Could USC beat Oregon in a rematch? Possibly, but it would be an extremely difficult task to accomplish. If the Trojans face the Ducks again this season it will be in the Pac-12 Championship game, and in Autzen Stadium, giving the Ducks a decided home field advantage.
Since 2008 the Ducks are 30-2 at Autzen.
That includes a 21-game home winning streak that was snapped by the Trojans last season. As if the hostile environment with decibel levels in the 130s isn’t enough to deal with, the weather is also sure to be a factor, with a November 30th game date, freezing rain is sure to be in the forecast for Eugene.
The Trojans have major issues with their defense, giving up 1,318 total yards in their last two games. Some would say that teams would have a tougher time playing against air than playing against this defense.
The defensive genius that is Monte Kiffin has been inept since returning to the college game and trying to figure out something that would impede these spread offenses.
Lane Kiffin has put up great numbers as offensive coordinator and has proven that USC has the ability to light up the scoreboard against the Ducks, but what he and his offense hasn’t shown this year is the ability to put it all together.
There have been plenty of big plays thus far this season, however, a cohesive game plan and a conviction to string together plays have been so far absent. Sometimes it is more productive to load the bases and drive runs in then it is to swing for the fences on every play.
With all of this being said, we can’t forget about the talent that this Trojan team has. This is without a doubt the most talent laden team in the conference. Personnel wise this is also pretty much the same team that went up to Autzen last season and beat the Ducks to end their national title hopes – they just haven’t played up to that level – yet.
If the Trojans can find a way to get things clicking, if Monte Kiffin can make the necessary adjustments, if Lane Kiffin can find the play calling magic from last year, it is very possible for the Trojans to upset the Ducks in Eugene.
Unfortunately that is a lot of “ifs” to line up at this late point in the season, but certainly not impossible to do.
First thing first, however, the Trojans must first beat the Sun Devils and the Bruins to get to the conference title game. The rematch with the Ducks must be the motivation but the upcoming conference games must be the focus. How the Trojans rebound from such a deflating loss will be telling of the character of this team.