Sunday, November 4, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Oregon 62, USC 51
By Johnny Curren
LOS ANGELES -- A look at the positives and negatives from USC’s 62-51 loss to Oregon on Saturday.
In defeat, Marqise Lee had 12 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a Pac-12-record 251 kickoff return yards.
1. Marqise Lee The sophomore wide receiver once again helped establish himself as arguably the top receiver in all of college football, collecting 12 grabs for 157 yards and two touchdowns against the Ducks. Lee also made a huge impact on special teams, returning 8 kickoffs for a Pac-12-record 251 yards, including one beauty for 82 yards.
2. Nelson Agholor While he did have one crucial drop late, it’s hard not to acknowledge Agholor’s breakout performance against Oregon. Racking up six catches for a game-high 162 receiving yards and one touchdown, he showed electrifying speed, particularly on his second-quarter touchdown reception where he split two defenders and was off to the races for a 76-yard score.
3. Matt Barkley Detractors will certainly point to Barkley’s two interceptions, but he also put up phenomenal numbers for the second consecutive week and directed an offense that scored 51 points. Completing 35 of 54 passes for 484 yards and five touchdowns, he now stands as the conference leader in completions with 961.
1. Rushing defense With the Trojans’ front seven looking completely overmatched and just plain helpless for much of the night against Oregon’s vaunted ground attack, Kenjon Barner rushed for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns. The USC defense also struggled in dealing with a mobile quarterback for the second straight week as Ducks signal caller Marcus Mariota amassed 96 rushing yards.
2. Pass defense With the Ducks completely disrupting the Trojans’ defense with their ground attack, Mariota found wide open passing lanes and picked apart USC’s pass defense, completing 20 of 23 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns. If people doubted the ability of the freshman passer before this game, they certainly don’t now.
3. Records falling The Ducks filled the USC record book with some numbers that Lane Kiffin and Co. would just as soon forget, starting off with the 62 points that Oregon scored, the most ever by a Trojans’ foe. Oregon's 730 yards of total offense, Barner’s 321 rushing yards -- as well as his five touchdowns -- were three more USC opponent records that were set on Saturday.