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PAC 10 Showdown
USC vs Oregon
This is the Pac 10 matchup that the whole country has been waiting to see.
Coach Pete Carroll brings his men of Troy to Autzen Stadium to take on Coach
Chip Kellyís Oregon Ducks. Few teams have been hotter than the Ducks in the last
several weeks. Ever since the meltdown against Boise State in their first game
of the year the Ducks have been dominant against the opponents including a 42-3
beating of California, and most recently a 43-19 win over the same Washington
team that upset USC earlier this year. They are 4-0 in conference and a win over
the Trojans would put them in the driverís seat for a Pac 10 title, but USC is
not going to go down without a fight.
The Trojans have been an up and down team so far this year. There are times when they look like the USC of old like in their 30-3 win over California, and there are other times when they look like they are lost on the field like in their 16-13 loss to Washington. USC has been dominant in the Pac 10 through most of Pete Carrollís tenure at USC, and if they want to win yet another Pac 10 title this game against Oregon is a must win.
This Oregon offense has really turned it on under QB Jeremiah Masoli. Masoliís duel threat style has given defenses fits all year. Throw in RB LaMichael James and you have a deadly rushing attack. James has rushed for over 150 yards in both of his last two games, and it seems like he is really starting to find his role in this offense. This Oregon offense is #2 in the Pac 10 in rush offense putting up 211 yards per game on the ground. This offense all depends on their rushing attack. If they have success with their running game they have success on the scoreboard.
Luckily for USC fans their defense is #1 in the Pac 10 in rush defense allowing just 80 yards per game on the ground. The teams that have given this USC defense problems are the ones that are passing teams like Notre Dame with QB Jimmy Clausen and Washington with QB Jake Locker, but the teams who rely on their run like California with RB Jahvid Best had problems with this defense. This Oregon offense with Masoli under center is very capable of throwing the ball, but their passing game is set up by their running game. If Oregon is going to have success through the air they are going to have to get their running game going early, which is not an easy task against this Trojan defense.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The Pac 10 title is not necessarily going to be determined by the winner of this game, but the winner is going to have a serious leg up in the race. Will it be Oregon with their rushing attack with QB Jeremiah Masoli and RB LaMichael James, or USC with their stingy rush defense who gets the edge? This Oregon team has really bought into their first year Head Coach Chip Kelly, and they never lost faith even after their opening loss to Boise State. They are playing like a team on a mission, and even though this is USCís conference we believe we are going to have a new sheriff in town for the 2009 season in the Pac 10.
This is going to be one of the biggest games played in Autzen Stadium in Oregon, and the Duck faithful will be ready to get behind their team. USC defense has had success against the run this year, but they have yet to play a rushing attack like the Ducks with duel threat QB Masoli. This game should go down to the wire, and either team will have a chance to win it late in the 4th quarter, but we believe with the home field advantage Oregon and Coach Chip Kelly will find a way to get the job done.
Bottom line, we love backing underdogs that we feel can win games straight
up. It makes any points we're getting a bonus. In this case, we'll take the
field goal bonus with the Ducks and we'll also make a small play in the money
line. Oregon +3
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