In a game where the USC Trojans had to come out and win to keep control of Pac-12 South, It turned into a statement win for the No. 7 Oregon Ducks.
USC started the first quarter playing outstanding football. USC capped off their first drive of the game with Kedon Slovis showing great pocket awareness and hitting wide receiver Drake London for a touchdown pass. The offense was moving the ball very effectively while the defense was getting Oregon’s offense off the field quickly. The Trojans jumped to a quick 10-0 lead. It felt as if everything was shifting USC’s way.
The second quarter was where things shifted. Slovis committed three key turnovers that led to 21 unanswered points. One of the turnovers was an interception that was returned for a 32 yard score by Oregon’s Brady Breeze. During that run USC safety Isaiah Pola-Mao was ejected from the game for a targeting penalty.
USC managed to cut the lead to 21-17 after Slovis connected with Michael Pittman Jr. for his second touchdown of the game, but that was short lived after Mykael Wright returned the ensuing kick for a touchdown to push the lead back to eleven.
The second half the Ducks poured it on the Trojans and never looked back. Even with the backups in Oregon kept their foot on the gas on their way to a 56-24 victory. The win for Oregon wasn’t just any win, but they were out to make a statement in several ways. With USC bringing in multiple recruits, the Ducks went on to blowout the Trojans inside the Coliseum and show recruits that they’re now the Pac-12 power instead of the Trojans.
What didn’t help was the amount of Oregon fans that were inside the Coliseum chanting as Oregon went on a 56-7 run. If recruits were looking for some type of separation between the Ducks and Trojans, then Oregon gave it to them Saturday night. Especially with former USC targets/commits who were from California having success in Los Angeles against the home team.
With the loss Utah now owns sole possession of the Pac-12 south after defeating Washington in Seattle. USC now must hope for some luck to get back into the race. They start with a trip to Tempe, Arizona for an afternoon meeting with the Arizona State Sun Devils. However, one must ask what the loss could mean for USC head coach Clay Helton? With reports of Mike Bohn taking over as the new athletic directer at USC, could it mean Helton’s time with the Trojans is up? If this game was an indicator then that certainly means the end of the Helton.