#4 Oregon vs. #17 USCSaturday, 7pm EDT, FOXJust what does Oregon have to do to get up the BCS rankings? Week after week, the Ducks have slaughtered the competition, but while the pollsters can clearly see Oregon’s dominance, the computers have penalized them for their relatively weak schedule. All of Oregon’s strengths seem to be offset by their weaknesses, which means they run the table and the computers will still underrate them. Take, for instance, their running game. Although senior Kenjon Barber and sophmore De’Anthony “The Black Mamba” Thomas have made the Oregon running game the third-best in the country, Marcus Mariota’s passing offense ranks 84th, averaging 209.5 yards a game. Blowout wins of 57-34, 63-14 and 70-14 do not impress the computers, either, considering that they came against Arkansas State, Tennessee Tech, and an abysmal conference opponent in Colorado.Fortunately for the Ducks, they have the chance to prove themselves with a road game against Southern California. In the beginning of the season, this matchup would have had the hype that has preceded tonight’s LSU/Alabama game.
The two division leaders square off tonight in a battle in the Pac 12. De’Anthony Thomas and the Oregon Ducks (6-0) will play at Sun Devil Stadium against Taylor Kelly and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
This game is the biggest for the Sun Devils up to this point of the season. Last game against Colorado, ASU dominated the Buffalos 51 to 17 with a outstanding performace from quarterback Taylor Kelly and being awarded PAC-12 player of the week with his five touchdowns.
For ASU to win this game, Asu has to make the Ducks one dimensional. ASU passing defense is amongst the b 272 yards per game and pass defense is only about half of that. If asu can turn them into a running team then ASU can have a lot of success. Even though Oregon has Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas, ASU can shut them down if they stop the passing game.
The USC Trojans (3-1, 1-1 in Pac 12) will look to get back above the 500 mark in conference play tonight as they take on the Utah Utes in Utah (2-2, 0-1 in Pac 12). USC has a solid defense as they only allow 17.3 points per game which will cause Utah, one of the worst offensive teams in the nation to sturggle.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley has come into his senior season with a lot of hype and has lived up to it throwing for 1005 yards and 12 touchdowns during the first four games of the season. Barkley has a great chance to add on to those numbers and improve his chances at the Heisman against an average Utah defense who gave up 37 points to Arizona State in their last game on September 22nd.
The Utes will be lead by senior quarterback Jon Hayes, however he has struggled throughout the season only putting the ball in the endzone four times and throwing for 467 yards. Unlike Barkley, Hayes has yet to find a go-to receiver and that has shown as the offense isn't putting up the numbers they were predicted to before the season started.