Jim Z. Rider | US PRESSWIRE

USC Football: Trojans Offer Toughest Test for Oregon’s Running Game


The Oregon Ducks have played seven FBS teams so far this season, and if there’s one thing in common, it’s that none of the can stop the run. Arizona has been the best team against the run they’ve faced, and they’re 73rd in the nation, giving up 167.5 per game.

Statistically speaking, the USC offense looks to be the most stout against the run, as the Trojans are 29th in the nation in terms of rushing defense, giving up just over 123 yards per game. Arizona was able to move the ball on the ground just as Stanford was, showing that SC could be vulnerable to the run when they’re not putting games away, and looking at Oregon’s schedule to date, they’ve been able to do that to teams routinely.

With Oregon being such a run-first offense and so potent on the ground, it’s inevitable that their incredible running game has had an effect on defenses. Here’s how their opponents rank nationally, both with and without Oregon’s performance against them:

With Oregon game:
73. Arizona Wildcats 167.5 yards
74. Washington State Cougars 168.3 yards
77. Fresno State Bulldogs 170.6 yards
83. Arizona State Sun Devils 173.6 yards
90. Washington Huskies 185.1 yards
93. Arkansas State Red Wolves 190.0 yards
103. Colorado Buffaloes 204.0 yards

Without Oregon game:
43. Arizona State Sun Devils 140.4 yards
50. Fresno State Bulldogs 146.1 yards
55. Washington State Cougars 149.4 yards
64. Arizona Wildcats 158.9 yards
75. Washington Huskies 168.9 yards
80. Colorado Buffaloes 172.4 yards
84. Arkansas State Red Wolves 174.7 yards

Judging by Arizona State’s 24 percent increase in yards per game allowed, the Trojans look to be facing a different national rank following today’s game.

But nonetheless, the Trojans have a defensive line with Morgan Breslin and Leonard Williams that has the ability to get to the mesh point, disrupting the Ducks’ zone read option.

If the Trojans can get to Mariota and rattle his ability to make his reads, Oregon can be slowed down. Looking at their competition so far, they haven’t seen anyone who comes close to forcing those types of decisions.

Tags: Featured Football Oregon Ducks Popular USC Trojans