The Good: Another college football shootout
It’s hard to imagine that a game with four turnovers could result in 113 combined points, 1,345 combined total-yards, and 68 first downs but Oregon and USC proved it was possible.
Oregon’s Kenjon Barner gets the game ball after a record-breaking performance in front of his family and hometown friends.
Barner finished with a school record 321 rushing-yards and five touchdowns in the last game his family and friends would be able to witness live. He finished the game with 347 total-yards on 40 touches.
Oregon freshman, Marcus Mariota, looked like Geno Smith against Baylor, but with half the pass attempts. Mariota passed for 304 yards with four touchdowns and finished the game with 20 completions on 23 attempts.
Matt Barkley might have improved his Heisman stock had he not thrown two interceptions in USC’s 11-point loss. Barkley finished the game with 484 passing yards and five touchdowns.
The Bad: USC’s three turnovers
Turnover margin makes all the difference when you’re going up against a high-profile offense like Oregon’s, USC had three.
The most notable of the turnovers was an interception thrown by Matt Barkley in the end zone late in the first quarter. Oregon capitalized with an 80-yard touchdown drive to put the Ducks up 21-3
Oregon only managed to turn three turnovers into seven points but it USC gave up two of their turnovers in scoring position. Marqise Lee fumbled on the Oregon 25 late in the first half, there wasn’t enough time for Oregon to capitalize, but a field goal would have knocked USC’s deficit down to 7 points.
The Ugly: Oregon’s defense isn’t helping their BCS portfolio
Oregon currently ranks 40th in the country in points against (22.9) and will need to improve defensively if they’re going to compete with Notre Dame and Kansas State for a National Championship bid.
They’ve only held an FBS opponent to less than 20 points twice this season (Colorado and Arizona) and it doesn’t look good after giving up 51 to USC.
Despite the statistics, it’s difficult to evaluate how good the Oregon defense really is. They’ve only played one ranked team with a solid offense and it looks like their worst enemy is their own offense. With the fastest striking offense in the country, Oregon’s defense is on the field over half the game.