The USC Trojans on the back of Ronald Jones had 17 points in their first 3 possessions. The Trojans first possession settled for a field goal after a 4 play, 18 yard drive set up by a brilliant special teams play. The second possession for USC went 7 plays for 60 yards. Ronald Jones II capped the drive off with a 23 yard touchdown putting USC up early.
The third possession Ronald Jones II spun out of a tackle and into the end zone for another touchdown giving the Trojans a 17-0 lead after the first 10 minutes of the game. The USC defense meanwhile was playing lights out bottling up the Ducks on drive after drive. Between RoJo and the USC defense it looked like the rout was on.
Oregon began to slow the bleeding on a punt that pinned the Trojans deep in their own territory. With the USC offense playing out of their own end zone they failed to get a first down. The Trojans were forced to punt but it only went for 24 yards. The poor punt set up a 25 yard touchdown run by Charles Nelson. The Ducks missed the extra point and USC was up 17-6.
Eventually the Oregon defense was able to take a breath and settle in forcing 3 straight punts for the Trojans. USC was able to run a successful 2 minute offense at the end of the first half for another touchdown on a 3-yard pass from Sam Darnold to Deontay Burnett with 30 seconds left in the second quarter. USC would take a 24-6 lead into half time.
The Trojans started with the ball first in the second half with an 18 point lead. Ronald Jones went right back to work scoring a 66 yard touchdown almost untouched, his third of the night. The Trojans were up 31-6 with 13:51 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing Oregon possession the Ducks actually put together their first solid drive in the entire game. The offense is Oregon’s strength but they could not find much success against the USC defense. Despite the touchdown, the Ducks trailed 31-13 in the third.
The Trojans have struggled with turnovers all year but they managed to go over 35 minutes against Oregon without a turnover until Sam Darnold threw an interception to Oregon’s Brenden Schooler. Even with the free possession the Ducks could not do anything with it and the score remained the same.
Sam Darnold would easily make up for the interception with some amazing play. With 4:31 left in the 3rd quarter Darnold was flushed out of the pocket and forced to reverse field. Darnold kept his eyes downfield and found Daniel Imatorbhebhe. The pass was tipped but Imatorbhebhe kept his concentration and made the catch for a 38 yard gain.
USC would finish off the drive with an 8 yard touchdown pass to Taylor McNamara. Putting USC up 38-13 to end the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter USC picked up right where they left off marching right down the field on a 7 plays for 57 yards and a touchdown. Ronald Jones punched in his 4th touchdown of the night this time from the 1 yard line giving the Trojans a 45-13 lead with just under 12 minutes left to play. The Ducks would come up empty once again
The Ducks would come up empty once again and Max Browne would check into the game. Sam Darnold would finish the night 28/40 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Darnold would hit 9 different wide receivers with 7 receptions to Deontay Burnett. MIchael Pittman Jr., Taylor McNamara, and Darreus Rogers each had 4. Surprisingly Juju Smith-Schuster only had 2 receptions from Sam Darnold. Contrast this game to last year when Juju seemed to be the only receiver targeted in the passing game.
Oregon was able to tack on another touchdown in garbage time scaring those who bet the under but the writing was on the wall and the only thing still in doubt was whether or not USC would top 50 points for the first time this season but they didn’t opting to run the clock out instead.
USC wins their 5th staright 45-20 over Oregon. Next week will be a huge showdown in Seattle against the Washington Huskies.
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