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    Oregon vs. USC Prediction, Game Preview

    Oregon vs. USC prediction and game preview. The Ducks look to improve to 8-3 as they host the Trojans in Eugene.

    November 17, 2015

    The USC Trojans (7-3) and the Oregon Ducks (7-3) meet for the first time since 2012 in a matchup of two of the Pac-12’s hottest schools. Check out the Oregon vs. USC prediction and game preview.

    Oregon vs. USC Prediction & Preview


    Date: Saturday, November 21
    Game Time: 3:30 ET
    Network: ESPN

    Why You Need To Care

    It’s been a winding road filled with potholes, but USC and Oregon are still somehow alive in their respective divisions.

    In mid-October, the Trojans and the Ducks were playing like relics of their former selves. Troy was 3-3, having parted with head coach Steve Sarkisian. Oregon, too, had slipped to .500, having dropped consecutive home games to Utah and Washington State. But before the plug could be pulled, both powers sprung to life, winning their last four games to get to 7-3. If the Trojans win out, including next week against UCLA, they’re South Division champs. Ditto the Ducks in the North Division, but only if Stanford, who they shocked last Saturday on the Farm, loses this weekend to Cal.

    Why USC Will Win

    Big setting. Vulnerable secondary. This is the kind of spot in which Trojan QB Cody Kessler will thrive.

    Oregon has been brutal against the pass this season, exacerbated by a recent foot injury to starting FS Tyree Robinson. The Ducks have allowed 31 touchdown passes, second most in the country. And that’ll be an ideal palette against which Kessler can work, collaborating with WR JuJu Smith-Schuster to take the top off the Oregon D. Meanwhile, the Trojan D has been playing well during the current winning streak, suffocating opposing ground games behind the interior tandem of Antwaun Woods and Delvon Simmons.

    Why Oregon Will Win

    There’s been a revival on offense ever since QB Vernon Adams returned form his hand injury.

    The Ducks have really begun to heat up around Adams, scoring at least 38 points in five of the last six games. A week ago, they solved a stout Stanford D by rushing for 231 yards and averaging a robust 9.1 yards per play. And the O-line, headed by tackles Tyrell Crosby and Tyler Johnstone, is making life easier for backs Royce Freeman and Kani Benoit. Plus, the Trojans will be down two quality linebackers, Lamar Dawson and Cameron Smith, a major problem once the Oregon playmakers get beyond the first level.

    Player Who Matters

    The USC O-line is coming off a mediocre game in Boulder, in which the team averaged 3.5 yards a carry. This week, the assignment gets much tougher.

    Oregon is doing a nice job of keeping running plays in front of it, thanks mainly to the presence of 6-7 DE DeForest Buckner. Buckner leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks, but he’s making a difference even when he’s not getting in the stat sheet. It’ll be a battle of twin towers when he faces either of the Trojan tackles, 6-9 Zach Banner and 6-7 Chad Wheeler. The Ducks need Buckner, as well as NG Alex Balducci and OLB Tyson Coleman, to rattle and flush Kessler, so that he has a small window to locate Smith-Schuster.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    USC vs. Oregon Prediction

    Prediction: Oregon 37, USC 31, o/u: 71.5, Line: Oregon -4, o/u: 71.5
    Must See Rating: 5: The Night Before … 1: Donny! … 4


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