LOS ANGELES, CALIF., -- Was it offense you were looking for this season? Well, if it was then Saturday night’s match up between No. 2 Oregon and No. 18 USC was just the ticket as the Ducks held on to beat the Trojans 62-51 in front of a packed house of 93,607 in the LA Coliseum. Oregon senior Kenjon Barner set a record by rushing for the most ever against USC.
(PHOTO) Oregon's Kenjon Barner in action against USC on November 3, 2012 at the LA Coliseum in Los Angeles. Barner had 321 yards on 38 carries and five touchdowns. Oregon won 62-51 to 9-0 for the season. (Photo by Chris F. Wilson)
The Ducks racked up a total of 730 yards of offense while USC had 614 of its own. The win improves the Ducks to 6-0 in conference play while the Trojans slip to 6-3 for the season and 4-3 in the conference.
“Probably two minutes in the this thing,” Chip Kelly responded when asked when did he know his team was in a shootout with USC. “With (Marqise) Lee and (Robert) Woods, how accurate Matt (Barkley) was throwing. Those guys are three all-time greats.”
Kenjon Barner was the man for all reasons as he toted the ball 38 times plus two catches for 26 yards. If Barner wasn’t doing the damage then redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota was having his biggest passing game going for 304 yards on 20-of-23 and four TDs. Mariota also kept the chains moving by picking up an additional 96 yards of rushing.
“I give credit to the offensive line, our wide receivers, everyone,” Barner said humbly about his performance. “When we communicate and execute, we’re hard to stop.”
Josh Huff was the Ducks leading receivers with six grabs for 125 yards and two scores. De'Anthony Thomas contributed five catches for 59 yards and a TD while Daryle Hawkins pulled a pass in for a score among his three catches.
“Obviously they moved the ball,” observed USC headman Lane Kiffin. “They were moving on us. They had really good players who played great today. Their quarterback (Mariota) didn’t make many mistakes, which is unique for a freshman on the road.”
Oregon crossed the goal line nine times and it needed every one of those scores because USC just would not go away. Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley had a sensational evening throwing for 484 yards on 35-for-54 and five TDs but was picked off twice. Berkley showed the same laser-type accuracy as he did last year when the Trojans tripped the Ducks up 38-35 in Eugene. Like last season, Barkley’s favorite targets were Marqise Lee, 12 catches for 15 yards and two TDs; Nelson Agholor, six catches for 162 yards and a TD; Robert Woods, six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown and Randall Telfer with one catch for a score.
“You have to give credit to USC,” Kelly said of the Trojan offense. “Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck are the best two quarterbacks I’ve faced and Marquise Lee may be the best receiver I’ve had the opportunity to coach against. And Robert Woods and what he’s done. It was an unbelievable battle for those guy (the Oregon defense.)”
The Trojans were paced by Silas Redd’s 92 yards of rushing and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Oregon played hard but the surgical precision of Barkley was a nightmare. However the Ducks held firm when they most needed to in the fourth quarter leading 48-38, and caused USC to punt the ball for the only time during the game. The Ducks were able to extend the score to 55-38 and at that point the air seemed to go out of the Coliseum with a little over nine minutes left to play. The Ducks were led in tackling by Kiko Alonso’s 10 tackles (six solos), two of which were tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and an interception. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had nine tackles (three solos) an interception and three break ups.
Oregon only managed to record one sack by Taylor Hart, but the Ducks did have six TFLs, two by Alonso, one each by Wade Keliikipi, Dion Jordan, Boseko Lokombo and the sack by Hart.
While the secondary was challenged all night by USC’s great combination of passer and receivers, Kelly wasn’t particularly upset with his secondary.
“I’ll watch tape,” Kelly said of the Oregon secondary. “I know they went up against two great ones. You take your best shot and live with them and we’ll watch film on the plane ride home and get ready for Cal.”
Oregon set several records in the game. The 730-yard total was the most ever against USC and the nine TDs eclipsed a record of eight scored by Stanford in 2009. Barner’s rushing mark was the most an opposing player has ever ran for against USC. The old record was 241 yards set by Curtis Enis of Penn State in 1996. Barner also set an individual record of 30 points (five TDs) and place kicker Robby Beard’s eight PATs was an individual record in that category.
USC’s 51 points was the most they have ever scored in a losing effort.
•SR RB Kenjon Barner set the school single-game rushing record with 321 yards - the fourth-most in Pac-12 history - and tied the Oregon and Pac-12 marks with five rushing touchdowns. Barner's total was also the most ever by a USC opponent.
•Oregon's 730 yards of total offense broke the previous school mark of 720 in a 72-0 win vs. New Mexico in 2010. The yard total and UO's 62 points were also USC opponent records.
•On his fourth carry of the game, Barner surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, becoming the 15th Oregon player to accomplish the feat and marking the 19th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history. Barner now has 1,295 on the year to rank sixth on UO's single-season chart.
•Barner moved past Jonathan Stewart (2005-07, 2,891 yards) and into third on Oregon's career rushing list with 3,151. He also moved into third in scoring at Oregon with 282 points, passing Derek Loville (1986-89, 272). Barner passed Loville (5,223 yards) for second on the all-purpose yards list with 5,304.
•Oregon tied the BCS-era record streak for games of 40 or more points at 12 with Texas (2004-05).
•SO RB De'Anthony Thomas became the seventh player in Oregon history with 30 touchdowns in a career when he reeled in a 16-yd scoring pass on the game's opening drive.
•FR QB Marcus Mariota had a career-best 400 yards of total offense (304 pass, 96 rush) and equaled his best with four passing touchdowns.
•JR WR Josh Huff had a career-high 125 receiving yards on 6 catches, including a pair of touchdowns.
•SR PK Rob Beard had hit on 65 consecutive 1-point PATs before having one blocked following Oregon's fourth touchdown of the game.
•The Ducks are 9-0 for the second time in history (2010).
•Oregon has won consecutive games vs. USC in Los Angeles for the first time (32 all-time meetings in LA).