Not only is Saturday homecoming, but USC fans are planning to red out the Coliseum by wearing only cardinal. Spread the word so that the Coliseum will be as intimidating as possible.
Starting at 6 AM, ESPN’s College GameDay will begin taping (presumably near the peristyle of the Coliseum). Be sure to wake up early and head on over to support USC. Through Twitter, GameDay has already challenged USC fans to show up and the Ducks are planning to be out in full force for the taping. It would reflect poorly on the school if there isn’t a large contingent there to support the Trojans.
"Preview: No. 2 Oregon (7-0, 4-0) at No. 24 USC (5-2, 2-2), ABC, 8 p.m.: The Ducks need to be perfect to earn a berth in the national championship game, but they haven’t won in the Coliseum since 2000. For USC, this is its bowl game. And the Trojans probably want redemption for the embarrassing 47-20 loss in Eugene last year."
"Heisman Watch: Matt Barkley, QB, USC: Barkley was off last weekend, but he and the Trojans will be on a big stage Saturday when they face James and the No. 2 Ducks. He presently ranks sixth in the nation in passing efficiency. He’s been named a semifinalist for O’Brien Award."
"What to watch for: USC must disrupt Thomas’ rhythm: There seem to be a few basics to slowing down Oregon’s offense, starting with having a good defensive line that can defeat blocks, as well as enough team speed to close before the Ducks get into space. The second is having a good plan — see Boise State and Ohio State last year and Arizona State this year. At this point in the season, Ducks QB Darron Thomas has exceeded expectations and shown remarkable poise. He’s become a good QB, not just a game manager who gets the ball to playmakers, such as LaMichael James. He has yet to get rattled, though the Sun Devils did force the Ducks to punt 11 times. The Trojans have had an extra week to prepare: Do they have a plan that taxes Thomas, both physically and mentally? Can USC and Matt Barkley protect the football? Barkley is the top-rated QB in the Pac-10. He’s only thrown four interceptions this year — against 20 TD passes. Oregon’s defense is No. 1 in the conference in passing efficiency and it has grabbed 13 interceptions, five more than any other Pac-10 team. Last year, Barkley ran into problems when he tried to force passes into small spaces. That hasn’t been the case of late. But in a big game when Barkley feels pressure to make plays opposite the Ducks high-powered offense, it could become an issue. Oregon, by the way, is No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin."
"Predictions: Oregon 41, USC 30: This will be a competitive game, with both offenses getting their licks in. But the Trojans won’t be able to keep up the pace in the second half."
Despite being ranked number 1 in both human polls and 2 in the BCS, one Trojan isn’t impressed by Oregon. Jurrell Casey believes the Ducks are overrated.
The Los Angeles Times:
Before the game against California, Shareece Wright addressed the defense because of their lackluster performance. As a senior, he has emerged as the vocal leader of the unit.
The Tampa 2 defense won’t work this week against Oregon’s spread attack. After simplifying the scheme against Cal, Monte will have to make a few more adjustments this week.
Saturday, sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley posted a tweet that sent Duck nation abuzz. Lane Kiffin didn’t mind it, citing the fact that he sees Barkley as a good person.
With the privilege of a bowl game stripped by the NCAA, playing Oregon will be USC’s bowl game for 2010.
The Orange County Register:
Earlier in the week, Lane Kiffin suspended wide receiver Markeith Ambles. Wednesday after practice, he offered comments that show he intends to run a tight ship.
Beating Oregon is a tough task. It requires putting up a large amount of points to keep pace. The Trojans are more concerned with scoring than holding on to the ball and limiting Duck possessions.
With USC at 5-2 and unable to go bowling, their only role Saturday is as a spoiler. In essence, the pressure is on Oregon, who needs to keep winning to play for a national title.
While the Ducks haven’t lost, they struggled at ASU and needed 7 turnovers to secure a victory. Lane Kiffin and his staff have used the footage from that game as a blueprint for an upset.