively. Clay has recorded 6.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks on the year, while Alonso has 8 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions.

DE Dion Jordan: An All-Pac-12 first teamer a year ago, Jordan has 33 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks.

There are reports that both Alonso and Jordan are both questionable for the USC game.

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