Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today
Oregon Football

Recap: Ducks Pound USC in Los Angeles

November 2, 2019

If you were expecting a ton of fireworks in Los Angeles, you were not disappointed Saturday night. With Oregon headed South to face USC, a big test would await them. 

USC might not have been a top-ranked juggernaut, but they continue to be one of the most athletic teams in the Pac-12 conference and even nationally. In short, they are not a program you can ever overlook regardless of record. 

Oregon knew headed into this one it wouldn't be easy. The first half, which lasted over two hours, was relatively entertaining. In particular the last 2:29 seconds.

USC would receive and get on the board first. A very strong and patient opening drive would go 12 plays and end with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Drake London. 

Oregon’s offense meanwhile would stay in neutral early on. A three and out would give USC the ball again but Troy Dye would come up with a big tackle on a key third down to force the Trojans to punt.

It was Justin Herbert’s turn again but he would instead throw a very bad interception that would give USC the ball right back in the red zone. But the defense held and forced a field goal keeping this game close. Still USC had the lead with a 10-0 score and Oregon’s offense looked dead in the water.

A lack of run game forced Oregon into a bad 3rd and 19. Oregon would pick up 13 yards in a pass to Spencer Webb but that would bring out Blake Maimone for a punt.

We'd enter the second quarter with Oregon needing a play. And the defense would deliver one. A pass aimed at Drake London would get tipped and Oregon safety Verone McKinely would haul it in. Troy Dye was called for roughing the passer but the Ducks would still have the ball at the 41. 

Justin Herbert would break out of his funk and start moving the chains with some big passes to Juwan Johnson. USC would get hit with a targeting call which would end up with an ejection for safety Isaiah Pola-Mao. There was also a defensive holding call and Oregon would get on the board with Justin Herbert running in for a 6-yard score. 

At 10-7 USC again dinks and dunks a drive to inside the 5-yard line. But on 3rd down Keodin Slovis would fumble the ball and Troy Dye would pounce on it, keeping USC out of the end zone.

Defensive lineman Austin Faoliu would be ejected from the game for Oregon for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Herbert finding his groove at this point and would lead the Ducks down the field with some big completions to Juwan Johnson. A 9 play, 92 yard drive for Oregon would be capped off by a fierce effort from Jaylon Redd fighting for the endzone on a sweep.

At this point it’s 14-10 for the Ducks with 2:29 left in the half and chaos would follow.

USC would relatively implode to finish this half and it started on the next series with Slovis delivering a gift to safety Brady Breeze who would take an interception into the end zone for six more.

The Trojans would respond and a very bad penalty on Oregon linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia would keep the drive alive. That was an enough for Slovis to find senior receiver Michael Pittman for a big touchdown pass. That would make this a 21-17 game with Oregon clinging to a 4-point lead.

With :22 seconds left, Oregon freshman corner Mykael Wright would get in on the action and return the kickoff for 100+ yards to the house. That would give Oregon a 28-17 lead and the ball coming out of the half.

Justin Herbert would direct a drive down the field to start the half. However he would get tackled low and would miss two plays. Tyler Shough filled in briefly while Herbert was tended to but the star quarterback would return and find his man Juwan Johnson for another Oregon touchdown. 

At this point Juwan Johnson would lead Oregon’s receivers with 5 catches for 58 yards and the touchdown catch.

Now at 35-17, USC would become a bit one-dimensional. Which would result in Slovis sending a pick to Deommodore Lenoir who made a slick one-handed catch followed by a big return.

The Ducks now went to the ground to pound on this USC defense. It would be Travis Dye doing the heavy-lifting most of the drive. But it would again be Juwan Johnson hauling in his second touchdown on a beautiful back-shoulder fade. A great throw by Herbert and terrific adjustment by Johnson to haul it in and give Oregon a commanding 42-17 lead with 6:14 left in the third quarter.

With everything going Oregon’s way, the Ducks would head into the fourth quarter with a strong 42-17 lead. It would appear by this point they had worn down the Trojans physically on both sides of the ball. 

With Oregon running consistently, Justin Herbert would again hit Juwan Johnson for his third touchdown of the night from 11 yards out. 

The fourth quarter was much of the same. USC just couldn’t get anything going and Oregon would finally put Tyler Shough in for some live action. Despite Oregon up late, Shough would deliver a dart to Mycah Pittman from 35 yards out to expand the lead to 56-17.

With mostly backups in for Oregon, USC would score bringing the score up to 56-23. Kyle Ford would pull in a 20-yarder from starter Keodin Slovis. At this point, Oregon had in most of its backups on defense. 

The Ducks would run out the clock on the last drive and head back to Eugene with a 56-24 win and an 8-1 record. 

Oregon is on a bye this week.


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