USC vs. Oregon Gameday Guide: Matchups, lineups, links, odds and more

Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images /

USC vs. Oregon

LA Memorial Coliseum | Los Angeles, CA5:00 p.m. Pacific | FOXAll-time series: USC leads 38-20-2Last meeting: USC 45, Oregon 20 in 2016

Saturday night’s USC vs. Oregon football game features the Pac-12’s most talented teams squaring off in two drastically different seasons. The Ducks are ranked No. 7 in the country and closing in a playoff spot, while Clay Helton’s Trojans are grasping for a late run into the Pac-12 Championship Game, something Oregon’s all but secured.

Can the Trojans win another home game over a Top 10 opponent? Will Oregon snap USC’s chances of controlling their own destiny in the South? The answers come tonight at the Coliseum.

Preview Podcast:

Co-hosts Michael Castillo and Alicia de Artola debate the “football reasons” USC and Oregon each have to win the game, along with Over/Unders, predictions and more.

LISTEN: USC vs. Oregon Preview

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USC football injury report

    • DL Jacob Lichtenstein (calf)
    • LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (foot)
    • OL Andrew Vorhees (foot)
    • QB JT Daniels (knee)
    • WR Munir McClain (knee)
    • WR Bru McCoy (illness)
  • OUT:
    • DB Talanoa Hufanga (shoulder)
    • DL Drake Jackson (ankle)
    • LB Jordan Iosefa (knee)
    • LB Abdul-Malik McClain (shoulder)
    • RB Stephen Carr (hamstring)
    • RB Vavae Malepeai (knee)
    • RB Markese Stepp (foot)
    • TE Ethan Rae (knee)
    • LB Palaie Gaoteote (ankle)
    • DB Chris Steele (knee)
    • DL Christian Rector (ankle)


When USC has the ball…

Oregon will present USC with arguably the toughest defense they have faced all season, certainly since they faced off with Utah at the Coliseum in September.

The good news? The Trojans found a way to put 30 on the Utes despite losing starting quarterback Kedon Slovis after just a few plays.

Slovis has been back in the saddle for a three weeks and has been playing good football, leading wins over Arizona and Colorado after a narrow loss to Notre Dame.

Responsible for keeping Slovis and the Trojan receiving corps in check are an array of capable defensive backs, including nickelback Jevon Holland, who ranks fifth nationally with four interceptions, and safety Verone McKinley, who has picked off three passes of his own. No one has hauled in more picks this season than the Ducks. Former USC commit Thomas Graham has seven pass breakups already at cornerback.

USC’s offensive front will face off with an Oregon defensive line which includes standout defensive tackle Austin Faoliu and heralded recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux. They flank 6-foot-1, 322-pound nose tackle Jordon Scott, who will look to challenge Trojan center Brett Neilon as other big-bodied nose tackles have done before.

The Ducks will have a bit of a boost getting captain and linebacker Troy Dye back from injury. He missed the Washington State game with a broken thumb. He ranks fourth among active players in career tackles and 12th in tackles for loss per game.

Oregon Defense

END #5 Kayvon Thibodeaux, Fr.NOSE #34 Jordon Scott, Jr.TACKLE #99 Austin Faoliu, Jr.NICKEL/SAM #8 Jevon Holland, So.MIKE #41 Isaac Slade-Matautia, So.WILL #35 Troy Dye, Sr.STUD #56 Bryson Young, Sr.CORNER #4 Thomas Graham, Jr.SAFETY #16 Nick Pickett, Jr.SAFETY #23 Verone McKinley III, RS-Fr.CORNER #6 Deommodore Lenoir, Jr.

USC Offense

LT #73 Austin Jackson, Jr.LG #75 Alijah Vera-Tucker, RS-So.C #62 Brett Neilon, RS-So.RG #70 Jalen McKenzie, RS-So.RT #53 Drew Richmond, RS-Sr.TE #84 Erik Krommenhoek, Jr.X #6 Michael Pittman, Sr.A #15 Drake London, Fr.Y #8 Amon-Ra St. Brown, So.Z #21 Tyler Vaughns, RS-Jr.RB #23 Kenan Christon, Fr.QB #9 Kedon Slovis, Fr.

When Oregon has the ball…

It all starts with quarterback Justin Herbert, who has led the Ducks in fourth quarter comebacks against Washington and Washington State in consecutive weeks. He ranks 13th in pass efficiency and eighth in passing touchdowns, having thrown 21 touchdowns with just one interception this year.

USC’s attempts to make Herbert as uncomfortable as possible will be battled by an offensive line which has only given up 13 sacks. With midseason All-Americans like left tackle Penei Sewell and left guard Shane Lemieux, along with outstanding right tackle Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon is formidable in the trenches. The Trojans are fortunate to get Christian Rector back for the contest, though the expected absence of Drake London is sure to be felt.

Oregon offense

LT #58 Penei Sewell, So.LG #68 Shane Lemieux, Sr.C #55 Jake Hanson, Sr.RG #75 Dallas Warmack, Sr.RT #54 Calvin Throckmorton, Sr.Z #80 Bryan Addison, RS-Fr.F #30 Jaylon Redd, Jr.X #3 Johnny Johnson III, Jr.TE #87 Ryan Bay, Sr.QB #10 Justin Herbert, Sr.RB #7 CJ Verdell, So.

USC defense

DE #89 Christian Rector, RS-Sr.DT #78 Jay Tufele, RS-So.NT #51 Marlon Tuipulotu, RS-So.DE #96 Caleb Tremblay, RS-Jr.SLB #31 Hunter Echols, RS-So.MLB #10 John Houston, RS-Sr.WLB #1 Palaie Gaoteote, So.CB #2 Olaijah Griffin, So.FS #21 Isaiah Pola-Mao, RS-So.SS #7 Chase Williams (So.)NK #9 Greg Johnson, RS-So.CB #6 Isaac Taylor-Stuart, RS-Fr.

Odds (Oregon -4):

USC is a four-point underdog to Oregon, courtesy of the Action Network consensus line. The over/under for the contest is 62 points.