Oregon hangs 62 on USC, stays perfect
Los Angeles, CA – Kenjon Barner had a monster game as he carried the ball 38 times for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns to lead No. 2 Oregon in a 62-51 win over 18th-ranked Southern California in a Pac-12 matchup.
Marcus Mariota passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-23 attempts while Josh Huff caught six passes for 125 yards and two scores for the Ducks (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12), who maintain a one-game lead over Stanford in the North Division of the conference.
"That was just Oregon football out there today," said Barner. "You know, we can put up points, and if you're not going to stop us, we'll put up as many as we can."
Matt Barkley passed for 484 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions on 35-of-54 passing for the Trojans (6-3, 4-3), who have dropped their past two games. Marqise Lee caught 12 passes for 157 yards and two scores while Silas Redd added two scores on the ground in the loss.
"When you turn the ball over as much as we did today, they're going to put up a lot of points," said USC wide receiver Robert Woods. "I think they only punted once today, so that team knows how to score."
USC began the third quarter with the ball and trailing by 10. A five-minute, 11-play drive saw the team make it a three-point game as Redd's 2-yard run up the middle saw the score go to 34-31.
Oregon responded on its next touch as Barner's third score of the game came from nine yards out to cap a 13-play, 75-yard drive for a 41-31 lead with just over five minutes to play in the third.
An 82-yard return on the kickoff by Lee gave USC a short field and Redd punched it in from three yards out with 2:32 to play, but the Ducks answered quickly on a 36-yard scoring catch by Huff to give the team a 48-38 lead going into the final frame.
Following a USC punt, the first punt of the game, Oregon put the game away with a 12-play, 85-yard drive that saw Barner punch the ball into the end zone from five yards out for a 55-38 lead with 9:15 to play.
USC got seven points back on its next drive as Barkley and Randall Telfer got together on a 3-yard score to make it a 10-point game with 5:27 to play, but the team was unable to recover the onsides kick.
Oregon went three-and-out and had to punt, but USC failed on a 4th-and-5 with three minutes to play and Barner's 22-yard scoring run with under two minutes to play capped his fantastic night.
A 3-yard touchdown catch by Lee with one second to play finished the scoring in the game.
It took just five plays and a little over a minute for Oregon to score on the opening possession of the game as Mariota hit De'Anthony Thomas for 16 yards and a 7-0 lead, but USC came back with a 39-yard field goal from Andre Heidari in a drive that last almost six minutes.
The Ducks followed with another touchdown drive as the ninth play saw Huff take a screen pass out to the right and run it into the end zone from 21 yards out for a 14-3 lead with 4:53 left in the first.
USC got into the red zone and had a 1st-and-goal at the 8-yard line, but Barkley was picked off by Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in the end zone.
That led to a 27-yard run around the right corner and into the end zone by Barner, but the Trojans answered quickly as Lee caught a long bomb on the first play and took it in on a 75-yard score to make it a 21-10 game.
Oregon then marched 77 yards over 10 plays and capped the drive with a 5-yard run around the right corner by Barner with 11:27 to play. The extra point was blocked and it was a 27-17 game.
Barkley and Woods got together on a 7-yard score on USC's next touch, but Oregon answered in just three plays as Daryle Hawking 14-yard TD catch followed a 58-yard run from Mariota.
Rob Beard missed a 41-yard field goal after an interception of Barkley, and the next play saw Nelson Agholor catch a bomb between two defenders and take it into the end zone on a 76-yard score to make it a 34-24 game.
USC nearly put more points on the board as the team was in the red zone inside the final minute, but Lee fumbled a catch and Oregon killed off the rest of the clock.
The teams combined for 1,345 yards of offense, 730 from Oregon ... Oregon plays at California next week ... USC hosts Arizona State next week ... Oregon has won three of the last four games against USC and holds a 39-18-2 lead in the series ... Mariota had 96 yards on 15 carries while Agholor finished the game with six catches for 162 yards ... It was the most points that USC ever gave up in school history.