Hogue Report: Oregon best for USC now
October, 31, 2012
By Jeremy Hogue | ESPN.com
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireUSC will need to elevate its game in order to knock off the high-powered Oregon Ducks.Since Saturday’s loss in Tucson, the misery of USC fans has been well-documented. Lane Kiffin, the undisciplined players who commit too many errors, the USC defense, even Matt Barkley -- they have all been targets of scorn, and to a large extent, rightly so. It does no good to add to that litany, so let me take a different position: There is no team better for the Trojans to play right now that the Oregon Ducks.
As I type that statement, I’m not sure I believe it. The Ducks may be the best team in the country. Their offense is better than last year’s, with a better quarterback running it. The defense is probably the best coordinator Nick Aliotti has ever had. Who would want to play them after what USC showed last weekend?
After all, this is a USC team that hasn’t played a complete game against a good opponent all year. Sure, there are flashes of brilliance and great displays of talent scattered throughout each game, but almost every game has also left you scratching your head to one degree or another. Trojan fans want to believe, so they have. They believed that USC would get its act together by the time this stretch run came. They believed USC wouldn’t commit a staggering amount of penalties in a big game. They believed that the second-half struggles USC has shown in game after game were just a symptom of USC taking its foot off the gas, or maybe just working on the run game, and were even somehow purposeful -- not a reason for concern. I think the team believed all these things, as well. On Saturday in Tucson, that belief system ran smack into the reality that this is who these Trojans are right now. So again, as the Trojans come to grips with their reality, why would you want to play Oregon this week?
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35