Early in October, it looked as if the Oregon Ducks were going to have their first season with under 10 wins since 2007. Well, the Ducks enter Saturday's matchup against USC having won their past four games including upsetting Stanford three days ago. Here are some Ducks (no, not in the pond, but on the field) to watch on Saturday.
QB Vernon Adams Jr.: Through his first three games with the Ducks, Adams Jr. struggled to say the least as the Eastern Washington transfer could not find success on the field. After missing two games with an injury, Adams Jr. has looked fantastic in his last four games, accounting for 13 total touchdowns (12 passing and one rushing) to only three interceptions. On the season, Adams Jr. has completed 60.5% of his passes for 1,673 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Adams Jr. looks to have fully recovered from his broken finger that he suffered in the opening game of the season.
RB Royce Freeman: Freeman looks to be like the next star running back to come out of Oregon. Freeman had an impressing freshman campaign in 2014, rushing for 1,365 yards and 18 touchdowns. Through 10 games this season, the Imperial, Ca. native already has 1,392 rushing yards (6.6 yards per carry!) and 12 touchdowns. Freeman is currently on a streak of six games with at least 100 rushing yards. Freeman has next level speed and when you combine that with his power, Freeman has shown that he is one of the best running backs in the nation. The loss of Cameron Smith couldn't come at a worse time for USC as the Trojans will look to stop the nation's fifth leading rusher.
DL DeForest Buckner: When you look at the numbers for the Oregon defense, it's pretty ugly. They allow over 317 passing yards per game (126th in the nation), over 490 total yards per game, and 37 points per game. However, they are tied for second along with USC in sacks with 29. One of the main reasons why has been the play of DeForest Buckner. Buckner is a projected first-round pick in next year's NFL Draft and leads the Ducks with 13 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks on the season. With USC banged up on the offensive line, Oregon will try and create matchup problems and give Bucker the one-on-one opportunity with USC's line.