Saturday, November 21, 2015

Good Luck Ducks, Week 12: No Let Up

The Ducks face another huge test as the clock winds down on the 2015 season.

Another week, another thriller. Oregon stopped Stanford on a 2 point conversion that would have sent the game to OT, and suddenly the (still) hottest team in the Pac-12 is starting to dream big. Oregon is back in the Top 25 for the first time since the brutal early loss to Utah and face a similarly ranked USC team this week. The Ducks need a win today and a win over Oregon State as well as a Stanford loss in The Big Game to win the Pac-12 North. It's still a bit of a long shot, but their path to the conference championship got quite a bit clearer after last week's big win. For the fanbase, anyway, it was sweet, sweet revenge.

The Ducks haven't faced USC in 3 seasons, which is a travesty and shouldn't happen with any conference foe. The expansion of the Pac meant that every school would skip two opponents each year, but there's absolutely no excuse for skipping someone in back-to-back years. The Trojans are also on a nice winning streak since firing their coach. In any season, USC is always a football behemoth, so it's nice that the game is at Autzen Stadium.

Vernon Adams Jr. seems to be firing on all cylinders now, and with just a few games left in his career, he's actually been limited in his usage with so much action happening on the running side of the Ducks offense. Oregon's offense was very frustrating and simple for several weeks early in the season, but they've really opened up the playbook recently with multi-position players doing a variety of things. Adams has proven to be adept at scrambling his way out of trouble and has excelled at throwing the deep ball. This might go down as a stunted season for him with the way his broken finger affected him and the team's chances, but he still has time left to do some great things. On the Trojans side, senior QB Cody Kessler is chomping at the bit to get a piece of Oregon for the first time. USC usually runs as often (or more) than Oregon does, but it could come down to very experienced 5th year senior signal callers to determine the outcome of this one.

Last time these two teams met, it was just points, points, points.

Game time is 12:30 PST with national coverage on ESPN. Go Ducks!

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