2010 Game #8: Oregon at USC

| No Comments

5 ways to beat #1...

1.) 1st and 4th

The cardinal clad crowd needs to dominate the first and fourth quarters.  The buzz leading up to the game has been tremendous.  The fan revolution behind a uniform color (#RedOut) has been inspiring.  Now, Trojan voices need to echo around the Coliseum.  USC has been on the other side of this equation.  Number one...on the road...hostile environment...  If you think back, the upsets came when the top ranked Trojans were hit in the face early and the crowd drowned them out at the end.   

2.) Grass Stains

Outside of Autzen Stadium, off the turf, the Ducks are a different team.  They punted four times and turned it over twice in the Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State.  They punted 11 times and gave it away twice at Arizona State this season.  USC's defense needs to find negative plays to force obvious passing downs, create multiple turnovers and/or mix-in a surprise on-side kick.  The number of possessions needs to be skewed in the Trojans favor.

3.) 666

On Halloween's eve, scary numbers are fitting.  The Trojans need sixes not threes.  While some pundits will pontificate that Lane Kiffin should call plays to keep the rock away from Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, scoreboard pressure is more effective than clock pressure to a team that scores so fast.  The Ducks defense plays to their offense, so they are more than willing to settle for Joe Houston field goal attempts.  The Trojans offense must follow suit with a touchdown barrage and a "first to 50 wins" mentality.

4.) Senior Night

Stop me if you've heard this before, USC cannot go to a bowl game this year, so this is their "Super Bowl."  While it seems cliche, the excitement around Heritage Hall and the practice field is undeniably heightened this week.  On this kind of night, in this kind of atmosphere, the been-there-done-that vets like Stanley Havili, Ronald Johnson, Kris O'Dowd and Shareece Wright need to show up. 

5.) Ground-and-Pound

Since Matt Barkley is getting publicity for MMA tweets, the fighting metaphor seems fitting.  The Ducks strike quickly and ferociously.  Whatever uniforms they decide to wear, they have no interest in getting blood or dirt on Nike's handiwork.  The Trojans and their fans will already be in cardinal, so the blood will blend right in.  If it rains, all the better.  USC needs to wrestle Oregon for every inch of Coliseum turf.

(Photo by Jon SooHoo)

Leave a comment